Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Haiti Day 2

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It has been a long day.  I was fighting jetlag while sitting in meetings listening to French, then the translation.  Berthony picked us up at 8 AM and we met Julio and Maria at the church and drove over to a group that we were considering using to do our hygiene training.  We wanted Maria to work with them first, and then take over for future projects.  At first the meeting went very well--we could see that they had the same method in mind for the training and are made up of only Haitians, who understand the culture and what works and what doesn’t.  Then we asked what it might cost, which was a huge amount of money, which grew larger when they began to not only add the cost per person trained, but the six months it might take.  It was an astounding amount, and without any translation needed, the lady talking with us knew that we all thought it was insane.  But we told them we would send them a better description of what we wanted, and perhaps even a top price we would pay. Otherwise we might have to do it ourselves from the beginning.

The meeting took longer than we expected, so we were two hours late meeting with Mr. Mouscardy, the man who was the former Deputy Mayor in the area where we are going to do this project.  That was a short meeting and then we went to lunch, about two hours later than planned.  We ate at a hotel and had the buffet.  We ate guinea hen and found it to be better than beef—it was so tender and delicious.
This is the Tap Tap and is the cheapest form of transportation in Haiti.  They take the back of a truck, add a riser, put a camper shell on top, and squeeze their customers in.  We even saw one that had a TV inside—really? 

We dropped off Julio at the church for a meeting, then Berthony drove us back to our hotel, but we kept Marie so that I could make sure she received all the training materials.  She needs to adapt them to this particular project and then translate them into French.  There were a few training materials that had already been translated and even a darling hygiene puppet show.    

Tonight Jim met with our project manager who looked great at first but has been a bit difficult ever since.  But Jim was able to get things started anew and we will continue to use him for this project.  I hope things work more smoothly from now on. 
Local leaders wanted us to keep our trip down to a minimum because Berthony is so busy.  In doing so, we are not sure how we can get it all in and that what we thought might be settled probably won’t be before we leave.  Every contract will have to be written and then translated into French.

This is just one dwelling in a tented camp.  You can’t see into the lane just ahead that spews sewage and all the lovely smells that go with it.  When their tent gets a hole in it, they just buy another tarp, throw it on top, and tie it down.

Interesting Haiti fact: last evening Berthony took Jim to the grocery store.  It was huge and had everything, including real milk.  Of course, the prices matched the variety.  It must be very expensive for people to live here, although I am sure they eat from the street vendors instead.  Nevertheless, we are continually surprised about Haiti. 
We saw these adorable girls at the church in their school uniforms.  They are so cute, but didn’t understand a word we said…we also saw the missionaries who were both from Haiti.

No comments:

Post a Comment