Today, we arrived in Haiti. I have been here before but this is the first trip for my team members . Their reactions varied as we found our guide at the airport. We made our way outside and the heat came over us. We removed clothing layers as men in red shirts swarmed around us, trying to take our bags for money, trying to help lift the bags into an 10 passenger van from 1983. It was hot!
The others on my team don’t understand the culture yet. We purchased a bracelet for $10. Very pretty. We drove to our villa and took a short cut through what seemed to be people’s back yards. We chatted with Denso, who was educated at Ohio State and spoke English very well. He was our guide to make sure we could get around to do our training.
It felt good to arrive at our villa. We were still dressed for traveling and it was still hot! Two girls from Italy stood on the porch of their house. They smiled and said hello with an accent. We also met two midwives who came from Vincenza, in northern Italy.
We went to the market to purchase items for dinner. The UN market was nice, a bit expensive but we got the food. As we sat around the dinner table, wooden picnic benches side by side, eating the pasta that Jeremy made for us, our group was mixed with others. There were 6 languages being spoken at one time, many people speaking more than one language. You don’t see that in the States. This is remarkable. The Italians even enjoyed the pasta. The Germans joined in and had a beer, the Mexican listened and chimed in. Vahe spoke in French because we do not speak Creole yet.
The night ended with Hannes telling us that his group is responsible for installing the solar panels on the roof of the children’s hospital. His group is training local people to do this work to create sustainability. Sounds familiar. Hopefully we will begin to do great work when the sun rises.