Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Haiti Part 2

Day 2~

Our second day was spent working in the tent community that we had connections with.

Some background on this community: There are about 150 families living in the community. They have an advantage that many do not; they are in a secure area with four walls and a gate. This provides them more security. In this camp is a building that had been a woman's home (her name is Francine and she is on the committee). She moved out of it even though it is safe because her husband died in it when a wall fell on him. She is only in her late 20's or early 30's. This community has its own "government" you might say. There is a commitee of five people and they make decisions and are the spokes people for the community. And I believe it is because of the committee that the community is doing so well.

The first morning we arrived we had a lot of unpacking to do. We had 7 different teams working with different ages and genders of people from kids to adults. Everyone was excited to see us and very eager to help us get everything set up. Inside of the building is where the dental team set up and worked and where my team, the bread making team, set up and worked. Outside under tarp-tents that we brought is where the kids age 4-6, 7-10, and girls 13-17 were. The boys 13-17 were out in the sun playing sports all day (with Josh), and our construction team brought and assembled 4 shower stalls.

Each team had a translator so that we could communicate. Haitian's speak two languages, Creole and French, and none of us spoke either. So with our translator's help we began! My team worked with 6 women to teach them how to bake a bread called "Pan de Agua" which is a typical Dominican bread that a Haitian friend of ours said that the Haitian's in Haiti would probably like. After we explained to the women what we were going to be doing they got really excited and couldn't wait to learn. For our morning session with them, we demonstrated how to make the bread as they watched and asked questions. After we finished preparing the dough and were waiting for it to raise (1 hour) the ladies asked if they could begin making their own, they wanted to start trying right away! Because of their eagerness we figured we could steer away from our plans and let it just happen naturally and see what happened. These women were so excited and loved doing it! They never once used their directions they had already memorized it from watching Maggie do it that one time! Because of space in the oven we had to do it in shifts, 3 women first and then the other 3 could follow 20 minutes behind them. So in the morning session 3 women got to make bread for the first time!

When we came back from lunch break we let the next 3 ladies make their bread. While we waited for the bread to rise we sat around the table just getting to know one another. I spent a little bit of time getting to know our translator, his name is Woodsie. He did a great job translating and was really fun to interact with. He is an intelligent guy with an opinion on many things.

When we returned from lunch break the second group of ladies began. When they finished - and we all sampled - they began asking what other things we were going to teach them. We were totally unprepared for their excitement and enthusiasm and so had only prepared to teach them how to make bread. Maggie did some quick thinking and came up with some other ideas of how to use the same dough to make other things. After we talked it over with the ladies and received some ideas from them, we came up with 3 other ways to use the dough.... and to find out you will have to read the "Day 3" blog!

Here are a few more short videos from our trip.

This video gives you an idea about street life. I explained in Part 1 that just about everything is sold on the street. In the beginning of video you can see two women preparing food to sell. The video then pans past what looks maybe a buisness where lotto tickets are sold. Then you can see another area where someone cooks things to sell. There is an upturned refridgerator where they probably keep the food in order to protect it from bugs.

This video shows the larget tent community that I saw. It went for what seemed like forever! These tents were really nice tents, we saw communities where the "tents" were made from sticks and sheets. Clearly these had been brought by other coutries in their aid packets. This tent community also had shower facitilies and toilets - you can see them, they are grey tall and skinny tent looking structures with the Red Cross sign on them.

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