Thursday, December 30, 2010

Port-au-Prince - 12/30/10

Today didn’t start as early as the other days. I got some good sleep and woke up at 8:00am. We got some breakfast and James and I started our day going to meet with a group in an area called Repatriation. It’s a group that helps support women in the community. It focuses on helping women know how to treat the water they get to ensure they don’t get any diseases from their water, they have also worked to help some of the women learn how to sign their names on official documents. They also do clinics with new mothers teaching them how to breast feed and provide the proper nutrition for themselves and their babies. It was a great organization with very dedicated and helpful people. They were very appreciative of our visit and all that we are trying to accomplish with our project. After filming an interview with them and taking some photos of their new mother clinics we loaded up the car and started to drive away. Unfortunately, for the third time in four days, the front tire was completely flat. We didn’t have a jack that worked and our spare tire wasn’t good for driving either. For the next hour we waited for someone with a pump to put more air in the tire or fix the leak or something. During this time James and I found some shade and were soon joined by about 15 boys in the area that were very curious to see this Blan who spoke their language. They had a good time asking me questions and wondering why I spoke their language and why my friend didn’t know any Creole. We talked about all sorts of random things and then someone came with a pump and fixed our tire. It never ceases to amaze me how Haitians are always willing and able to help us. It is true that some Haitians may want to take advantage of us or are looking for a handout, but the reality is these people are very helpful. Thinking back to the last time we were in Haiti and the many people who went above and beyond the call of duty to help us it just makes me love the Haitian people that much more.

James was our chauffeur for the day and I was amazed at how well he could handle the traffic and Haitian style of driving. I’m not sure I could do that. After more time in the country I’m sure I could be more comfortable driving here but certainly not after the one week James has been here. James braved the Haitian traffic and brought us safely back to our base camp. We ate a good lunch and then after backing up our our photos and videos we took a nap. The people we’re staying with had their church choir come over for a choir practice and it was interesting to be listening to the music and have it as a soundtrack during the sporadic dreams I had.

Tassy and Tiana returned from their day and we had a good meeting where we discussed our plans for the rest of our trip and what the other members of the team are planning to accomplish while they’re here. It turns out that there is a very good chance I will be going with Tiana to Jacmel for most of the next week. Tiana has taken me under her wing and I will accompany her to shoot some of the projects she has lined up while she’s here in Haiti. Tiana is a very accomplished photojournalist and has visited Haiti several times as well as other parts of the world. I really look forward to working with her and learning from her. I also really can’t wait to get out of Port-au-Prince. The traffic and pollution are less than desirable. I also just feel more comfortable outside of Port-au-Prince. The rest of the night I spent updating this blog and just getting to know Tiana better. I really can’t wait to work with her.

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