Well… I can’t quite tell you how heartbroken the devastation of the country of Haiti has left me. So sad. I was there in September for 2 weeks working for Aid to Artisans, and I remember every moment of it like it was yesterday… which is really making this all so difficult.
While there I stayed at the Hotel Montana, and it became my home away from home. The hotel was unlike any other I’d ever stayed in. I felt totally at home, always comfortable, the staff became friends and it was so beautiful – inside and out. It had this way of transporting me and making me feel like I was playing “the foreigner” in some 1940s Haitian film. And let’s not forget the art there! Well…. after the earthquake it is now a pile of rubble. And the people. All those people inside ...
I just want to share it’s beauty. If I close my eyes I see myself waking up in room 113, getting a tropical fruit smoothie from Jennifer, eating avocado salad in the sun, saying hello to the small Haitian man who sold newspapers every morning by the pool, and my favorite waiter with the BIGGEST smile who never laughed when I asked for club soda with my omelete. The staff there was so amazing. They always listened patiently to my rambling high school french. They were always lovely when bringing me a room service order of piping hot pumpkin soup and grilled cheese (a plus to staying over the kitchen). A favorite memory was when one waiter brought me my dinner towards the end of my trip and exclaimed… “Miss! (first off – I love that he called me Miss and not Ma’m) You have been here for SO LONG!!”
I am so sad that my husband will never be able to meet those people or have an experience there. I will miss if when I get to go back to Haiti… someday.
RIP Montana, I pray for all the people that were in the hotel, all those that work there and anyone who has called it their Home Away From Home.
If you can, please make a donation to help the reflief and rebuilding of Haiti. There are many great organziations out there, my personal choice is Paul Farmer’s Partner’s in Health.