Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 3

Yesterday morning we finished removing the rubble from the Church site and finished day by joining another HODR team to remove rubble from "L'INSPYR Insitut de Pyramid," a Haitian elementary school. Most of the first floor of the structure remained intact but buried in rubble from the earthquake. By the end of the week our volunteers should have the place cleaned up enough to resume classes.

After two days of moving rubble I gave my body a break and worked most of the day indoors at a UNICEF facility packing boxes full of supplies for Haitian elementary schoolers. Although I found the rubble work less monotonous than sitting in a small room filling boxes, this is still important work; one of our other volunteer teams working near a school saw the supplies we packed delivered to the students.

The most interesting part of my day was walking through Leogane's market, where I was able to painlessly exchange money at a good rate from a man on a street corner who might otherwise look suspicious pulling a large wad of cash from his pocket if this were not Haiti. The market itself is rows of stands made mostly from very thin timber selling fruit, rice, and raw meat in the open air. Some vendors had other items such as faux designer clothing, watches, and cell phone sim cards. As we walked I noticed there was a large amount of animals mixed in with the stands--mostly dogs, goats, pigs, and chickens. I found myself unable to distinguish between those animals that were being offered for sale and those that were wild trying to forage for food.

A fellow volunteer and myself apparently made for quite the spectacle walking through the market; not a lot of foreigners frequent this part of town which was evident from the onlooking stares and hearing "blan" (foreigner) intermixed in kreyol conversation. The children often shout "Hey you!" at the funny foreigners, to which we respond "Bon swa" (Hello) which more often than not will elicit a smile or thumbs up. A couple of children were so interested in us that they nearly followed us all the way back to the base.

My visit to the market once again demonstrated to me the life-must-go-on attitude of the Haitians; in spite of the surrounding rubble Haitians continue to sell their wares at market, and children continue to be children.

1 comment:

  1. The Haitian people are extremely lucky to have all you guys there to help! I think it was a great choice! I hope you have fun the rest of the time you're there! Have a great time! See you 5/10/10 or somewhere close to that!

    ~Butt~Head~ Dude, and the dudeses!