Haitian Singer Emeline Michel Tours The Bateyes of the Dominican Republic

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jafrikayiti
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Haitian Singer Emeline Michel Tours The Bateyes of the Dominican Republic

Post by jafrikayiti » Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:39 am

Published by bana2166- 03-08-07


Haitian Singer Emeline Michel Tours The Bateyes of the Dominican Republic

http://www.haitiwebs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=43045
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Haitian Singer Emeline Michel Tours The Bateyes of the Dominican Republic

SANTO DOMINGO, DR, Fri. Mar. 9, 2007: Haitian-born superstar, Emeline Michel, recently paid a three-day visit to the bateyes of the Dominican Republic, where more than 200,000 of her compatriots and their descendants live.

Michel was welcomed and hosted by the humanitarian aid organization, the Batey Relief Alliance — BRA Dominicana, who took her to the province of Monte Plata where she made her first stop at batey Cinco Casas visiting BRA's medical facilities and talking to local residents.

She then traveled in the afternoon to batey Cojobal, a 2-and-a-half-hour drive from Santo Domingo, where a multitude of children and adults welcomed her with joy, multicolored balloons, placards and song - “Bienvenida Emelina! Bienvenida Emelina!”

“It was a memorable moment for me. Having sung for so many years for countless audiences the emotionally charged song, Viejo, about the conditions of Haitians in the bateyes and to now be right in the middle of that reality,” said Michel.

The singer, popularly known as the “Queen of Kreyol Songs” greeted the crowd emotionally in her mother tongue, Haitian Kreyol. “Bonjou zanmim yo!” or in English “Greetings my friends!” and sang Haitian folk songs, including “Tolalito,” where she engaged the children to sing with her.

After her short and improvised performance, the artist signed autographs and gave away CDs of her albums and personalized posters to the crowd. Michel explained that it was a complete shock to see a different world than what she had ever envisioned, “it is great to finally have my own insight—a priceless experience.”

A group of HIV/AIDS patients in the BRA's HIV/AIDS prevention/treatment program was also there to talk to the artist about their lives and their life-saving treatment. Their Michel had an intimate connection with one little girl who is HIV positive and an orphan after she had lost both of her parents to HIV/AIDS.

“I returned home with my heart filled with both hope and despair—hope to witness the tremendous amount of work and care being provided by the Batey Relief Alliance, and despair to realize how many of us, instead of truly helping, have turned our backs away,” added Michel.

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