First Thoughts on Being Back From Haiti

I’m not sure what I want to say. I keep jumping all around in my mind, a nontemporalproximal place.

The number of emotions that sweep over me remain overwhelming.

I feel a sadness now that I’m back. I feel like I’ve died.

I feel a great relief to be back home though. Yet, I hate what home brings with it.

I am acutely aware of the sounds: the low murmur of cars on I-5. The buzz of the street lamps in their orange glow. The people yelling down the street. The cars as they drive past me.

It’s so cold here. I’m not used to sleeping with all these blankets.

I put my ear buds in and play a podcast…not my usual one, but one I would listen to in Haiti. My whitenoise maker reminds me of the airplane engines. I fall asleep.

As I walked to the next gate at the airport, I felt inundated with commercial advertisement. What is this product? Why do I need it? Why the fuck are they even advertising this, nobody needs this.

I keep looking out the window, not wanting this plane ride to end. Planes and airports now remain my last vestige of something that means so much, yet I can’t accurately explain what or why.

I don’t want to collect my bags on the carousel. I don’t want to leave the airport — it means I have to say goodbye.

There’s something special about spending such intimate time with these people. We eat together, we sleep together, we pray together, we ride together, we laugh together, we cry together, we work together. We created a new being — a new life form — that existed for 11 days. It was symbiotic and it will never exist again like it did.

I don’t want to go to sleep, because it means I have to move on.

It feels weird to be alone, knowing there’s no one just around the doorway.

We see each other at church and naturally gravitate toward each other.

We seem different now. Sure, we’ve all taken our hot showers; but it’s not that. We act different.

I don’t want to look at my email. There’s 116 new emails covering at least 50 different topics.

Work, even life here, seems too complicated. Too complex. Too overwhelming. I just want to curl up into a ball and cry.

I want things to be simple again. I want to focus on what’s in front of me right now, not what may or may not happen in two weeks.

3026 photos, that’s a lot of memories. I look at them and replay the trip over in my head. I look at the photos from the very beginning of the trip, from when before we really knew each other. Who are these people?

Coming back this time was different. Last time, I was excited to be home because I didn’t know when I was going to get home. This time though, I could anticipate getting home. I knew almost precisely when I would land.

There was no large contingent of people waiting with bated breath for us at the airport. Just our parents, significant others, or roommates.

We sang our song one last time. It was beautiful, amazing, poignant, awesome…just like Haiti was.

I don’t know if I want to go back. I love the simplicity of it. I love Bruce and Deb. I love to see what God is doing. But I hate the politics. I hate that things don’t make sense. I hate that people sometimes try to take advantage of me because I’m “blan”1; it doesn’t feel good when I’m trying to help.

I don’t want to let go of that feeling of being down there. I want to hold it close to me. But I don’t know how to do that and still live and work here.

I don’t know what’s next. I just want to feel that way again.


  1. white 

Week 13

Thanks for playing along with me while I took my time to process and upload the last several weeks worth of photos. I also hope you enjoyed seeing these pictures while I’ve been down in Haiti. I should hopefully getting back tomorrow night (super late though), which will eventually cause more pictures (and maybe even some video) to appear here (not this exact post, but this blog) at a later date.

Day 85 (March 26th)

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 86

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 87

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 881

Getting Ready
5.8 mm || 1/263 || f/5.6 || ISO100 || E3100
, Arizona, United States

Day 89

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 90

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 91 (April 1st)

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Seattle, Washington, United States


  1. Today’s picture is brought to you by 2004…because I forgot to take one today. 

Week 12

Day 78 (March 19th)

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50.0 mm || 1/640 || f/2.2 || ISO400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 79

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 801

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, Colorado, United States

Day 81

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 82

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 83

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 84 (March 25th)

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Mcmicken Heights, Washington, United States


  1. Wouldn’t you know…didn’t take a picture this day. So Grand Junction, Colorad, brings you this lovely flashback from Spring Break 2006 instead! 

Week 11

Day 71 (March 12th)

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65.0 mm || 1/30 || f/4.5 || ISO3200 || NIKON D7000
Woodinville, Washington, United States

Day 72

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 73

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 74

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 75

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Day 76

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18.0 mm || 1/100 || f/3.5 || ISO25600 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 77 (March 28th)

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50.0 mm || 1/1250 || f/2.2 || ISO6400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Week 10

Day 64 (March 5th)

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300.0 mm || 1/250 || f/5.6 || ISO6400 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 65

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18.0 mm || 1/25 || f/6.3 || ISO3200 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 66

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 67

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 68

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 691

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18.0 mm || 1/60 || f/3.5 || ISO400 || NIKON D70
Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Day 70 (March 11th)

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Seattle, Washington, United States


  1. I forgot to take a picture this day…not sure why. I had to go back to 2007 and Las Vegas, Nevada, to bring you this photo though. 

Week 9

Day 57 (February 26th)

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 58

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 59

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18.0 mm || 1/250 || f/5.0 || ISO1600 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 60 (March 1st)

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 61

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Seattle, Washington, United States

Day 62

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Shoreline, Washington, United States

Day 63 (March 4th)

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60.0 mm || 1/50 || f/5.6 || ISO3200 || NIKON D7000
Seattle, Washington, United States