Steve Haines, film and documentary aficionado, recommends the following eye-opening and visually stunning videos on Haiti.
PBS Series entitled Black in Latin America, episode “Haiti and the Dominican Republic: An Island Divided”:
Jean Gentil film from the San Francisco International Film Festival:
San Francisco International Film Festival Website & Jean Gentil Website:
I’ve arrived in Haiti and am sitting in the comfortable Architecture for Humanity office in Port-au-Prince. Can’t say I enjoyed the red-eye flight, but after a nice Haitian lunch of bbq chicken, rice, and beans, I feel pretty good.
The drive from the airport to the office created my first impression of the area. It matches that of my other BAR colleagues. The driving system is chaotic, and the roads vary from smooth to extremely rocky; roads are maintained by the adjacent properties rather than the government. There is lingering destruction from the earthquake, tent camps, and widespread poverty as expected. Despite that, the city is not desolate but full of life. Everywhere I looked there were people going about their business- people at street markets, women carrying baskets of fruit on their heads, school children heading home. It left me with a positive or at least hopeful feeling.
Now I await the office-wide meeting that is held each Friday afternoon to review the status of all AFH projects. The office is full of people working quietly, and it feels very pleasant with the fans blowing.
Coming up: I’m going horseback riding on Sunday!
Positive Energy! Two BAR efforts featured in Interior Design’s Positivity Issue, incl the Int’l Ctr to End Violence & our Haiti Fellowship.
I’m back in San Francisco. I left Haiti on Friday April 1st, and after 2 days of decompression in hot Miami, I got home on Sunday night, ready to return to the office on Monday.
While even in my last 5 days in Haiti so much happened about which I wanted to blog (the last update was about sunday the 27th of March) I just ran out of time. So I won’t transcribe the details of my impromptu trip to an old and packed hotel where some hipster band was playing (whom I later learned was last year’s Album of the year Grammy winner). I won’t bore you with how I nearly got stuck on an old remote rocky hillside road on a dark and rainy night on the way to the client’s house for dinner. If you really want to hear about the my last developments of the project including the preliminary pricing excercise or conceptual look at administrational buildings, you can just ask me. You can also ask about the discovery of perhaps the chic-est hip-est nightclub in Petionville, or the paper crane making fest we had at the house, or the Shakira-attended ceremonial “groundbreaking” of one of the AFH schools (I actually wasn’t there).
I am so glad I went to Haiti. I am so happy that I have had the opportunity to get involved wih this school project, with Architecture for Humanity, and with the energetic, spiritual, and vibrant people of this mess of a country.
There is a lot of work to be done, and some say that the country will never really get out of this hole in which it has fallen. (The previous folks and I have only scraped the surface in this blog.) Nevertheless, not very much can happen without education. That is why the Children’s Academy is so important.
If you have enjoyed following my adventures, then keep checking this blog as Lisa Majchrzak of BAR takes the baton and moves the project forward for 3 weeks, starting tomorrow. Bon Voyage Lisa!
PS- official election results arent out yet (ballot fraud, what a surprise). That’s why I was able to get out safely. Work on the street is that Martelly “Sweet Micky” has won.