Recently, I had the opportunity to travel to South East Asia with a group of young African American men and women. This was our first time in Bali and we were so excited for our visit. Like everyone else we saw the photos on Instagram with people on the Bali Swings and in the flower baths and those are just a few things we wanted to experience ourselves but little did we know, our experience would be something that couldn’t be captured in a simple Instagram photo.

As of 2018 there is about 4.2 Million people living on the island of Bali. The Balinese people are known for their positive disposition and generally go out of their way to avoid conflict. While we were there in Bali we experienced this first hand. The people were so nice and inviting. They welcomed us with open arms and just wanted to see us enjoy their beautiful island but there is always one bad apple that can ruin it for everyone.

We were enjoying ourselves at a day party at the most famous hot spot in Bali. We had a beautiful view of the beach while we ate and danced. We all ordered food separately from the same waiter but at different times during our time there. One of us received our check before the others and we were shocked by what we saw! It said “Nigga” on the top of the check. Can you believe this? Out of all the things that could be written on the check the waiter chooses to use this term to describe a group of people he was serving.

Now, you probably thought we started “wildin” once we saw what he had written but that was far from the case. Initially, we thought maybe this could have been the waiter’s name, trying to be positive but after asking him what his name was it was far from what he had written on the check. We then proceeded to speak with the manager on duty, who of course apologized and after a few minutes, decided to return the money that our friend had already spent. After that, we all decided to head to the exit before everyone else received the food they had ordered and requested to speak with the associate manager. After waiting about 10 minutes to see the associate manager we just decided to leave (because in the words of Kendrick Lamar we were not going to let this b**** kill our vibe.) Before we hoped in our taxi to head to the next location, the associate manager ran out to “sincerely” apologize and said that he would deal with that particular waiter. He offered our friend who received this on his check a bunch of free stuff if he and our group were to return but that was not enough.

So, I’m wondering when “they” (people from outside of the USA) see us what do they see? Did this waiter know what the term meant? Did this waiter think he was being cool by writing this on the check? We will never know, but I want to ask you have you ever faced this as an African American when traveling to another country outside of the United States of America. If so, please leave a comment below we would love to hear your story.

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Updated: Feb 24

Day 1: Bonjour Haiti

We arrived in Port Au Prince, Haiti and traveled about an hour away to Carries, Haiti where we would be staying at the Oceanview Resort. Currently, Haiti is going through a period of unrest. If you would like to assist in anyway please contact myself or visit the website of Mission of Grace. Below you will find some photos of the resort and its amazing views.

Day 2: Como Ye

On our second day we walked from the Oceanview resort and headed into the village to visit the school, clinic, gran house and soup kitchen. The best part of this day was seeing the children at the school and speaking with the principal. While speaking with him you can tell that he was so passionate about helping his students and making this one of the best schools within the community.

Below are some photos of walking through the village

Visiting the school

The Gran house & Clinic

Serving at the Soup Kitchen:

They feed over 60 people each day and keep track of each person within the village to make sure everyone receives a meal.

Birthday Surprise & Great Food:

One of the best things I enjoyed about Haiti was the food. Breakfast was amazing with having fresh juice such as mango, coconut or passion fruit. Lunch and Dinner consisted of authentic Haitian dishes such as Griot, Tassot and Pikliz. The chefs at the Oceanview resort definitely did their thing

Day 3: Sak Pase

On our third day we had a quick photo-shoot after breakfast then headed to the village to deliver care packages to a few families within the community. When we were all done with that we head to the orphanage. The best part about this is that the kids were so excited to see us. This was also the day they were having a birthday party for all the kids that arrived to the orphanage in the month of January and they were unsure of their actual DOB.

Photoshoot

Care Package Delivery:

Thank you to all that assisted #melaninoverseas with donations.

@iamjrmcdonald , @ainvogue , @gee_fuss , @kaykay_listens , @missmosco , @royal_tee405

Orphange Visit:

A child can teach an adult three things: to be happy for no reason, to always be busy with something, and to know how to demand with all his might that which he desires.

Day 4: Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllllllllllllllllllll

This was our last full day in Haiti. It was a Sunday, so the first thing we did in the morning after breakfast was head to church. Then later in the afternoon we headed back to the orphanage.

Exhibition Match

Day 5: Orevwa Haiti

This was our final day in Haiti and we had the opportunity to spend it with the founder of Mission of Grace. Her name is Miss Lynn. It is amazing to see all that she is doing for the people of Carries, Haiti.

"We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hi,

My name is @BoogieBlake and this is my first blog post ever in life. Last month, I decided to travel to Haiti to celebrate my birthday and I thought what better way to share my experience than to write about it. I enjoy traveling and giving back to our community and I believed this would be the best way to incorporate two of my favorite things. Visiting Haiti and interacting with the people is an experience I will never forget. I would like to thank @CarineDorlus (founder of Philly4Haiti) for making this experience possible, Mission of Grace for all that they do for the community of people within Carries, Haiti and Oceanview resort for providing us with a place to stay and amazing food while we there.