At the end of each night, we reflect on the comforts and/or discomforts of each day. As I thought about this for myself, I realized I could only come up with positives. We started off visiting a micro loan business for the Diklo community. I was especially intrigued because of my background in international business and the research I did on Haitian micro loans prior to the trip. This business was providing much-needed smaller loans in order to support the farming community and their families. During the whole meeting, the utmost transparency and genuineness was displayed. Although most of us cannot speak or understand Creole, we were all constantly asking the leader questions and trying to learn as much as possible. Not once did he get annoyed or flustered, but instead he answered each question with paper-based evidence and composure.
Next, we visited a little piece of paradise in the town of Tom Gato. Under Family Health Ministries, this women’s health clinic was transforming the way women lived and received care. With only one doctor and two nurses, the clinic saw around 25 patients per day on issues ranging from standard gynecology care, to prenatal care, to HIV testing. With a 1/3 chance of death during childbirth for the Haitian mother, and greater than 60% chance for Haitian women to contract HIV, the never before seen clinic was truly making a remarkable difference.
Lastly, we visited the Art Creation Foundation within the beachy and artsy town of Jacmel. This foundation focused on giving the children of Jacmel an after-school program to come and take art classes and become skilled in a field that can hopefully prepare them for adulthood. The foundation also provides the children with a means to receive education, get fed daily, and even receive their own income from the sales of the stunning art pieces the children create. Our team had the pleasure of taking a paper mache class taught by a few of the children, putting our own artistic abilities to the test. Afterwards, we took a “mosaic walk” and saw how over the years, the children have painted the entire town in beautiful and meaningful mosaics.
Throughout the day’s entirety, I was met with compassion and joy. From learning about a field I am interested in in the morning, to seeing the difference one clinic can make, to bonding and listening to the passions of Haitian children later in the afternoon, the day was a success. With much optimism, I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.