Granddaughter of Haitian-American H.O.P.E. Founder Rose-Marie Chierici, Isabella Chierici, or “Bella” for short, wanted to better understand her own Haitian family heritage and what it was like for girls her age in Haiti today. Bella accompanied Rose-Marie on her latest trip to Borgne, Haiti, and spent five days with a warm and welcoming group of Haitian girls, who gave Bella a window into their lives. Reflecting on this rare and intimate experience, Bella authored this poem about the lasting impact this trip had on her.

“Day 1 – Arrival: A short day, Mostly rest, Some talking, Worlds apart yet together we sit”

“Day 2 – The Beach: We met them, People whose lives we could change, And whose lives changed us, The ocean was quite nice, We swam with the water and new friends”

“Day 3 – Mobile Clinic: Hiking, Far from home, Bringing medicine to the mountains Our friends along side us, We carried small loads, Others carried more, The next three hours were a blur, Packaging, Preparing, Pictures”

“Day 4 – Computers: Another day of resting, Showing people the ways of the modern western world, Computers and clean water we have never gone without, H.O.P.E. brings them both, We, students, are now teachers”

“Day 5 – Friendships Grow: Upon the morning we drew figures in the sand, Moved ourselves with the ways of the water and the land, 135 was our number, We carved it with our bodies into the earth, Back indoors for a reminder of how far we’ve come”

“Day 6 – Departure: Parting may be a sweet sorrow, But deep down I never left”

Read more about WomenStrong Consortium Member H.O.P.E. and its Director Rose-Marie Chierici!

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