On roads lined with cactus and palm trees intermixed in tall green grass, life seems to face the road here. As we drove through towns and villages I felt the constant urge to snap a quick shot out the window. Everyone we passed was perfectly posed, facing the road for a perfect shot from the car. Photos of Haitians living out everyday life. A woman sits at a sewing machine outside her house. A man washes up from a bucket on the street side. Some young boys play dominos on a table on the sidewalk. Life played out… on the sidewalk. I kept my camera tucked away, my anticipation to arrive in the FH community we would be visiting growing increasingly impatient. Four hours later we arrived… in Belledare… the border town to the Dominican Republic.
Are interviews went through a series of languages. From the interviewee who spoke Haitian Creole to a translator who communicated with Beth in broken Spanish. From Beth into English to our writer Renee. Yes folks… thats a story through four people.
Meanwhile, lost in the confusion of the stories I amerced myself in the beauty around me and began to capture it. Tiny braids fastened with colorful burettes. Glowing chocolate skin against blue houses, my eyes celebrate the saturation of colors and I quickly run through my first memory card in minutes. Trying to capture the beauty to take home, to share.
In a community where Voodoo practice is strong, we meet a pastor who is working to unite the community. We learn that if a non Christian family has a child who becomes ill they first seek the council of the Voodoo priest. If the Voodoo does not cure the child the Voodoo priest then advises the family to take the child to a doctor… at this time at may already be to late. If the child makes it to the doctor and does not find a cure there, in desperation the family will only then bring the child to a Christian Pastor for prayer as a last resort. FH is working with this pastor and has begun a program in the community called “Child Friendly Space.” This program provides a safe place for children to go and play games and interact with other children while parents may be away at work.
I wish I had a better wrap up for you here… but after 12 hours on the road my brain has checked out… until tomorrow :)