My parents have lived and worked there on and off for several years. Originally they were based out of Port au Prince but since the earth quake they have lived in Dessalines. Other than seeing occasional pictures we really weren't sure what life was like for them there or even what they really did.
My parents asked my Hubster (who works for them on their farm) if he would be willing to come to Haiti and share some of his cabinet making/ woodworking skills. He honestly wasn't all that eager.
We had just got back from Mexico, he wasn't keen on leaving his family for that long, and quite truthfully....we've heard Haiti isn't exactly a popular travel destination, but we decided it would be a good opportunity for him to go.
The trip turned out to be a great experience for him (I told him so..wink) and he thoroughly enjoyed his time there. He was full of stories when he got home. Since I wasn't the one experiencing it or doing the work I can't really write much about it. The pictures he took are pretty cool though , so I thought I'd share some.
My Dad with some neighbor kids. It's really hard to find a picture where most of them have clothes on. Kids often don't wear any....my boys would love it there.
This young husband and father works with my Dad on his projects. His wife and four kids stopped by the mission one day and Nathanael gave them each a toy. We barely left room for clothes in his suitcase with all the sundresses and toys we sent along (if I can't go...I at least have to send something). It looks like they got some new duds at some point too. This family lives in a typical mud hut and struggles like every other family. I think this family is gorgeous! Pictures like this give me hope.
Haiti is such a mix of beauty and suffering.
It was surprisingly expensive to rent a spot on the beach on Sunday afternoon.
Strangely enough, after all the terrifying scenarios I had run through my mind when sending my husband to Haiti, I didn't expect his run in with death to be at the beach. While he was swimming under water a Jet ski came buzzing through the roped off swim area at full speed. My Hubster heard a funny noise and popped his head out of the water just as the jet ski roared by his face. It actually skimmed his head. A few more inches and ...it would have been really bad. I'm very glad that my husbands head is still attached to his neck.
There were a lot of angry spectators and the guy was dealt with by the police.
Toll bridge anyone?
My Dad and a friend.
The dude that the city is named after.
The dude that builds stuff. He's kind of cute. These are some of the (unstained) cabinets that he built doors on during his two weeks there. These are in my parents kitchen. I suspect that they are happy to have cupboards to keep out the dust....although they probably won't last long with the termites. They build kitchens with as much cement and steel as possible. He built about 60 cabinet doors for various buildings during his stay.
Speaking of cute. This is a little girl I wish my husband could have packed home with him. She lives at the same orphanage that my Haitian sister has been living at. The teenage girls at the orphanage take on the mothering role for the babies and toddlers there. This has been my sister's side kick for nearly two years. It will be hard for them to separate I'm sure. She isn't "adoptable" though, even though she has no family, has been abandoned, and has always lived at an orphanage. I find that really sad that she is destined to grow up without a family. I wish adoption rules included more common sense.
My husband and a friend woodworking. He was telling me stories of this Haitian man and his twin brother. They are both built like ox. He said they can carry 3 x 100lb bags of cement on their heads. 300lbs!
A visit to the orphanage that has been my sisters home since the earthquake. She lives with my parents while they are in Haiti though (they come back to the farm in the spring). We are hoping she will be home in Canada with them soon. It's been 2 years of red tape and jumping through hoops already.
A typical home in Dessalines.
Apparently little boys are ninja warriors in other countries too.
A regular, and loud, cultural experience. A "ra-ra"
Lots of rice fields.
I'm conflicted because I find this both disturbing and funny.
They've got all the options covered if you get hurt.
Get in...you're mostly dead anyway.
A relic from the past.
Dessalines is surrounded by mountains that are speckled with old forts.
The kids liked seeing themselves in the view finder of the camera.
This tough old lady was quite impressed with seeing an image of herself in the camera. Chances are she's never seen herself in a picture...or maybe even mirror.
My husband, my parents and my littlest sister. So proud of each one of them.