January Trip to Haiti
Just after new years I found out I would have the opportunity to travel to Haiti in January. It isn’t the move back that I am anxiously awaiting, but it is trip home. It was a quick trip down with my boss, Kurt, from 410 Bridge. We would be looking at land that is a good prospect for the HDC project. I stayed a few extra days to spend time in the tent city. We arrived on January 12th, 2011, I couldn’t be happier to be in the country on this day. Flying in I could see the tent city out the window! The brightly colored temporary shelters were easy to spot, seeing the new homes, knowing what they meant for so many people; it was an amazing feeling that brought tears to my eyes. As the plane flew lower to the tarmac I also noticed the streets were eerily bare, driving to our hotel we hardly passed any other cars. Although we did not visit any one, I felt so blessed to be in Haiti on such an important day in their history.
Days before the New Year those living in the tent city were allowed to move into the International Federation of the Red Cross’s temporary shelters-the brightly colored homes I saw from the airplane. They were built on the same piece of land the tent city had been on, the land is called La Piste. As more homes are built more residents from surrounding tent cities will be matriculated in by the IFRC. Aaron from the IFRC is the project manager for La Piste and is doing a phenomenal job. He has two all deaf construction teams and has hired many from the deaf community for various other jobs. He played a key role in making sure the deaf community were in their new homes before the new year. We are so grateful for him.
Kurt and I were able to look at a piece of land that has the potential to be our number one option for the HDC project. There was plenty of land available to meet our needs and will continue to be followed up on. Pray God shows us the right piece of land for this project and the Haitian deaf community.
After Kurt left, I stayed behind a few extra days to visit with the deaf community. I was able to speak with a few of the families, spend time just getting to know them. One of the mothers who was pregnant when I left in November had her baby in December. Both mom and baby are doing great, baby Naroudja was there and I was able to hold her; she is simply beautiful.
During my stay I was able to visit with friends who I have missed so much. I saw the apartment I will be living in when I return, it is finished and I will be the first person to make it home. It was hard to leave, but nothing compared to the heartache I had just three months before when I left. It was incredible to see the changes a few months made. Driving through Petionville there was a tent city in a park that had been evacuated that morning. Sitting in the airport waiting to flying over the city on my way back to New York, I felt at peace knowing in just a few short weeks I would once again be returning home to Haiti.