Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Haiti Week 5

Wednesday September 14th
What’s Up Everybody?
Well I have been getting a few questions as to what I have been up to, here is a quick update.
I was in Port-au-Prince for the follow up at Wharf Jeremy. Then I spent a day with the Nouvelle Vie trainers in Port-au-Prince having meetings and planning out what we are going to do next.
Then Jeff and I, one of the trainers from Port-au-Prince, went to Hinche to see Delicieux. We had to take a bus and I was worried because most buses in Haiti are school buses with about what looks like 30 000 people in each bus plus luggage and a goat. So we got to the bus station aka. The side of the road and we got on the bus and it was a really nice mini-van type bus. Thank God. And we drove to Hinche and it was a 2 hour drive and it was really nice. We went through the mountains and I got to see the country side.
Hinche is a small town and we didn’t do much. I had a meeting with Delicieux, one of the trainers,  and that was about it. And we stayed in a hotel that was way too expensive, I love paying too much because my skin is white.  And we did a brief tour of town but it was about two streets so I felt like I did the strip in Windsor. Good memory just the same.
The next day Jeff and I went back to Port-au-Prince and I spoke to Dad and Rhonda on Skype. Rhonda mentioned that maybe I should take a mental break. And I didn’t think much of it. And then later in the day I thought to myself that she had a good idea. So in the morning I flew to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. And Carlo and Claudia, who will be Angels in my mind forever, picked me up from the airport and took me to stay at the Art of Living Center. It was heaven. Running water, electricity, food, roads, restaurants and Pizza. It was great. And Skype worked really well there and I was able to talk to everybody at home, so nice. I got a much needed break in the Dominican. I didn’t know how much I needed a break. So I made it 30 days in Haiti before I needed a break. Honestly, if felt like a year in that 30 days. So much happens here in one day, it is amazing. 
And Carlo and Claudia took such great care of me. And there are a few vegetarian restaurants in Santo Domingo, which we went to everyday. We also went to a beach house for a day. It was great. And there is a big Art of Living Community there and they really took care of me. Thank you to everyone.
So interesting that these two countries can exist on the same Island. Everything is different. Language, Economy, Environment, Mind Set, everything.
And then Monday I flew back to Port-au-Prince and got back into life in Haiti. I flew up to Cap-Haitian yesterday and that meant I was away for 18 days from Cap-Haitian (my home in Haiti.) It felt like a few years.
And now I’m back in Cap-Haitian and we will see what happens next.
Last night we had no electricity here in Cap so I was in bed at 8 pm and awake at 4 am. Hilarious.
Lots of Love to everyone.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The UBUNTU-BLOX photos.

Photos Week 4.

Haiti Week 4

Saturday September 3, 2011

Good Morning Everyone,

Well we had our first follow up yesterday at Wharf Jeremy. Estavela and I came up on the bus from Les Cayes for the follow up and we met up with the Port-au-Prince trainers Jeff, Faby, Daielle, Martine and Daniel.

The Port-au-Prince Nouvelle Vie trainers, Jeff, Faby, Daielle, Martine and Daniel started the preparation for the follow up last week on Friday August 26th. They came down with Andre to Wharf Jeremy. Andre was our driver during the course and he volunteered his time to bring the trainers down to Wharf Jeremy last Friday. They went through the neighbourhoods to talk to the women and tell them about the follow up.

We arrived yesterday in Wharf Jeremy and members from community were there to greet us and help us implement the follow up. DeGazon who is the security guard at We Advance and NoNo who is another form of security for We Advance were both there to help us. They had the mega phone and were going around the neighbourhoods reminding the women about the follow up. And Michelin, who runs the local school, was there to escort us up to the place where we were going to do the follow up. It was a very nice welcome.

We went to the hanger where the team had scheduled to do follow up. And the women didn’t know that Estavela was going to be there and they were so happy to see her. They were jumping around when they saw Estavela, they were so excited. I’m not sure that everyone knows but in Haiti people have to put minutes on their phone to make calls and most of the time, most of the people in Haiti don’t have minutes on their phone to make calls. And the women in Wharf Jeremy who are the poorest of the poor put minutes on their phones to call Estavela every day to tell her how much they miss her and how good they are feeling after the course. Amazing. One of the best stories that I have ever heard.

We had a bit of an issue at the hanger because some of the other women from the local neighbourhood were upset because someone borrowed their broom to clean the hanger and others of them thought that we were giving away money and they were not getting any. How this happened I have no idea but Michelin took control and said, “Ok we are going to do follow up at my school.” So we switched the follow up to Michelin’s school which is directly across from We Advance.

And then the follow up started a few mins later and the women kept coming and coming. We had 57 women at the start of the session and by the end of the session the number had grown to 68. It was amazing. We taught the course to 120 women and we had 68 at the morning follow up session. The trainers did such a good job calling of the women and letting all the women know that the follow up was happening. And the women saw real benefit in their lives and they came back for the follow up. It was amazing. The trainers answered questions from the women for the first hour and a half. Then they did a little yoga and a guided meditation.

Also I met someone very interesting at Grass Roots United. His name is Harvey Lacey. He has come up with a system to make houses out of garbage, plastic and Styrofoam. He calls it UBUNTU –BLOXS. This is his website. He has been approached by some pretty big organizations to roll this out in Haiti. But he wants to have the women of Haiti and more specifically the poorest women of Haiti to own this and implement this project. He has made the technology very simple so that the tools to build the homes can be built with the materials available to the poor. It is quite fascinating and could really change the way homes are built here in Haiti and potentially around the world. It is good for the environment, it gives people homes, it empowers people and it cleans up the area. It really is win, win, win and win.

Harvey and his two assistants, Samuel and Frantz, came in and did a presentation to the women. The women were excited once they understood that Harvey’s message is that of them leading the project. He wants it to be like the micro lending in Bangladesh. They will be doing a workshop with the women next Wednesday. So not only have we given these women a great course and untold benefits that they are experiencing in their lives, we have also provided Harvey and his team access to the women of Wharf Jeremy and a potential world changer for these women. Unbelievable.

The afternoon session had 30 women at the session and that session went for 2 and a half hours like the morning session. The women were so happy and content. They had a bit more room in the afternoon so they could do Sudarshan Kriya.

The day was an incredible success. Out of 120 women that came for the course, 98 came for follow up. The trainers did an amazing job. The women loved the program. And Harvey got to introduce the UBUNTU-BOX to Wharf Jeremy. Great success for everyone.

These are two quotes from the women.

Andre – 35 – “Before the course I had a bad heart and now after taking the course and practicing the pranayama’s and the Sudarshan Kriya, I don’t. Every month I had a pain in my waist (which is a common complaint in Haiti) and now it is gone, I don’t have it anymore. “

Stefa – 25 – “The first day of the course I thought that it was joke. The second day of the course when we did the Kriya for the first time, I thought the same. The third day I began to take it more serious. And now it is a remedy for all of my illnesses. “

What a day.

Lots of Love to everyone