Fanm Vanyan


I was speaking to my mother on the phone the other day, and in the middle of our conversation, she told me, “Paola, se yon fanm vanyan ou ye. Mwen pa pè pou ou non. Mwen pa pè pou pitit fi’m nan paske se yon fanm vanyan ou ye.” Translation: Paola you’re a strong woman. I don’t ever feel afraid for you. I don’t ever feel afraid for my little girl because you are a strong woman.

I didn’t really respond, or I probably said something  stupid like, “Uh, huh.” But it really brought a big smile to my face. I grinned from ear to ear because I’m glad she thinks of me this way. I know her story, and although a big part of it remains untold, in her own way, she is an example of a Fanm Vanyan.

I look up mostly to strong women, not just women who are considered beautiful. To me beauty is not just external, and if as a woman, you have made a positive difference in other people’s lives, you deserve my respect. And if I am reminded of as being a strong woman over anything else I may be, then I have accomplished my goals.

I believe that all women are strong. Most of our strength is mental, and with that, we can achieve so much. We can go through hell and back, and no one will really know. They see more smiles than tears. They hear more joy than sadness. We can cross so many boundaries that people from outside won’t even know what we had to do to get to where we are. All women are a Fanm Vanyan, some just don’t know it, and that’s why it’s hard for them to keep moving forward.

5 Comments on Fanm Vanyan

  1. Bethy Pierre (@BPierreWrites)
    December 22, 2013 at 9:04 pm (2 years ago)

    That was so sweet of your mother to interject with such a comment about her daughter. Love that she is able to see the strength in you and commend you for it. Too many times as women, we have a difficulty in complimenting each other. But to hear those words come from your own mother must have been really special. Cheers to being une famn vanyan!

  2. everydayadventureswithanna
    December 19, 2013 at 6:43 pm (2 years ago)

    I love your mother. Tell her I said Merry Christmas. Yay to the Fanm Vanyan. Let us always challenge ourselves to be the best version of ourself, knowing that everyone is different. :)

  3. meniez
    November 28, 2013 at 5:48 am (2 years ago)

    For sure, i like this post, especially the picture from a photographer’s point of view. Besides, you may be right in your own opinion, but i disagree with you on this “All women are strong”

    • findingpaola
      November 28, 2013 at 12:33 pm (2 years ago)

      Hey Meniez,

      Thanks for responding. I’m going to ask to elaborate on why you disagree with me.

      • meniez
        November 29, 2013 at 7:22 am (2 years ago)

        Ah. Have you seen all women’s capabilities? how do you judge that ALL WOMEN are strong? sure, some are. And also, i am going to ask you to elaborate on what you mean by ALL WOMEN are strong


Share your thoughts!