Trip Report: VHP in Haiti- November, 2012
Donna and friend
Two of Vermont Haiti Project's board members- Kimball and Donna- traveled to Haiti earlier this month, along with several USA volunteers. Spending most of their time with location partners Despagne and Fenel, they checked the progress on all of VHP's current programs. Below, in no particular order, is a list of some of the trip's news, activities and first-hand observations:
Water Filters: Rising cost and rising need.
Patrick with VHP's Donna Thomas
It now costs $280 for a bio-sand water filter to be installed in Duchity, an eight hour drive up the mountain. The result: families have access to clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and washing clothes-- something we take for granted.
The families with bio-sand filters have not had cholera!
Patrick Louis is Vermont Haiti Project's lead technician on the ground in Haiti. He takes his role very seriously, not to mention recognizing and sharing the importance of clean water. Patrick tells the people:"You are going to take care of the filter like your baby, give it a lot of importance"
Patrick says that "after the earthquake some people left their homes in Port au Prince. Others then came back, and moved in, and are happy to have the filters."
VHP back in Haiti
Kimball with friend
Vermont Haiti Project co-director Kimball Butler arrived in Port au Prince yesterday. Hurricane Sandy, which traveled through Haiti on it's way to devastating northeastern U.S., has greatly impacted both Kimball's travel plans, and general outlook.
I arrived yesterday morning to PaP- 3 stops before Haiti but no delays! Only hitch was my eventful night at a hotel in Ft.L... Thankful for Laurel's help while I sky-hopped to find a place w 24hr shuttle to get me back to the airport at 4am. Finally shut the TV storm news and light at 11:30 but was rudely awakened from a deep sleep at 1:30 to a fire alarm... my room- not the hotel- all was okay but gave up on sleep after. Turned the news back on which quickly shifted me out of my personal woes.
Polene picked me up at the airport and then I settled into my home away from home- Pierrvey cooked me up a delightful treat (he is in cooking school) and Polene made my favorite juice- Grenadia(passionfruit). Does anyone actually think that I come to Haiti and 'work'? Spent the rest of the day letting the past couple weeks and in particular the last few days fall away...Very grateful for Augusta's final hour encouragement for me to get on the plane when I had just decided to cancel this trip- sometimes I make life way too complicated! And more thanks to Augusta for stepping in to the Land Cruiser saga!