Reflections – March 3

Digicel web

Connecting to a Larger Purpose

We began our connection with Colorado Haiti Project nearly two years ago, and today we sit at St. Paul’s Community Center observing the wider picture of life in Haiti.  Our senses tune to memories of our time spent together in Sub-Saharan Africa.  The history that connects Haiti to Africa is ever present for us as we begin to discover the cultural and social landscape of the Petit Trou region.

Once again, we come to a new country as outsiders, yet we are invited in as family.  The community of St. Paul’s has shown a benevolent hospitality and eagerness as we forge connections that will carry us through this week, and our future plans to build linkages.   As we begin to settle in for the night, we wanted to reflect on our day, and share a few moments from this powerful journey.

Our day began in quiet reflection with our travelmates.  The centering message spoke to embracing the unknown and trusting the process of long-term partnership.  Following breakfast, we took a long walk through the community towards the bustle of the Saturday morning market.  Along the way, we passed a central hub of community life here—the water wells.  This former project of Colorado Haiti Project serves as a vital source for the daily tasks of washing and collecting water.  We saw little boys carrying water alongside the girls—a first for us in terms of gender equality in the distribution of this necessary labor.   From this connection point, we ventured to another representation of larger global connections—the local cell phone charging station! Positioned next to the main road to town, Yvon Nerolan watches by the roadside while the cellphones charge.  At this technological juncture, we found our own connection.  His daughter, Martine, a community nurse, will provide vital information for our research this week.  From this remote region of the country of the country, the world felt small.

Dr. Jennifer Fish, Old Dominion University