More news from VHP members in Haiti. Remember to check back for regular updates on their trip.
We’ve had quite a journey these past few days in Cap Haitien and Gros Morne. In the Cap, we had the opportunity to meet Pere Noe, an amazing man who does great work for Haiti. He has built a school where students learn French, English, and Creole grammar– seeing the school was uplifting. All of the students were so excited that we were there, smiling and waving whenever we passed by. I don’t speak French, but I was able to manage on my limited Creole. It was a beautiful feeling to see students so energized and excited. Pere Noe’s school is flourishing and is such an incredible role model for all of the work we intend to do in Chermaitre.
After visiting the school, we split into groups, half going to the art market and half going to pick up medication from the Cap Haitien Health Network. I went to the art market. I expected a market where you wandered through stalls and eager vendors tried to push you to buy things, but I’ve learned that in Haiti you should throw every expectation out the window. The market consisted of individual stalls where the artists were working and selling their own pieces. When we entered the market, all of these artists approached us because they remembered Lila and Caryn. I am so glad that VHP has built a relationship with these artists and I can’t wait to go back there to spend more time and buy more art!
The ride to Gros Morne the next day was very hot, crowded, and bumpy. I have never been on such bad roads in my life! It was tiring, but once we arrived in Gros Morne we hit the ground running and starting meeting with various contacts. I have been working on reforestation and was able to meet these two nuns who have done work in the area. After a while, it was clear that they actually were not the right contacts however they had incredible information about water, new cooking stoves, pigs, and just education about the environment in general. I think they are going to be an amazing resource for VHP and I am excited to work with them in the future. After seeing the nuns, we stopped by the hospital and took a look around. David was hoping to talk to the administration to get help with our clinic, but I believe that is going to wait until after the journey to Chermaitre.
Now, this morning we are preparing to head to Chermaitre. After a good night’s sleep (in my lovely bug tent!) and a shower (in a stream of cold water- best moment of my life), I am so refreshed and energized to finally see the village that all of our efforts have gone to support. It is going to be fantastic!
Here are a few thoughts from some of our members:
Alex: So excited to go up the mountain and finally meet the people of Chermaitre!
Francis: I feeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel good, ta na na na na. Smiles all around, it’s as if I’m back home.
Caitlyn: I am so thrilled to be here in Haiti and I am dancing in my hiking boots to get up this mountain and finally be back in Chermaitre. It is truly THE best place in the world and I can’t wait to get there. I feel blessed to be a part of this group.
Charlotte: I’m really excited to finally be in Chermaitre in a bit, and although Francis is joking that I won’t be able to make it up there, I will persevere.
Cindy : We are finally heading up to Chermaitre today and our entire group is full of energy! We’d also like to welcome Peter – David’s friend from the hospital in Port-au-Prince. He will be coming with us and we are so excited to have him in our trip!
Tamsin: We’re all in good spirits and feeling ready to head up to Chermaitre! I can’t wait to finally meet the students and teachers at the Chermaitre school J
Caryn: We have had some great meetings thus far and look forward to seeing the progress the village has made with all our initiatives. I am thrilled to be part of such a great and energetic group and look forward to getting up that mountain and being in Chermaitre.
Fiona: Brilliant to be here, absolutely loving it. Saw some of the most beautiful landscapes on our drive to Gros Morne (drove through 4 rivers). We had a warm welcome and a delicious breakfast from Pere Quatorze and his wife Fifi J Everyone is being an absolute trooper and having the best time getting to know each other. I’ve missed Haiti and it’s just so great to be back.
Sahara: I’m feeling great, super excited about going up to Chermaitre today! We had a great meeting with Pere Noe about education so I’m really looking forward to seeing our school! Everyone’s energy in the group is amazing and is keeping my spirits high!
Laura: It’s time to head up the mountain! I’ve had a fantastic time in Haiti so far. We just had an informative and awesome meeting with Rochny, who has been overseeing the reforestation initiative.