Monday, May 13, 2013

The little'uns of Haiti

When you're taking a purposeful picture of kids in Haiti, their tendency is to give you a serious look. Luckily for me, I wowed them with my amazing French language skills and got some brilliant photos of their pretty perfect little faces...

 This kid had different, even somewhat Asian, features from most of the Haitian people I saw. Très exotic.

 I loved this kid's head. Such a great, photogenic head.

 ...then there's this guy...
 there's Asian Haitian and perfect head kid again! Love love this photo and the lighting taken in their classroom. They're getting a new school soon!

All the kids in these photos have their school tuition supported through the Bethany Project. If you're interested in sponsoring a child for $30 a month, let me know. The money also helps to give the kids a few meals a day as 80% go to school hungry.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Haitians up close and the best picture I've taken in a year

I don't do it enough, but I really do love taking pictures of people, especially people in foreign countries. Kid pictures will be up in the next post.
 Marie was a sweet lady from our sister church. We couldn't communicate well, since she only spoke Haitian Creole, but she was so encouraging and welcoming.

 Another shot of Jeremy, our driver who also works with a ministry based in Port-au-Prince. 

 Surprise! Goats were about the only healthy looking animals we saw...I presume because they eat everything.
 Our constant shadow Lolac all bleached out.

 One of the young women of the vocational school.

The best picture I took in Haiti. Hands down. Ok, this lady was she was actually crazy but wow she was gorgeous. I had to beg for 5 minutes for this picture. Worth it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Haiti: Walks

The grocery store in Port-au-Prince turned out to be a complete disappointment. I love foreign grocery stores, but the only foreign thing about this one was that we were in Haiti. Probably 97.69% of it was imported from America (further evidence of the problems in Haiti's infrastructure and that the country produces almost nothing.)

But...almost daily walks around the countryside in Jacmel did not disappoint. With Haitian Bob (as opposed to white Bob) leading the way, I got to see real life...because the parsonage where we were staying was awesome, but not exactly the everyday Haitian's experience. Let's take a stroll...
 Unfortunately, I believe these white thingies were some sort of voodoo. Not a fan. They look so exotic though in the low light of the evening. I think this should be a book cover. Don't you love a good book cover? I do.

 My neck already tends to bother me with all the stuff I carry around. Don't think I'll take this a dirt road.
 There goes Bob.

 Jeremy was our driver, and looks like a force to be reckoned with in this photo, but he's a sweet dad of several girls. The kids loved him....but you probably shouldn't mess with them.
Some church folks we visited on a morning walk

 Our church helps support a farming co-op with our sister church. They are farming chickens and had a fresh crop of baby birds. Once they get up to 600 birds (currently at 300), they think they can make a decent profit for the farmers and ladies in the church, who will sell them.

 Can't help but love this scene.
 Scott might have tried to steal this baby. He was definitely worth stealing.

Haitian Bob! So photogenic.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Haiti has infrastructure issues

It's a gross understatement to say that Haiti has governmental problems, as evidenced by the presence of the UN, every NGO known to man, and the fact that the electricity is on for 14 hours a day, at best (5 or so of those while most people are sleeping.)

Seeing UNICEF tents, buildings covered in USAID Tyvek, and almost everyone wearing clothes that were clearly donations not exactly shocking but like a semi-fictional story that turns out to be true. You know people donate boatloads of clothing and food to Haiti and that a staggering amount of aid goes down there, but when you see all that instead of regular stores, hospitals, has an impact on you.

 On our way over the mountain to Jacmel, we stopped at an outpost run by a Christian non-profit where a clinic is held several times a week...

 ...and it was called Christian Ville...or at least the former location had been called that.

The group (I forget the name) is building a permanent clinic that will service over 30,000 people in the area, and will be complete with a lab and everything. Pretty cool. In Jacmel, I saw a kid with a large abscess on his foot from having stepped on something because he didn't have shoes. Basic medical care is just not available to so many people.

...enter random photo from the compound.

 While this is fairly green, it's also fairly deforested. These used to be lush mountains, but now every time there's a good rain, there are landslides, making the roads impassable until the UN comes and plows it out. Restoring (repairing?) the mountains is something that is apparently only being done on a very small scale at the moment.

...and if you still had a question about the infrastructure of Haiti – Exhibit A.