In the coastal village of Tapion in southern Haiti lives a sweet, soft spoken woman named Eloude. She and her husband Loulou have five children and have lived in Tapion for just over 15 years.
I first met Eloude and her family in June of this year.
In October 2012 Hurricane Sandy ripped through southern Haiti destroying more than 18,000 homes. Eloude and Loulou’s home was left largely intact however the roof was completely destroyed. World Concern helped them put on a new tin roof and also gave Eloude some cash to get her small business up and running again.
This was a family that left an impression. Honestly not everyone does. I meet many people and some interactions are impactful and others are indifferent. However their relaxed and inviting nature, coupled with good conversation is what made the difference.
Well last week I got to visit Eloude and Loulou again which was awesome. Martha and I were traveling with a colleague from Seattle and a couple donors from California in the south and stopped to see them.
Four months on since I first met Eloude and Loulou they are doing okay. All five of their kids are attending school this year at the national school down the road which they’re proud of. They are also adding on to their house slowly. Eloude continues to run her small business on the road in front of their house selling pate, a popular Haitian snack, and other items.
Several years ago Loulou received a cow from World Concern through an animal husbandry project. At the time he decided to sell his cow and use the income to purchase a motorcycle which he uses to this day as a moto taxi; giving rides to people from Tapion to the city of Les Cayes which is the largest in southern Haiti. This consistent source of income is huge for the family.
“It [income] allows me to send my kids to school and give them food,” explained Loulou.
Although the motorcycle is still serving him well, Loulou said that people prefer to ride newer moto taxis so that’s a challenge for him.
“They say mine is granmoun,” he chuckled. Granmoun is the word typically used to describe an elder or older person.
This family is an example of how World Concern stays involved with people over time. Dips in private giving and grant cycles that inevitably end are challenges of course but the goal is to continue to invest in the same families and communities, and it’s encouraging to see that play out in the life of Eloude and Loulou.
As I revisit people and churches and communities that I’ve been to previously it brings a lot of joy to see relationships form. My Creole is far from perfect but improving (albeit slowly) which really opens up lots of doors relationally which is exciting. Not sure when I’ll see Eloude and Loulou again but I hope it’s sooner rather than later.