My parents left the country decades ago because they worried they could not safely raise a child there. A generation later, I did the same.
I had just finished a work call in 2021 and was thinking about squeezing in a Peloton workout when my phone rang. It was a typically bright, beautiful September afternoon just outside of Port-au-Prince, but I felt a sense of dread. It was my husband, Junior, calling.
“These two guys came out,” he began, his voice sounding small and far away. It took a minute — and lots of questions — for me to realize what he was telling me.
I flew down the stairs, yelling. In my frenzy, I remembered to grab my “go bag” with my passport and cash. These bags — always packed and waiting — had become essential for anyone living around the capital, which in recent months had been overrun with gang violence. I jumped into our mud-covered farm truck and told the driver where to go.