Born in Fond la Grange, Haiti |
Clotilda was in school in Haiti, studying journalism and working at a radio station when the parliamentary elections were happening. She was appointed to cover the elections and while interviewing voters at the polling stations she noticed two uniformed men carrying boxes near the official ballot boxes and became suspicious of fraud. She told the men that they needed to leave the area because it was only for voters. The two men pointed a gun at her, threatening to kill her if she didn’t leave them alone. She left the polling area, went straight to the radio station and reported the situation. In the two years that followed, Clotilda and her family were “chased” until they were finally able to escape Haiti. She will never forget how hard life was when she first came to Canada. She had to leave her abusive spouse, had a young child and was pregnant. When volunteering at a local social service agency a woman suggested she put her name in a draw box for their “Holiday Angel Program”. In December, an anonymous person donated thousands of dollars’ worth of things for her and her children. In her note, she said she was also a single woman expecting a child. This one experience made her feel as if she was not alone in Toronto. Currently Clotilda is studying English, and hopes to one day work as a Social Worker.
Toronto as Home
Clotilda’s apartment is where she spends most of her time. When she is not in school, she is at home with her two children. The kitchen is a nice quiet spot in the home because her kids are not allowed to play here– it is a place she says is calming. She often makes peanut brittle here, a snack she had made regularly since she was a teenager.
Connection with the Past
Clotilda is touching her kitchen’s window. She says it gives her a “beautiful view of the city”. In Haiti she lived at the top of a hill and she could see of into the distance. This view reminds her of being back in Haiti and she often finds herself standing at this window reminiscing about the good times there.