Thoughts After my Tour in Les Cayes with Afro Alice

I am the founder and CEO of Afro Alice, a multipurpose natural hair center for the celebration and the promotion of natural hair for the Haitian community.  One part of our work is to reach out to women in the countrysides through media, through workshops and field pilot events. Our first educational tour was in Les Cayes from October 17 through October 19.

The experience was very rewarding.  The women who attended were longing for natural hair care and style solutions and were very satisfied and happy with our services and the initiative .  The media representatives there were very helpful and cooperative.  It went so well that we are planning to go back there at the end of the countrywide tour.

Part of our Afro Alice Team

Part of our Afro Alice Team

Here is what I learned:

1- The best gift someone can receive put aside life is knowledge.  I witnes how knowledge improves and empowers people, how knowledge brightens their eyes and makes them happy.  Knowledge gives a sense to their lives.  I met with women that were using Fab laundry detergents and Fabuloso all-purpose household cleaner on their hair to clean it and make it smell good; others that ate Haitian Barbecue, patties and Coca Cola everyday instead of fruits, veggies and water- not because they do not have the financial capability to eat healthy- because they don’t know how to have a proper diet and how their diet affects their body along with their hair.  The last customer we met was a 14-year old girl who was obviously sad because her hair was evidently damaged with rotten ends and you could feel she was not comfortable with herself because she was conscious that something was going wrong with her hair but she didn’t know how to take care of it.  When she left, she was a new person, a happy and relieved young girl with her revived beauty and all excited to practice what she has just learned on how to take care of herself.

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No monetary reward would make me feel so satisfied, accomplished, proud and fulfilled than to catch the tint of relief in the women eyes because they know now or they know better… to hear them say a heartfelt and warming thank you because they have learned something new that will ameliorate their life.  It feels so great to make the difference in people’s life.

We left Les Cayes with a bunch of women empowered with knowldege: on how to love themselves, on how to accept themselves and their gifts, how to take care of their body, on how to improve the quality of their life.

2- It doesn’t take age or nationality or race or social ranking or anything than our mind to make a difference in our OWN life and in others’.  When you have a can-do attitude, when you resourcefulness to your creativity, you can turn your passion into millions.

At Port-Salut. I met with Mamina, she is a 10-year old natural hair entrepreneur who crafts artisanal accessories and sells them at the beach on her spare time after studying. I was attracted by her resourcefulness, honesty and brightness.  She is the youngest child of the family, attends schools, takes care of certain household chores, yet she takes the time to work on her passion and diligently sell her creations.

Mamina, 14-year old entrepreneur

Mamina, 14-year old entrepreneur

Mamina Creations, Port Salut, Cayes

Mamina Creations, Port Salut, Cayes

I truly enjoyed my journey to Les Cayes. And our next destination shall be Cap Haitian before the end of this year.  Stay tune via our Afro Alice Instagram, our Afro Alice Twitter and our Afro Alice Website.

Xoxo,

Annie

To My Envious, Duncy and Hating Cicadas

Dear Lax Cicadas:

When you were having fun, sleeping, joking and enjoying life effortlessly and restlessly, I was busy working hard, studying, striving, working toward my goals and chasing my dream. When you are chasing dollars of mediocrity to SAVE A LIVING, I am using my passion, my talent and my knowledge to LIVE.

Don’t put the blame of your meagerness on my accomplishments and laboriousness. Stop blaming my sharpness and my uprightness. Wherever you see greener grass, bear in mind the water bill is higher. My success doesn’t come in overnight shipments. I sweat and strive!!!

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When was the last time you read a book?  Or, when was the last time you invest some quality time in becoming a quality person?  When was the last time you removed your mask?  When was the last time you got busy getting and pursuing a dream?!

Use your energy to develop yourself instead of trying to break someone you wish you could be. Spare me your toxic presence and words.  Bury your cowardness and dare be YOU. Challenge the darkness lying in you.  Your bitter venom is not going to stop me from being ME.  Stop letting your tongue blur your brain.

While you are hating, I am going forward….

#haterfreezone

Yours truly,
Resilient & Ingenious Ant.

Month of September – Cheers to Positivity!!!

I was getting somehow too negative.  I was stopping to stand for myself.  I was giving too much room to darkness into my everyday.  I was missing the happy and colorful butterfly I was.  I wanted my elf self back so I made plans to get it back.

For the month of September, I am choosing to see just the positive things.  I am choosing to see the rainbow through the rain, I am choosing to focus on the half filled glass of water.  

I am living a stressful and busy life but I am no more allowing that to drain my crazy and happy self.

I am grateful for everything: the privilege of living, of knowing God, of being surrounded with true and great people, of having a sense of IAMness.  I am even thankful for my haters and antagonists, I transform their negative vibes into positive energy in motion.  To repeat my dear husband, willingly receive EVERYTHING you are given whether it’s sweet or sour, it will be useful to you ANYWAY ^_^

It is all a mind work.  I started to feel fabulous the very moment I decided my journey would be the one of a caterpillar working to become a butterfly while enjoying each step of the transformation.  

I am wondering if I am still the Lost Emerald, I am becoming more a caterpillar in a mission to transform herself into a dazzling butterfly :) 

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Life is beautiful, the air is precious, no worries, all happiness.  

Cheers to positivity :) 

Ms. Happy Caterpilie ♥

Stil Pou Mwa Septanm – Kwochè ak Alonj Freetress Water Wave

Originally posted on Afro Alice:

Gen yon mwa de sa, mwen te anvi mete alonj kwochè sou fom yon koup pou m te pase anvi mwen genyen pou m koupe pwop cheve m nan, mwen te al fe mete l pou mwen men mwen pat renmen cheve yo te itilize a e mwen te retire l.  Yon zanmi m nan travay mwen te vin pote de pakè Freetress Water Wave ki mezire 22″ pou mwen nan koulè 1B apre ke m te di l mwen renmen jan l te penyen avel la.

