Thursday, April 26, 2012

The second week of my first two weeks in Haiti

I am on my way home tomorrow after nearly two weeks here in Haiti. The last five days were good, working in Leogane with Boston Jean Gilles, the preseident of the farmer's organization, ODEPOL (Organisation pour le Devloppement Paques-Orangers de Léogâne--Organization for the Development of Paques-Orangers of Leogane). Boston took me and two associates from Hinche-Papaye up into the mountains Monday and Wednesday, three hour and two hour hikes up, respectively.  Monday we hiked up under a hot sun and came down in the rain and were soaked by the time we got to the house. Yesterday we hiked up in the rain and were soaked by the time we met with the group. Tuesday we visited two non-govermental projects in Leogane (one a very extensive health project, one a goat project) and a kids club about twenty minutes drive from Boston's home.

Jenny has had to deal with Annika sick last week, and this week no internet and constant drizzle. With no transportation yet, this is hard. It is exciting work we are doing here in Haiti, but it is hard to be in the DR with no family to help when I am away.

Community group in Gros Morne, Section 11 of Léogâne (35 miles west of Port au Prince). About 50 people came for our presentation on Yard Gardens yesterday around noon. People walked in the rain from their homes to meet, some as far away as 45 minutes. We drove in the truck up the mountain towards the meeting place as far as we could and then walked about two hours in the rain. My associates from Hinche-Papaye (not in the photo) were Gultho Orne and Herve Delisma. After presenting a power point overview of the work of the Road to Life Yard, showin in pictures on my laptop (which was wrapped in two layers of plastic on the way up), Gultho gave a talk on his work in his own yard. People responded to the presentation extremely well, especially to Gultho's part, asking him for specific details such as how to turn a tire inside out and exactly what he does with the goat manure. Photo by Boston Jean Gilles

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

My favorite people

These are random photos, because I miss my family.

Jenny and Annika in Nicaragua, right before leaving for the Dominican Republic, February 29th.

Keila in my boots. Scarborough, Ontario (right outside of Toronto). This was during the first part of Jenny's mission co-worker orientation, in January of this year.

Keila on the subway. My friend, Bob Morikaway, from Toronto, visited us several times while we were in Scarborough and one day agreed to take us on the subway. For no good reason, except for Keila to be able to ride a train.

My first of two weeks in Haiti

It is Wednesday of my first week in Haiti, initiating my work with MPP/FONDAMA. Here are some photos from the last two days. I have been in Papaye/Bassin Zim since Saturday and will head for Leogane and a new Farmer's Movement of Friday.

MPP Agronomist Alexander Placide (far left) talking with Carlo (second from right) about his work with fish ponds and agriculture. Alexander and I and two members of the Road to Life Yard crew visited a project in Lajenn, Pignon where they are using a ram jet pump to irrigate vegetable gardens. Carlo showed us the pump, the fish ponds that are part of the project, and the canal that brings the water down to the ponds and the pump.

On our way back to Papaye from Lajenn, we met an MPP demonstration! The banner, in the left column, talks about how Monsanto-produced seeds are detrimental to the livelihoods of the independent smallholder farmers. In the right column the banner talks about the positive characteristics of seeds produced by the farmers themselves.

This morning I went with Moccène Joachim, visiting ten or eleven households where the families are beginning to experiment with intensive production in their yard gardens. Above one of the youths working with Moccene, Bensy Ria, is in his yard, where he has some twelve old tires producing vegetables.

Gyvensky St. Ange with his tire of african redworms. Gyvensky has been one of the youths that Moccène has spent a great deal of time with helping him establish and maintain his yard garden.

Rosebedjith Orelien (left) with her mother, Yolette, arguing about whether they should go ahead and harvest all the onions from the vegetable tire. Together the two are producing garlic chives and parsely, along with the onions, in ten tires. They have eggplant in the ground around the tires. For the tire soil mix, they used soil from near the house, cow and horse dung and sand that they hauled from the Samana river, about an hour away, using a burro. They haul water for the vegetables from a small spring near the house, or from the public water system about twenty minutes away.

Cherilia Orne and her younger of two daughters, Danaela. Cherilia is Moccène's wife and partner in their yard garden. I have known Moccène since the second month I arrived in Haiti in 2004 and I have known both Danaela and their first daughter, Danaica, since they were born.

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