Haiti, Ten Years After

It occurs to me that, although it is a huge part of my life, I have not written a post devoted to Haiti.  That may be because I also maintain a web site of a non-profit on whose board I serve.  The Servants for Haiti web site is also a WordPress-based site, so it’s as though I already have a blog associated with Haiti.  Anyway, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.

Still, there is much to write about Haiti.  I can’t say it all on the SFH site because some of my opinions might be controversial.  At least, I hope so.

First a little background on my relationship with Haiti.  It all began innocently enough back in the 80’s when my wife and I attended a Phil Keaggy concert and were convinced by his presentation to sponsor a Haitian girl through Compassion International.  Later we sponsored her brother as well.

In 2000, I was given the opportunity to join a work team to Haiti to help construction of a school in the Village Solidarité neighborhood of Port-au-Prince.  This is what it looked like at the time:

CJRA School in 2000

That’s me half way up the ladder passing bricks over my head.  I must have been crazy, but not as crazy as the guy (Pete in the blue shirt) who let me hold them over his head!

Visiting Haiti was one of the most incredible experiences in my life, right up there with my wedding, my daughter’s wedding, and the birth of my children.  Some people hear about my work in Haiti and applaud my “sacrifice”.  Yet it is no sacrifice.  It is almost pure joy to serve there. I’ve been back several times since that 2000 trip.

Ten years later, the school has grown a bit:

CJRA School, 2010

CJRA school in 2010, just 40 days after the earthquake.

This is the same section of the school as in the previous photo, though from a different angle.  This was a month and a half after the earthquake of January 12.  You’ll note that miraculously (and I mean that literally) there is no structural damage to the structure.  The school is back in operation, awaiting the new school year.

There’s a lot more I want to say about my experiences in and impressions of Haiti, but this will have to do for now.   I’ve already overstayed my welcome… and bedtime.  Meanwhile, check out the aforementioned (and afore-linked) SFH site to learn more about our work there.

About rickconti

It's not about me, remember?
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