Monday, April 09, 2007

Day Two of First Visit to Haiti

March 19, 2007 Chato Haiti

Today we visited a peasant organization that called themselves Konbit 2004.
When we drove to the top of the hillside, there was already a large circle
of people sitting beneath the semicircle of palm trees singing and clapping.
A woman brought a thermos of coffee and basket of bread for us to eat.  The
coffee was so sweet I think I became a diabetic after one sip.  We sat and
listened to the members of the organization describe their group's history
as we slurped coconut milk out of coconuts that had given to us.  A man
said, "We wanted to organize and work together in such a way that we could
improve the living conditions of our group."  It was very powerful to hear
the men and women of the group speak about how their lives had changed after
the microcredit and the cistern  and reforestation project…We drove to see
one of the cisterns and the tree seedling nursery and the man I was sitting
next to in the back seat didn't know how to open a car door.  This was a
poignant reminder of how different our existences are on this earth.  One
woman summed up everyone's comments about the projects stating "It [the loan
fund] helped us send our kids to school and feed them, the cistern allows us
to have time because we no longer have to walk 2 hrs to get water."  The
group estimated that because of the micro-loan project around 100 more
children were able to go to school.

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