Posts Tagged ‘Jacmel Haiti’

Images from Haiti

Haiti August 15-29, 2010

These are my pictures from Haiti (August 15-29) in both Port-au-Prince, where we spent the first and last nights of the trip, and the bulk from Jacmel. My volunteer work was manual labor at a construction site, helping build a computer lab and library for an orphanage with 28 boys ages 8-21. The orphanage, called Trinity House, also teaches classes for about 75 of the poorest kids in the area who have not had other opportunities for education, and additionally, on Saturdays, they teach Restavek kids (child slaves sold into servitude). Restavek kids don’t get access to education, so the ones that are allowed to attend a class on Saturdays are having a new, life-altering experience that was not going to happen without this program.

There are lots of photos of papier mache masks–a specialty for which the seaside town of Jacmel is known–making Carnival masks for the annual celebration (which was canceled last year due to the January 12 earthquake). The dancers you will see in photos are kids from the orphanage–amazing to watch–the Resurrection Dance Theater. Some of the dancers are currently on tour in North Carolina and Washington DC–Reginald, a boy with one arm, has been invited to the White House to dance for the Obamas. He is amazing to watch, and hug, and get to know, and it has nothing to do with how his body is made, and everything to do with how his heart is made…like every one of these kids I am honored to know.

Apologies for Being AWOL

I’ve been in Haiti for two weeks, and the Internet, when present at all (certainly not every day) never really had a signal strong enough to post to the blog–I tried but the “in progress” symbol would spin and spin and then cut out as the signal died, often for the rest of the day or more.

I’ll have more to say about all this soon, but wanted to share a photo. This has been my family for the past 2 weeks–the 28 boys who live at the Trinity House orphanage in Jacmel, Haiti, we five volunteers, and the few adults who support, teach, and live with the boys. Amazing people, each and every one of them, and an honor to know.

Elevate Haiti

OK–this one has gotten hold of my imagination and won’t let go. My friends at Elevate Destinations are facilitating volunteer vacation trips to help the rebuilding efforts in Haiti. This is a 15-day trip in August or late November/early December, to do construction work at Jacmel, a port town where 70% of the buildings were damaged in the January quake. You’ll be doing construction work at a free community school, building a computer lab and classrooms. Conditions are tough, work is in the heat of the sun, accommodations are on the floor or in tents (or for an additional cost, at local hotels/guest houses), and meals are basic (peanut butter, bread, fruit, beans and rice. Grocery stores and restaurants are nearby), and the difference you will make is HUGE.

For a while there was no way for lay volunteers to be effective in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, if anything we would have been in the way during emergency rescue and recovery work, but the time has come for rebuilding and working alongside Haitians to recover and heal communities—an effort that will take years. This project, a blister-your-hands, exhaust-your-body, enrich-your-world, fill-your-heart work trip committed to the children of Haiti, is a chance to truly immerse yourself in service. Anyone who has ever done construction work knows, at the end of the day, you can look back and see what you created that was not there in the morning. At the end of these two weeks, there will be facilities that will be used by, and enrich the lives of, generations to come—because of you.

I’m already looking at trying to make my schedule work…shall we meet there?