She quietly slides into the backseat of the car. At first glance, her face is soft and gentle, yet worn with years of hard life, her eyes tired from the pain she has seen and from the difficulty she has felt. Her dark, black hair is sprinkled with grey despite the fact she’s not yet seen forty. And even though she was born into circumstances not necessarily in her favor, she perseveres because it’s all she knows and it’s all she has.
Angeline. Mother to three, wife to one. She explains the daily commute she makes to work and the daily commute home, a distance roughly 16 miles, and yet a trek that spans two and half hours one way. She wakes before her children and leaves the house before they’ve gone to school. And in the evenings, depending on the traffic, she arrives home just as the sun begins to dip below the horizon, allowing her just enough time to share a couple precious hours with the precious ones she loves.
She elaborates on the struggle to put her children through school, but also of the vitality to provide them with an education so they can have better, so they can be better, so they can hope for better. She describes her small, one-bedroom house, which sits atop the small plot of land she and her husband purchased as a result of the job she has, an accomplishment of which she deserves to be proud. She discusses the misery of Haiti, and she wonders aloud how her country came to be in this state, how she came to be in this place.
This compilation of all of the odds against her could certainly discourage her into giving up. But even in the brokenness, she proclaims gratitude. Following every statement of hardship comes an exclamation of praise. She boasts of her job at Papillon and of the way it has given her an opportunity to build a life for her family. She verbally thanks God for the people he has placed in her path, the people who have heard her, who have seen her, and who have never forgotten her. She counts the tangible blessings she has experienced due to this sustainable income. Angeline, despite her struggle, clings to hope, a hope that gives her the courage to press on.