|Travel documents for my trip to Haiti|
Two years ago when I was watching the coverage of Haiti after the devastating earthquake, I never imagined it would be a place I would visit 2 years later with fellow bloggers and friends. My trip has elicited a variety of reactions from friends including surprise, awe, curiosity, and encouragement to do great work while here and come back to share what I’ve experienced.
Through my trip I plan to do that and so much more. I’m visiting Haiti because of its importance in the world and my desire to learn about the country apart from the way it has been portrayed in the news. As a Caribbean Island, it shares its border with the Dominican Republic and is just a short 90 minute flight from Miami, making our neighbor but vastly different because it is one of the poorest countries in the world.
|Sweeping vistas of Port au Prince from our hotel|
Today was just the beginning. Excitement and adrenaline are keeping me going despite a 4:15 am wakeup call that allowed us to arrive in Haiti this morning and have a full day in Port au Prince, our home for the majority of the trip.
Our home in Port au Prince is Horizon Suites, a beautiful hotel with sweeping vistas of the city that was built just up the hill from Hotel Montana, a renowned destination for international visitors that was flattened in the earthquake. A memorial between the two sites helps commemorates the lives those who were lost and helps me remember why I’m here.
|Memorial honoring Hotel Montana guests
who perished in the 2010 earthquake
In just a day, I’ve realized that there is help that I can provide to Haiti from afar through blogging and social media not only while I’m here but needs to continue after I get home. I can share the initiatives that help Haitians rebuild their lives through sustainable programs that build capacity through the skills that are being taught. Sustainable programs provide practical training in a “teach a man to fish” way rather than the “give a man a fish” approach.
|Hand rolled paper beads made from recycled materials|
While I can’t go into detail about all I saw today just yet, I have a great story to tell about my trip to the tent camps and the amazing work that is being done there to build capacity and teach Haitians skills that will allow them to generate an income to pay for private school tuition for their children ($1000/month per child) or buy property to rebuild homes destroyed in the quake. I will share how you can support these efforts soon.
Tomorrow is another full day with visits to the womens’ domestic violence shelter and metal and horn & bone artisans. I look forward to seeing more of Haiti during our travels but in the meantime, wanted to share this slideshow of photos. Forgive some of the photos which were taking from our van en route from the airport to Horizon Suites.
To those of you who have Tweeted or left me Facebook messages—— thank you! Thank you for your interest in my trip, following the #Bloggers4Haiti hashtag, and 48.5 pounds of donated items that I’ve brought with me.
And thank goodness for an in-room router with fantastic wifi that allows me to share my story with you as it unfolds!
The majority of this trip was personally funded but I did receive a scholarship from Everywhere to help me defray some of my travel costs. Thanks to HP, Snapfish, and The Mother Company for donating products to share with the people of Haiti. All opinions are my own and based on my experience.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama