Today marks one week that we have been in Haiti. It is amazing how quickly this week has gone by! One reason this week went fast is because each day, or even each moment is filled with new experiences. The days themselves and life for that matter seem to go by at a slower pace but it is because they are so full of newness that it feels like yesterday we were getting off the plane at the airport.
Martha and I have been warmly welcomed by the World Concern Haiti staff. The spirit here is very open and hospitable. In the Port-au-Prince office, which is where we are based, there are approximately 40 employees. I am learning that Haitian names are incredibly interesting and diverse. Some are long, some short. Some names reflect the French influence on the country and others, from my limited experience, sound like something deeper with an unknown Haitian meaning. We are doing pretty well with the names so far and thankfully the staff are very forgiving.
Life here is interesting and lively. This is probably because Haitians are interesting and lively! Although I am not a lover of all things urban (if you know me, you know I would rather be lost in the mountains), I am learning to appreciate the things a dense urban city can offer. The sound of women chattering as they cook, kids laughing, singing from a nearby church, are all reminders of community. Haitians are communal. This is of course very different from our individualistic culture in North America, but different is just fine. I think there is plenty I can learn from those around me about community.
As you can see, our first week in Haiti has been about getting settled, becoming acquainted with those we will be serving alongside, and observing how people live. We are eager to begin meeting the people World Concern serves and share their stories with you. Since a picture says a thousand words, I will leave you with some photos of our first week here.