A smile. It is simple, yet so profound. Filled with a thousand words, meanings, and emotions. So I’ve compiled smiles from Haiti for you, and some inspirational quotes, to inspire a cheesy grin to form on your face.
Because I freakin’ love to smile!
Smiling…that subtle reaction that happens when the electric neuronal signals tickle the oldest part of your cortex, making your brain giggle with joy, which stimulates your smile muscles causing that cheesy grin to form. The fact that we HAVE smile muscles should make you smile.
However complicated that scientific mumbo-jumbo may sound, a smile is the most basic, yet most powerful sign of communication. There is no other form of expression that elicits a more powerful emotion, because happiness will always trounce hatred.
Recently I described my eye-opening experience in the first few hours being in the country, where I realized first impressions mean nothing. But one impression, and a lasting one I got, was that there were smiles abound.
Sure, some tried to hide the smiles, some only smiled after they discovered we weren’t there to document Haiti’s hardships to make an award-winning documentary from their pain. But one thing was for sure, Haitian’s love to smile.
Smiling is the most universal language. Those times I couldn’t pronounce something, or couldn’t convey what I wanted in the language, a smile could tell them either way I was grateful.
So I compiled some photos together of all the smiles from the trip. Smiles from high up heads of Ministry’s, smiles from the mountain tops, smiles from the small villages, and smiles from my friends and I as we discovered Haiti.
As I was writing this, the photos and memories made me smile.
I hope some of these will in turn make you smile, because they say smiling is more powerful than those endorphin-injecting chocolates.
Huge smiles before embarking on the gnarly journey.
“A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.” – Tim Cahill
Happiness in Belly Beach, Nord, Haiti while soaking up the rays and swimming in crystal clear waters.
Cute kiddo flashing a smile and a peace sign while at a rally for Waste Management change.
Children flocked to the camera on the mountain roads rom Port Au Prince to Cap-Haitian.
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay home.” – James Michener
Happy to flex his muscles and give a smile for the camera.
This guy is pointing at you to smile. Are you yet?
At first skeptical that we were a crew trying to find gold mines in the region, these gents eventually let their defenses down and let out a few smiles.
“To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley
This young model to be stepped in front of the camera to give her, “Yeah, I’m awesome” smirk and pose.
The Wesley Snipes of Haiti. While recording some footage on the beach, he wanted me to shoot an impromptu action sequence.
A supporter at the Waste Management rally smiles after hearing the mission of our documentary: to bring electricity to the country.
“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do – especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” – William Least Heat Moon
Suddenly feeling free and at peace along the cliffs while driving to Labadee, Scenery like this always makes me smile.
“Let my soul smile through my heart and my heart smile through my eyes, that I may scatter rich smiles in sad hearts.”
Cruising on a boat in the Caribbean in Northern Haiti.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain
Cap-Haitian kids crowded our cameras posing for all sorts of photos and flashing some smiles.
Jagged mountains creating green valleys make me smile.
“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”
The barber in Port Au Prince, loving what he does every day.
“He who does not travel does not know the value of men.” – Moorish proverb
Viky getting a haircut by the guy he always go a trim from when he lived in Haiti.
This lady was all smiles as we discussed Haiti’s Tourism with the Ministry of Tourism and the potential growth upcoming.
The Mayor of Cap-Haitian, known for not smiling much, flashed a smile after we signed paperwork for the energy prototype!
“A smile is the universal welcome.” -Max Eastman
Viky, in the blue, had his first time seeing the coastline of Haiti up close even after being born there. Totally made him smile in disbelief of the scenery.
“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton
Prestige on the beach. Good times.
“I was so embarrassed about mispronouncing words. I just knew how to smile.” -Adriana Lima
Underwater smiles as we swam in the beautiful warm waters on the coast.
“Haiti is open for business” Conference, where everyone was happy to discuss getting companies involved in Haiti’s economic growth.
Before leaving, we posed we Viky’s lovely mother and the crew. I was sad to leave, but I smiled because it happened.
“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” -Dr. Seuss
Which country have you been to with the most smiles?
Read More Posts from Haiti
–Eye Opening: My First Real Impressions Of Haiti
–To Haiti, With Love, to Film a Documentary
–Home From Haiti – This Contrast May Kill Me.
–Haiti Travel Advice: Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover.
–Haiti in Photos – Don’t Look! You Might Fall In Love.
–Video: 10 Beautiful Days Around Haiti.