A “Live from Haiti” blog update from Todd Darling, IT Team, on Thursday night:
This is my 4th trip to Haiti and each time I fall in love with it more. This time we started out the trip spending the night in Port-au-Prince at a brand new modern hotel with air conditioning, a pool (with poolside bar, of course) and free WiFi. Easy to fall in love with that, I know! But what was exciting about this was the fact this hotel was built all with local money and local jobs. Port-au-Prince desperately needs more of this kind of thing to help build its local economy.
Tuesday morning we bid farewell to air conditioning and made the 6-hour trek to Zorangé. Driving through rivers? Check. Bumpy mountain roads with impossible climbs and curves and no guardrails? Check. It’s all part of the experience and the adventure that I love, that I call Haiti.
Once we got to Zorangé, we immediately saw how this community is thriving. There is now a gas stove in the dorm, the trade school is about halfway complete (which wasn’t even started when I was here last year) and the school kids are leaving this weekend to play in a soccer tournament in the nearby city of Bainet.
Make no mistake, these trips are not “Oh, the Americans are here to rescue us”. We’re just trying to stay out of their way while they build their community for themselves. Did you catch that key point? For THEMSELVES. That is why I love Hope for Haiti Foundation and their philosophy. We partner with this community and they do it themselves. We help them out with resources and training, and they do the rest. It’s so awesome to watch.
Thursday was a productive day. The wireless internet is now working in the school administrative office as well as the clinic (we’ve had it in the computer lab for some time). This greatly helps the nurses so they can look online for medical articles and resources.
Question: How many people does it take to run network cable in Haiti? A lot, apparently. We had Nassson, Obed, and about 4 of the kids that were hanging out helping us measure out cable and cut it. We replaced some of the networking cable with stronger, weather resistant cable since a lot of it is exposed across the roof (with a cement building, running cable through the walls is difficult and time consuming).
My dad, Kip, taught a class on emergency medical procedures for the nurses in the clinic. Once again, train them so they can do it themselves. In the 3-hour class we had everything from a square knot lesson to a demonstration on how to immobilize a broken leg using Obed as a live model! I have to say, it was a pretty proud moment watching my dad use his skills and talents like this to help Haiti and I was very blessed to get to have that.
Megan, the educational intern (her first trip! Go Megan!) will be meeting with Nasson and Ashley to work on building some programs for the school (she was also freelancing as a network cable runner!). She is staying for 3 weeks, and will also be blogging here!
Tonight the rest of the school soccer team left for Bainet for the soccer tournament, and we will join them tomorrow. I’ve never seen “the big truck” filled with so many people! They were so excited and we heard them singing all the way down the mountain. This will be a great time to take a little break from work and just enjoy being in Haiti!
This will probably be the last update until we get back from Bainet on Monday. Just know that God is truly working here and raising up this community nestled in the mountains of Haiti and changing it to impact their future, as well as all of Haiti’s.