The Haiti Chronicles – Part 5: Into the Jungle

Our last full day in Haiti was a great opportunity to be among the people in the countryside.  Unlike the hustle and bustle of Port-au-Prince, life in Gressier (about 20 miles from the city) is almost recreational in nature, with farmers and roadside stand-keepers working diligently yet relaxed at their trade.

In the morning, we had the pleasure of taking to the country as the locals, walking along age-old paths that wove through the hilly terrain.  On our brief walk (pictured right), we strolled through fields full of plantains, along (and in my case through- whoops!) a chilly mountain creek, and along the back roads of this vibrant area.

On our walk, we had the opportunity to visit with one of Reach Global‘s partner ministries, a school of nearly 150 students.  There we met Maxo, a native Haitian who works for the UN and as co-director of this growing school.  It was really encouraging to see his passion for these kids.  Though he would never tell you himself, he contributes over a third of his UN salary to pay his teachers and enable even the poorest of children to be able to attend.  However, their conditions are by no means ideal.  Part of the school is currently meeting in a home that remains severely damaged from the earthquake (below).  Thankfully, the other half of the school meets in a brand new building built by Reach Global teams, with plans for a second building to replace the damaged schoolhouse.

I’ll close this section with one of my favorite photos from our trip.  Though Haiti is sorrowfully in need of so much, it is certainly not lacking in natural beauty.  On our last day, we went atop one of the foothills in this lush countryside to watch the sun set.  To our east, the hills were dotted with shelters which Reach Global teams (together with materials donated by Samaritan’s Purse) had erected – over 1,200 in total.  To our west, the rugged mountains of Haiti met the Caribbean as the sun filtered through layers of clouds.  It was truly stunning.

Below is a collection of photos from our last two days in Haiti. Enjoy!

Copyright 2011 Deremer Studios – Jacksonville, FL
Check us out at DeremerStudios.com  |  904-744-1103  |  nate@deremerstudios.com

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The Haiti Chronicles – Part 3: Seeing the Hope

Our second day in Haiti brought us to a small orphanage and the ministry, Jesus in Haiti.   Though the two locations are maybe 40 miles apart, the trip (which included going through Port au Prince) took nearly two hours.  The roads there are  unlike anything I have ever experienced – like five or six times the insanity of New York City.  Not only are there cars and an endless stream of motorcycles on the road,  there is also a massive amount of people, carts and bicycles, all fighting for these narrow roadways.  Needless to say our driver, Miguel, really knows his stuff!

At the top of the post is a photo of me with one of the orphan boys.  Seems my goatee is an endless source of amusement for these kids.  Though I am missing a few hairs from my beard, the joy of being around these kids is contagious.  I can really see why people are so drawn to adopting after visiting places like this.  Thankfully, over 50% of the kids in this orphanage, run by an amazingly energetic Canadian named Jasmine, are somewhere in the process of adoption.

Above is the newest ‘development’ in Haiti.  All the structures you see lining this hill (about 10 miles north out of Port au Prince proper) were erected virtually overnight.  Soon after the earthquake, thousands fled the rubble and settled in these arid hills.  The natural scenery here is stunning, all the more punctuated by these makeshift dwellings that have become people’s homes.

Below are a collection of photos from our second day in Haiti.  More coming tomorrow Lord willing!

Copyright 2011 Deremer Studios – Jacksonville, FL
Check us out at DeremerStudios.com  |  904-744-1103  |  nate@deremerstudios.com