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

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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.

lupita-nyongo-peoples-most-beautiful

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.

One of My Favorite Mozart Pieces – Piano Concerto 23 / Adagio

I am a proud fan of Beethoven and always have preferred his music to Mozart‘s because of its more expressive and passionate tones.  Mozart is more about structure and symmetry.  However, the Piano Concerto 23 / Adagio (second part of the piece) by Mozart makes me feel the edge of my seat.  God!  My heart beats wildly when it plays…

melancholy

The opening feels like the introduction statement to a tragedy….. The melody is light… then comes the actual tragedy…. the sorrow, the melancholy, the innermost mourning.  In the middle of it all, it changes.  The scene becomes an opera scene or a 1789 ballroom where majesty, greatness, elegance and magnificence evolve.  Afterward, abruptly, it goes back to the mournful cry of a soul, it expresses somberness, sadness, decisiveness and drear.  The melody closes on more sumptuous and brieve themes….. I cry, I think, I live through this air…… I love this tune.

About Mozart’s Piano concerto 23 in A: It was composed in 1786 and is a graceful piece in three movements .  It uses a small orchestra with two flutes, two clarinets in A, two bassoons, and two horns in A, along with the usual string orchestra J. Greeson

The youtube link to ithttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf711o8jAQA

If you are looking for upbuilding thoughts and you speak french….this is the book for you

Days ago, while I was down and I was seeing darkness everywhere, I borrowed a book entitled: Vous etes irremplacable (You’re irreplaceable in english) from a good acquaintance and I didn’t regret it.

This is the book summary: 

« Ce livre traite de ce que chaque être humain possède tout au fond de lui : l’amour », explique l’auteur dans sa préface. « C’est une biographie votre biographie. Pour la première fois peut-être, vous allez lire l’histoire de votre vie et redécouvrir au fil des pages des vérités oubliées sur vous-même. Mais, plus important encore, vous allez comprendre ce qui fait de vous un champion de la vie, un être parmi les plus vaillants, et aussi que seul l’amour, à travers sa folie et sa beauté, est moteur de vie. »
Un message d’optimisme relayé dans ce livre par cent courts textes à méditer pour retrouver ou développer estime de soi et joie de vivre. La vie est le bien le plus précieux que nous possédions car nous sommes irremplaçables !

I really enjoyed reading such positive thoughts and it reminds me that I am a fighter (from my conception through no) and I have to keep on being a fighter.  This book praises love, not love between men and women, not love among family members or friends or not even love for our neighbor but love for ourselves.  A real serum for my personal development! I finished reading it since three days and ever since, I am in excellent mood and thinking all positive.  I intend to order this book on Amazon.  

If you are looking for upbuilding thoughts, you speak french and own 7.5 euros (or 10 us dollars), buy and read this book. You will not regret it.

🙂

Livres en Folie 2011

Livres en Folie, the traditional Haitian annual book fair since seventeen years took place yesterday at Parc Historique de la Canne a Sucre, Tabarre.

While I am very happy to take advantage of this excellent initiative taken by both Unibank and Le Nouvelliste, its organization and customer service  are very poor. 

Organization– I noticed many flaws in the way the Fair was organized but one thing that kept my attention was the following: on the day of the fair, I met many people who express their regrets for not going to it because they actually didn’t know that Livres en Folie was happening on that day.  This year, in fact, they didn’t really broadcast the news about Livres en Folie as they used to do.  If you are organizing an event and people who need to know about it don’t, I find that a lack of organizational skills somehow.

Customer Service– When you refer to CS, you see the environment the services (or goods) are being provided in, the cheerfulness of the people providing it and the logistics.  When I arrived on site, I had to ask friends were some Editions stands were located, ask where I had to pay for each edition. There were information missing.  Because the lines weren’t in order, the people hired to serve the buyers could not manage to do that properly.  As for logistics, some books were out of stock before 1pm (Livres en Folie was from 10 to 4 pm). Customer service was a real fiasco.

