The first week of November Martha and I had the opportunity to host a lovely couple named Adam and Wendy from California and a colleague from Seattle named Dave. Adam’s family has been involved with World Concern for over 30 years and although Adam had traveled with World Concern previously, this was Wendy’s first trip.
This was Martha and I’s first donor trip to help coordinate since moving to Haiti so we were excited but a bit anxious as well to see how everything turned out. Well I’m happy to report that other than one flat tire and a little motion sickness on my end, the trip was smooth and without any hiccups. Our colleagues are diligent and gracious, which we were reminded of constantly throughout the week.
Here is a look at our five day trip together stretching from Les Cayes to Jacmel and then back to Port-au-Prince. As always, photos were taken by my talented wife.
Our day started with a presentation of all World Concern current activities in southern Haiti given by our staff in Les Cayes.
We visited Morency, near Les Cayes where Adam’s family helped build this water well in 1998.
Just up the road from the water well in Morency is this primary school which World Concern also built in 1998. The school is currently a partner in our Hope to Kids program which provides goats and husbandry training to students so they can generate income and pay for school.
Here students line up with their goats so Bernard (pictured far left), the Hope to Kids project coordinator, can give vitamin and deworming shots. Most of the goats do not like the shot at all and afterwards jump around frantically, which the kids get a kick out of.
What a good looking group! West of Les Cayes World Concern leases a few acres of land that is used as an ‘outdoor classroom’ where our staff hold trainings for local farmers. We had the opportunity to visit the farm and speak with staff, farmers and interns from a couple local agronomy universities. The tractor you see above is one that is used to provide plowing services for farmers.
Last month southern Haiti received a lot of rain…too much rain in fact. You can see that there was some flooding at the farm when we visited. The staff were draining the field and focusing on their raised beds.
To thank the World Concern staff in Les Cayes for all their hard work and to enjoy some fellowship, we shared a delicious meal at Gelee beach. This small restaurant is owned and run by a World Concern microcredit client which is awesome. Rolande, the owner, has been a client since 1998. We were happy to support her business and eat her delicious food!
Thursday morning we drove from Les Cayes to Jacmel. We took Route National 2 which is well paved and provides some spectacular views as you zigzag up and over the mountains.
Once reaching Jacmel and meeting up with Marseille, World Concern’s project coordinator in south east Haiti, we drove to the community of Lavaneau just outside the city. Here World Concern helped a local organization rebuild their irrigation canal after it was destroyed by hurricanes in 2008. The local organization is 22 years old and works on a variety of projects in their community. In this photo we’re speaking with the president of the organization and other members.
In addition to the construction of a new irrigation canal, World Concern supported the local organization in Lavaneau to build four water fountains like this one which we visited.
Friday morning we drove to the village of Figue, high up in the mountains east of Jacmel. This is the inside of the church in Figue that was rebuilt following Hurricane Sandy last year. The congregation did an awesome job painting the church and making it beautiful.
World Concern also helped Figue build a new water system which brings water from a source in the mountains to this water fountain. You can read more about World Concern’s work in Figue by clicking here.
Haitians are very generous and the folks in Figue were no exception. Here’s the remnants of the coconut that we enjoyed during our visited. A guy will take a machete and with precision cut off the top so a small hole is exposed; perfect for drinking the cool contents.
Friday afternoon we drove back to Port-au-Prince. This was the leg of the trip where I got pretty motion sick. As we drove through and around and up and over the mountains from Jacmel to Port-au-Prince I was sitting in the back with the luggage. The Dramamine I took apparently didn’t do its job. Adam was nice enough to swap seats on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. In the photo above you can see one of the many taptaps (the public bus in Haiti) we encountered upon reaching the capital.
Adam, Wendy and Dave flew out Saturday evening so we had all day to explore some of Port-au-Prince together. Here is a panoramic shot Martha took of the city from a popular lookout.
Before heading to the airport we stopped for a late lunch.
It was a fantastic week. Adam and Wendy were able to see firsthand how God is using World Concern to serve and equip communities in Haiti. It was an honor to introduce them to this amazing country.