Behind the shopping area called Lincoln Road, in Miami's South Beach, Miami, lies a little back street with a small, much coveted parking lot. We were trying to figure out how the parking meter thingy worked, when Keka was walking through, and kindly offered to help.
I asked to shoot her for my blog, and she was so sweet about posing. I didn't ask where she got her outfit, or where she's from. I've read that yellow is going to be huge on the catwalk this spring (I noticed it on the street a lot, last spring, so I'm not surprised) but I doubt that's why she was wearing it. It was a sunny day, and she's a sunny soul.
Later, after a glorious day in the sea near the Delano hotel, I saw this man in the same spot. He was doing his job, cleaning, with such precision and care. I spoke to him, a smile and a greeting, and he smiled back, but perhaps he didn't understand me. Perhaps he's from Cuba, or perhaps, he's from Haiti. Maybe he has family and loved ones back in Haiti, and he can't call, or email, or fly over to see if they're alright. He's got mouths to feed, and a job to do.
As we pack to fly back to London after a gorgeous holiday here, I can't help but think of the fact that we landed at Miami airport, just miles from Haiti, 15 minutes after the earthquake struck. My mom's community has gathered all kinds of things to ship over, because a lot of the workers here are from Haiti, and have family there. Everywhere I've gone, every shop and public place, there are collection baskets with the word HAITI on it.
The simplicity, and the passion, of the people I've seen, reaching out to help, has really moved me. I have never been more proud to be an American. And now I return to my other home, England.
This is perhaps my favourite song, ever. And this version was filmed on my favourite British talk show host, the beloved 'Parky':
We come on a ship they call the Mayflower. We come on a ship that sailed the moon. We come in the age's most uncertain hour, to sing an American Tune. But it's all right, it's all right, we can be forever blessed. Still, tomorrow's gonna be another working day, and I'm trying to get some rest. That's all, I'm trying to get some rest.