Something I really didn’t  appreciate this year again was the fact that 80% of the people who were present were here either for Teenage Fashion en folie or Men en folie or Gathering for nothing en folie or even Sex en folie.  Things would be so much more interesting without those people coming just for the sake of coming (sarcastic face).

Well, enough negative points about the fair. Let’s see the good parts.  I met some authors at the fair. Galy is a very amiable person and she really looks like a protocol figure.  Margaret Papillon is a real sweetpie: she has the sensitiveness of a writer.  Also,  I bought some excellent books: one about protocole and manners, one about cooking and household management, one novel and one autobiography. I will take the time to review those books later on.

 

 

 

 

 

My goody number one is the book: Dis moi comment recevoir # 4. I encouraged you all to purchase and read it.

 

 

Although it is a good opportunity to meet with other book-lovers and authors, I don’t think I will go to Livres en Folie anymore.  The alternative is to buy the books I want online and pickup them at Haiti Messager. 

 

The Festival International de Jazz 2011

The Festival International de Jazz  for the year 2011 in Haiti begins this week. For those fans of good jazz music living in Haiti, I get news for you.

When? From Saturday February 19 through Saturday February 26, 2011

Where? Scène Prestige (Parc Historique de la Canne a Sucre, route de Tabarre), Scène Voilà (Restaurant Quartier Latin, Place Boyer, Pétion-Ville), IHA(Institut Haitiano Americain, Champ de Mars), Karibe (Karibe Hotel, 7, Juvenat, Pétion-Ville), O’Brasileiro (103, rue Louverture, Pétion-Ville), IFH (Institut Francais d’Haiti, 99, rue Lamartinière) and Fokal (143, avenue Christophe, Port au Prince)

Who will be the invited groups & artists? Carsten Daerr Trio (Germany), Beatriz Malnic (Brazil), Jane Bunett (Canada), Organik Trio (Chili), Aaron Goldberg (USA), Jerez Texas (Spain), Mino Cinelu (France), Pauline Jean, Mushy Widmaer, Vanessa & Alex Jacquemin, Claude Carré Trio, Dizwikara, Jaleb, Frantz Courtois & Welmyr Jean Pierre Trio (Haiti) and Eblén Macari Trio (Mexico).

What? Find below the schedule of concerts.

Saturday February 19- Mushy Widmaer, Beatriz Malnic, Aaron Goldberg at 6:00 pm at Scène Prestige & Frantz Courtois at 8:00 pm at Scène Voilà

Sunday February 20- Beatriz Malnic, Vanessa and Alex Jacquemin, Jane Bunett at 5:00 pm at Karibe & Jaleb at 8:00 pm at Scène Voilà

Monday February 21- Claude Carré Trio and Jane Bunett at 6:00 pm at IHA & Dizwikara at 8:00 pm at O’Brasileiro

Tuesday February 22- Vanessa & Alex Jacquemin and Mushy Widmaer at 6:00 pm at IHA & Jaleb at 8:00 pm at Scène Voilà.

Wednesday February 23- Eblén Macari and Organik Trio at 6:00 pm at IHA & Welmyr Jean Pierre Trio at 8:00 pm at Scène Voilà

Thursday February 24- Mino Celu at 6:00 pm at IFH & Jerez Texas and Carsten Daerr Trio at 7:00 pm at Karibe & Claude Carré Trio at 9:00 pm at O’Brasileiro

Friday February 25- Organik Trio and Pauline Jean at 6:00 pm at IHA & Frantz Courtois at 8:00 pm at Scène Voilà

Saturday February 26- Eblén Macari at 4:00 pm at Fokal & Carsten Daerr Trio, Pauline Jean and Mino Celu at 6:00 pm at Scène Prestige & Welmyr Jean Pierre Trio at 8:00 pm at Scène Voilà.

How? Tickets are being sold for 500.00 gourdes at Canne a Sucre or Karibe Hotel.

I am planning to be there on Saturday February 19. I would not miss Aaron Goldberg & Beatriz Malnic.  I like american jazz and am in love with brazilian jazz.