It’s hard to believe it has been almost a week already since Martha and I left Haiti. We hope you were able to read our posts throughout the week. If not, just keep scrolling and you will see them! Now that we are back in Seattle and have had a little time to process our week in Haiti, I wanted to share some thoughts.
Thank you to those of you who were praying for us and thinking of us. It really does help on those long days! Where to begin? Overall, it was a very affirming trip. I totally agreed with Martha when she said, “Being there makes it feel much more real and tangible. It doesn’t feel as far off or surreal anymore.” We both just felt this peace all week about living in Haiti and being a part of World Concern’s work there.
The structure of the trip was the best way I think to be introduced to a new place. We were traveling with a handful of other World Concern Seattle staff, which provided us with great travel companions. A couple of our travel partners had been to Haiti before, so we enjoyed hearing stories leading up to our arrival at Toussaint Louverture International Airport in Port au Prince. The week’s events were already planned for the group and us, so it was nice to not worry about details and just soak everything up.
The World Concern Haiti staff was just amazing. Our new colleagues exceeded our expectations as hosts and guides. We are so excited to work alongside these talented people. Naturally, Martha and I were curious about lots of things we saw. We had lots of questions! The staff was gracious and taught us a lot about the country and World Concern.
I learned that one of the primary forms of transportation in Haiti is the tap-tap. I had heard about the infamous tap-taps before leaving Seattle. In a PBS Frontline episode I watched about tap-taps, they mentioned that tap-tap owners might spend hundreds of U.S. dollars on the exterior paint job in order to attract would-be customers. Interesting strategy, but it totally works. There were a number of more “flashy” tap-taps I saw that I would have gotten on long before I gave one of the more “simple” a try. If you only have a few seconds to decide which tap-tap to jump on, lots of color goes a long ways! We did not get a chance to ride a tap-tap on this trip, but I’m looking forward to doing so when we return.
After spending a couple days in Port au Prince, we traveled to some rural areas in southern Haiti where World Concern works. The three days we had in the south was just awesome. It is one thing to hear about our projects and partnerships with communities, but to actually see these places and meet the individuals being impacted makes it very real. We visited World Concern’s agricultural training center near the city of Les Cayes. World Concern leases a little over one hectare of arable land and uses it as an ‘outdoor classroom’ for area farmers. Farmers are taught new techniques and learn how to best utilize good seed. So far, the training center has equipped 50 area farmers. In rural Haiti, agriculture is the primary source of income, so it was encouraging to see how World Concern is involved in supporting farmers.
We are eager to get back to Haiti and begin our work there! There is so much more I could say, but I better stop for now. Keep checking back for more pictures and updates on our week in Haiti. Thanks for being a part of great community development in Haiti!
Are you on Facebook? If so, click this link to view more pictures from our trip to Haiti.