Haiti 2015 - end of trip round up (with Day 9 + onwards to come later…)

We got home from our 17 day adventure 3 days ago, absoultely knackered after losing 5 hours on the way back and therefore basically missing a night’s sleep, but very, very happy with the overall experience.

Haiti is a wonderful country with warm, friendly, dynamic people. Our Brothers there welcomed us with open arms and couldn’t have been more accommodating and generous in their time, effort and energy that they put into our trip being such a success, none more so than my fellow former Novice (of 25 years ago) and good friend Bro. Lamy.

Haitians are very proud of their homeland. This is borne out by the number of emigrés who, once they’ve made a career for themselves abroad, mainly in the US and Canada, invest money back into their country of origin through various projects (including many of the 9 schools our congregation run there) and also have homes built in the home areas for them to retire back to and to which they return for holidays before retirement.

One consequence of this is that we saw a greater disparity between the rich and the poor in Haiti than perhaps on any of our four African Educational Project trips since 2007. The political situation there has seemingly improved under the current regime of President Martely. One area that has shown marked improvement since the earthquake is the road network. But there is so much more that needs to be done to try and improve the standard of living for the majority of the population. The creation of jobs has to be a priority. Continued political stability will surely encourage foreign countries to establish a foothold in the country. Perhaps then the brain drain abroad might start to lessen and more graduates might begin to look for and find jobs in their home country. We must keep the country in our prayers during this period of elections (the election for the national Senate was today and the Presidential elections follow in a couple of months), that they pass off peacefully and that their new leader (Martely is stepping down) will have a good heart and will be able to build on what progress, however slow, has been made in recent years.

Myself, Bro. Francis and Bro. Jacques were delighted with how well our four SFX pupils embraced the various challenges and experiences of the trip. The seven of us worked very well as a team, maintaining the Team Win! tradition of supporting each other when things get tough, sharing responsibility, good humoured banter and no whinging. I think we’ve even managed to add to the Team Win! traditions and mythology by establishing an evening routine of playing 2 hands of the card game Cheat before hitting the hay. Generous laughter was shared in this activity, especially as the 3 Brothers seemed to take much childlike delight in cheating and much as possible, serving to create a tightly bonded group.

I would hope to get another such trip off the ground in two years time and would not hesitate to invite again our four participants this time around: Michael, Max, Aaron and Alex.

Now, back to the trip journal...

It was Day 9, and time to say goodbye (for now) to Delmas…
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