Monday, October 24, 2011

I explained in an earlier post a little bit about an organization that I have been involved in, and will spend a little more time explaining in more detail of what their objectives are. The official name of the organization is the Federation of Community Organizations, or the FOC. The FOC has a non lucrative and non political goal of taking care of the preservation and promotion of structure by imposing educative, cultural, intellectual and spiritual values on the Haitian population. Particularly those of the vulnerable communities.Their objectives to achieve this are the following:

  1. To promote local and national culture.
  2. To prevent population from risks and disasters, diseases etc.…
  3. To work on improving the quality of education.
  4. To promote the respect of Human Rights.
  5. To work on the environmental protection according to their laws.
  6. To promote the development in agricultural sector.
  7. To facilitate the local durable development by way of infrastructure.
  8. To help like auxiliary to authorities bounded by the realization of some development projects. 
  9. To help the population in making more wise and beneficial decisions.

They work to sustain existing, and up and coming community organizations who’s goals are to improve the Haitian populations life conditions in these ways. It comes as no surprise that in order for an organization like this to be successful they need support. That’s where I step in, I’m known as the International Representative in the meetings now, says so on my badge and everything—so you know I’m legit. While I am here I attend the meetings and will soon be going out into the communities of Leogane to help with the promotion of these ideas and values. After I return home I will bring with me a presentation that I am working on and will be able to show to various organizations, schools, families—anyone, to help them see that this organization is doing great things for their people. In doing this, I hope to inspire them to support this movement by ways of supplies, financial or volunteer support. Go FOC!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Two weeks ago I got my first case of  “Haitian Happiness” though I was thinking and feeling many things, happy was definitely not on that list. I must say that I have been somewhat expecting to get sick and  knew it would only be a matter of time considering the mass amounts of street food that I have been consuming. It may also have been due to me drinking some juice that had ice that was from the local water… but either way I was very, very sick all Friday morning. Our neighbor Madame Jimmy came over while I was having my episode and she came back with limes that she rubbed on my chest and had me smell and also a necklace that had cut limes and a clove of garlic strung through it. I felt like I was being initiated into some secret voodoo vampire hunting club, but the limes did help my nausea a bit. It wasn’t until I got a shot though that I was finally able to keep things down and in. After that I was finally able to relax and i slept for the better part of the day and drank large amounts of  liquids. Even though I was extremely sick I haven’t been scared away from eating the food, the next day actually, and almost everyday after for that matter,  I bought lunch from the lady down the street.


Last week was my nineteenth birthday and was celebrated Haitian style. I woke up and went to the market with Madame Jimmy and bought Soledad her birthday present which was school shoes. In Haiti in order to for anyone to attend school you must have a uniform and shoes, her family was able to afford the uniform but didn't have enough money to buy shoes—that was the only reason she hasn’t gone to school and she celebrated her twelfth birthday along with me. Not getting an education because of lack of money to buy the needed clothing is the case for the majority of kids in Haiti. Madame Jimmy bought the necessary ingredients for the meal she was planning to cook for us and from when we returned in the morning till about four in the afternoon she was cooking  the amazing dinner. Soledad came over and she was looking and feeling fabulous. When she came in I was listening to my head phones and she wanted to see what they were all about, after she put them on she started rockin’ out and they stayed on her head  for a while, I actually had to pull them off of her head a few times. The whole time the girl was all over the place! She cracks me up, she has the craziest facial expressions when she’s doing things and she would randomly start talking reaaally loud because she had the head phones turned on so high. She really is a funsize dark chocolate version of me. We ate dinner, cut the cake and she was so excited to open up her gifts. She was all smiles and I was so happy that we spent our birthday together.  When we walked her home after we were all done a bunch of the kids in the neighborhood sang us happy birthday—it was such a special birthday for many little reasons like that. In the evening my friends from All Hands took me out and celebrated with me, twas a great ending to my day.


Four days ago we received a baby girl who was on the brink of starvation and tested positive for HIV/AIDS. We tried to take her to the local clinics but everywhere we went would not except her because of the state she was in. The only option we had was to take her home and do what we could for her, and that's what we did. She would not eat or drink anything voluntarily and after putting a feeding tube in her, her body rejected everything that we tried to supply her with. It is impossible to convey the depths of my despair and hopelessness that consumed me these past couple days coming to terms with not having the power to do anything but watch while death slowly took her in front of my eyes. She spent her last days on earth in my arms with me doing all that was in my power to do, and that was giving her my love and affection. She was only on this planet for a year, and in my life for a few days of that, but she changed me. Unlike anything else. She was an angel sent just for me to teach me powerful life lessons that i could have only experienced through the days that we spent together. Tonight i look up at the sky and find myself not seeing stars but seeing her in Allahs hands dancing with her fellow angels. I thank God for you my Magarline, two nights ago you entered Paradise, but you live on on earth through my heart and spirit.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This past Saturday was my first beach get away in Haiti. It was a picture perfect afternoon complete with my first float in the warm Caribbean waters, coconuts and it’s juice picked straight from the tree, and a sunset good enough to be on a post card. I was swimming in the water so long my skin got pruney enough that I could have passed as an eighty year old, or at least could  have gotten a senior discount or something. I hitched a ride in a hand carved canoe that was taking a little jaunt along the shore, I was enjoying the ride so much I was thinking of asking if we could just keep going till we hit Cuba. But thought against it when I figured I would probably have to take over rowing at least once during the trip and that just didn’t sit well with my lazy ass. So I just floated some more as I watched the sunset, which was perfectly fine by me.

The next day I attended my first meeting with the group that I explained about with my last post. And I will say that I really underestimated the potential of this group. I had someone there who new English who served as a translator for me, there was about eight of us sitting around the table and they were all taking turns introducing themselves and telling what they did for a living. In the mix there was the judge for Leogane, the ex mayor, a U.N worker, nurses, teachers and agriculturalist. The day before at the beach I had personally met with the mayor of Leogane, so there are definitely some fancy pants people that are pushing this movement along. But when it finally got to be my turn to introduce myself to them I felt silly and somewhat insignificant to say that I was still a student, but they were very welcoming all the same. After sitting in on this meeting I have decided that I will not only help out with speaking and meeting with groups across Leogane ( which consists of thirteen sections and is very large) but will serve as somewhat of a spokes person for it in the United States. Creating a web site and helping them raise money, needed supplies, volunteers—whatever. I even get a badge with my picture on it and everything, so official! At this meeting one of the things discussed and what needed to be decided upon was a logo for the foundation. They passed me a paper and pen and said that I should out some ideas down. After doodling for a bit while everyone was showing around and explaining there already made designs, I eventually showed mine… and the group decided on one of my designs for their official logo…! It felt so good I almost jumped up and kissed the old bald judge’s head, but settled with just a little jig in my seat. Will keep you updated on the projects progress as the days come.

Yesterday was suppose to be the day that Annabel was to be brought to the orphanage, the mother called us several times to confirm that she was bringing her but we waited all day and she never showed up. Some girls came over to play and I ended up meeting a girl who has the same birthday as me! Her name is Solidad and she acts just like I did (do??) when I was her age, just does outrageous things for the sake of attention and getting her friends to laugh—man I love libras. Obviously it made us instantly best friends and we are going to celebrate our birthday together, me turning a ripe old age of nineteen and for her a big fat twelve! Its her golden birthday so I want to get her something real nice, going to the market tomorrow.

Today was the first day of class that I taught to my girls. I had so much fun. They are all very bright and learning English very fast and well. After the lesson we went out to the back and played with some chalk and danced and listen to music. We had lunch and I taught another little lesson and then did an art project with them, I showed them how to make a fortune teller and they thought it was as cool as I thought they are. Which is great to know that I’m not a complete dweeb for being the only eighteen year old who still gets enjoyment from them. A neighbor also brought her goats over today and said that we could name them, I named a little black one Betty.

With all of the great things going on, I still struggle. For those who star gaze with me, thank you, it makes me teary eyed knowing that you are.