 Sa te pran  twazèdtan pou tèt mwen fin penyen men m te leve plizye fwa al fè lot bagay.  Tet mwen te pran de pakè cheve a totalman e pou m te ka plis vèsatil ak cheve a, sa vle di gen posibilite pou m fe chou avel si m vle oswa lot penyen, mwen te kite pati kouwon cheve m ni devan, ni…

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My Story with “Tribute” by Yanni: Homage to Janice ♥

Tribute is the fifth track on the album with the same name composed by Yanni, a famous greek composer and pianist in 1997.  The album was written to honor the builders of Taj(an Indian Mausoleum), the Forbidden City (a Chinese Imperial palace) and the people of India and China.

But, my story with this amazing piece is different: it pays tribute to one woman who made a big difference in my childhood and teenage.

Whenever I listen to Tribute, it brings me back to mygraduation day and all of the amazing memories I had during my high school years.  Whenever I think about my high school years, I remember  my teachers, myself at that time and my unique school principal: Janice Regis.  That woman saved me from the highest cliff of my life and I am eternally grateful to her for that.  In the very moment I needed an anchor, she gave me what a terribly hurt and lost girl needed to start smiling again.

When my parents got separated, almost two decades ago, I was disappointed, hurt, I felt abandoned and worthless, I was mad with the world and I wanted to make my parents feel what I felt.  I intended to be a real pain in their life.  I had nothing to lose as I thought I had already lost everything I had.  I felt like I was in a dark tunnel with no outcome. My mom registered me at several schools and I got accepted at all of them. I could have gone to A or B or C but I was blessed enough to go to her school: Institution La Source.  From the day I  met her to the last time I visited her, she has always empowered me with her teachings, her advice, her hugs, her actions and her personality.  She has never missed an opportunity to tell me or show me how valuable I am.  She believes in me.  I love the fact that she didn’t favor me- she punished me when I deserved it, she grounded me when I needed to be reprimanded but she did it all WITH love and BECAUSE she loved me. A tap on my shoulders to encourage me, a warm hug to welcome me, a huge smile to brighten my days…

Her job was to educate me but she did  more than that: she believed in my ability to fly, she trained me in using my wings and she made me fly.  She doesn’t just teach you what you should do, her actions were more eloquent than ANY word she spoke.  She is an example of woman: strong, devout, courageous, respectable and respectful, humble, smart, loving – a hero and a human!  I wouldn’t be who I am today without her contribution and I am grateful for her.

In my heart and mind, Tribute is to pay homage to this stellar, unique, incredible, awesome and extraordinary woman: Janice Regis.

Semper Fidelis

From Dawn to Night

Mouse condemned to live into the bottle while watching the attractive outer world.

Chrysalis turned into a butterfly then loses her wings.

Hot air contained in the balloons.

F(x) limited to zero but not reaching positive infinity.

Light meant to shine but is turned off.

Dawn, promising of brighter endeavors, quickly turned into night, ending and dark.

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A breathe. A dream. A mist.

Incomplete project. Unreached potential. Interrupted dream.

Chained. Refrained. Restrained. Shut down.

Wounds, blood, moans, tears.

Resignation. Powerlessness. Handicap. Prison. Frustration

Wanna be. Dying to be. Wish could be.

 

Free prison or imprisonning freedom.

 

 

 

 

My Thought On Lupita Nyong’o’s Nomination by People Magazine

On April 23rd, 2014, People magazine named Lupita Nyong’o, the Mexican-Kenyan actress Most Beautiful Woman of 2014.  This news has created a lot of positive and negative buzz and reactions online.  In Haiti, many women see her nomination as an offense to their own beauty, others believe that beauty is too relative to be appraised.  I see Lupita’s nomination with very positive eyes.

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This nomination was made to convey two messages to the world:

1- Beauty is not  equated with long, luscious, straight hair and light skin anymore.  So many black women are struggling with their self-image. They made so many changes to their hair, their skin color, their physical features that they’ve lost their identity.  They’ve lost their self-esteem and self-love with it.  Proclaiming Lupita, a dark-skinned woman with very short kinky natural hair as the MOST beautiful woman of 2014 debunks the myth that night shaded skin is ugly.  One young woman confessed that she stopped bleaching her skin after Lupita’s nomination.  Lupita’s words after her nomination say it all: “I was happy for all the girls who would see me on the cover and feel a little more seen.”  Lupita started to look at herself with more positive eyes when she saw Alek Wek, a south sudanese fashion model on TV.  No doubt, drawing the lights on dark-skinned women that don’t conform to a Caucasian aesthetic as beauty symbols is a positive upbringing for the black community.

2- Beauty is not just a face, it’s a package: brain plus heart plus physical features. Lupita is talentuous, educated, eloquent and authentic.  Any ordinary girl can relate to her because she is hearted.  This humanity and personality have been shown in her quotes: ” I feel most beautiful when I am content. That is for me more important than my physical presentation. “I would suggest laughter, the ability to forgive yourself and experience life as beauty advice”

I support People magazine’s choice in labeling Lupita Nyong’O  Most Beautiful Woman of 2014 because this action is promoting a new way of judging beauty: YOU are beautiful although you are DIFFERENT and BEAUTY is more than just a FACE and a BODY, it’s also a BRAIN and a HEART.