Thursday, November 1, 2012

Arriving into Haiti during a Tropical Storm


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wow, I just arrived at GV today after a long day of travel. Yesterday, our plane from Miami to Haiti was delayed due to mechanical problems on one of the planes. There was also bad storms over the Caribbean which made for an interesting plane ride... Especially as we neared the landing. There is tropical storms and hurricanes in the area. Our flight that was supposed to leave leave at 2, didn't end up leaving until 4:15. We arrived in Haiti after dusk, which was not typical. I felt uncomfortable being at the Haitian airport so late. My travel buddy and I had all our bags and luggage by 7:20 and were loaded in the car and headed to the guest house by 7:30. At that time, it was already dark in Haiti.

Around 10 AM today, one of our security staff members took me to GV. On the way, it was raining pretty bad. The roads were full of mud and puddles. We neared the outskirts of cite soleil, where we saw houses and tents flooded. Cars were under the water, and people were walking through waist deep water to get to the street where it was dry. It was so sad to see such a sight... Something I have never seen in person before.. Only on tv and in the newspapers. The streets were lined with people waiting and watching as all their property was being washed-up with water... My heart goes out to them...

When I arrived at GV, the rain was coming down pretty hard. The staff took my stuff to where I would be sleeping. I was greeted with smiles and hugs from all the kids. It was so great to see them all!! Just looking at their faces, I could see CHANGE. When Lynoue (our feeding center director) found out I had arrived, she gave me the camera I had left for her to use and to take pictures of every meal. All I can say is WOW!!!!!! I was so incredibly happy to SEE the meals and the productivity of the staff while I was gone!!! The meals were like we had planned on our new menu, there was a lot of color, variety, and produce used... And supplements were given out daily!!! I could have not been more happy to actually see what took place while I was gone, and how the staff really worked hard to make me proud!!!! It brings tears of joy to my eyes just thinking about how far they have come over the past month...since when I first came to grace village in September. They are making strides and have made me so proud!!!!

Below are pictures from when I was gone...

It just amazes me too.. Looking at these kids and physically seeing a difference in their appearance. It is incredible. Just looking at their faces... They are brighter, cleaner, fresher, and even healthier looking. I think it would be safe to assume that a lot of this has been directly a result of just getting their dietary needs met... Cutting down on the oil/butter, sugar, and salt.. And using LOTS more fruits, vegetables,fats from nuts/produce/peanut butter, and more protein from the frequent use of beans, whole grains, eggs, peanut butter, and fish! One of our translators and guardians that works at GV told me that the kids look a lot healthier... He told me their faces are brighter!!! I am so happy and pleased to hear this. Sounds like everyone is seeing changes and the impact the dietary shift is having on the kids' overall quality of life. I am excited to continue seeing these new changes through over the next 6.5 weeks, and to continue educating, encouraging, and building up our staff and children to be leaders of health, wellness, balance, and sustainability in their country.

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