My late grandfather, a prolific writer and documenter and traveler, once told me, “If you don’t know how to begin a project, find a yellow legal pad and start writing.” So here goes!
I’ve been in Haiti for six weeks now. My orientation period has been humbling, and strange, and productive.
Humbling, as I stumble through a new language and accept the hospitality of my gracious host families, who open their homes and the rhythms of their everyday life to me.
Strange, because as much as I’ve traveled, I’ve never had this kind of structured, scheduled orientation. I’m glad for the time & space to adjust, while the stubbornly independent part of me just wants to leap on the nearest tap-tap and go exploring.
Productive, because I’ve learned so much! I can have conversations in Kreyol; I can tell you something about how agroforestry techniques can mitigate the effects of climate change on small farmers; I know my way around parts of Port au Prince! I feel a little burst of joy every time I navigate a new patch of this sometimes-labyrinthine city, with its streetside merchants and steep, densely populated hillsides and abundant bougainvillea.
More to come. For now, some photos:
Flying over the Caribbean | Visiting Sokontre | Drawing with Nephta in my first host family | Walking through dry hills in the town of Kabay with MCC colleagues | Tarantula! | Green coffee, just before roasting | An especially colorful tap-tap in PaP | Studying Kreyol | Streets of Petionville with colorful Jalouzi in the background