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Cleve Mesidor

Cleve Mesidor

Global Communications Strategist

Port au Prince, Haiti

 

Being a part of something that's bigger than yourself can sometimes feel like being in the path of lighting. That's when I look up and let the Haitian sun set in.

I left my life, left my comfort zone, left my great job with the Obama Administration, left my friends, left the country that raised me to return to the one that birthed me.

A few days before I left it became apparent that everything I wanted to take with me was not going to fit into the allotted 3 suitcases. I broke down, cried, and decided it was a sign and I was not going anymore. What was I thinking? Who just picks up and moves to Haiti without a job or rich parents?

Luckily before leaving Washington DC I attended an intimate event at the White House with Valerie Jarrett. She shared her story with 20 young African American female leaders. What stuck with me was the advice she said she received when she was starting her career – put yourself in the path of lightning and seek to be part of something that is bigger than yourself.

That experience gave me the jolt I needed to do it scared and have faith in who orders my steps.

This six-month economic exploratory trip certainly puts me in the path of lighting – every day I feel electrified by the possibilities and the challenges. I feel a certainty that something big is on the horizon and I hope that I am able to add value.

The environment compels you to want to make a difference. Haiti is devastatingly beautiful and agonizingly complex.

I have learned that there are no easy solutions to the country’s economic development issues. That’s a tough thing to grasp for a person whose philosophy is that there is always a way.

So I remind myself that this is bigger than me and to take it one step at a time.

But I will admit that on two occasions I broke down and asked my myself, what am I doing here? And last week I did get homesick. Yes, being a part of something that’s bigger than yourself can sometimes feel like being in the path of lighting. That’s when I look up and let the Haitian sun set in.

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