All in Life in Haiti

Haitian Squash Soup, Soup Joumou

Dieujuste Saint-Surain stands in his field in Senk-Pòt, Haiti, holding up two freshly harvested joumou (Haitian Creole for calabaza squash). He hands one over with a smile. It is cool, smooth and surprisingly heavy for its size. Haiti has seen two years of drought, and this culturally and nutritionally important food is becoming harder to find in local markets.

Day Breaks in Dezam

Mornings in Haiti are my favourite time of the day, because unlike the quiet suburban Canadian town I grew up in they are so vibrant, colourful, and alive.  And even after two years of living here, I am often filled with wonder with how different the smells, sights, and sounds are from where I call  home, and how it is that I ended up living in this town which seems to me like something out of a storybook.

Republic of NGOs

In late June, Mennonite Central Committee U.S Staff and Board Members visited Haiti to learn about MCC Haiti's work, and to conduct board meetings. During this time they got a taste of Haitian food, culture, and MCC's past and current projects. Ron Byler, Executive Director of MCC U.S reflects on his recent experience in Haiti.

Prayer for Haiti

In honor of Wednesday being Haitian Flag Day, our Tuesday morning staff devotional time was dedicated to praying for Haiti. In following with the Lord’s Prayer, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, we explored together what that would look like in our own Haitian context.

Haitian Pikliz

It is a big week for us. Friday marked our first official day as country representatives, and tomorrow we are moving into our new house. The thought of unpacking after 6 months makes me giddy! This week's transition seems more final than the previous ones, it feels like we have finally arrived at our destination, Haiti is home. (...)

Good Friday on Mon Kalve

About an hour east of Port-au-Prince, just off the the road that leads to Santo Domingo, sits Mòn Kalvè (Calvary Mountain), a pilgrimage site during Holy Week here in Haiti. Starting just after dawn on Good Friday, a friend and I hopped on motos and made our way to the base of the mountain. We joined the faithful making their slow pilgrimage to the top (...)

Elections Update

Election results have been posted. Though the results did not come on the same evening I wrote our previous post, they did come the following day. And miraculously, the streets of Port-au-Prince saw no major disruptions, none of the usual post-election protests and road blockades.

Jacmel

January 2-4, we made our first visit to Jacmel, one of Haiti's most famous cities - known for its culture & art, history, and its annual Carnaval celebration. We stayed at the picturesque Cyvadier Hotel, with a dining and pool area that overlooks a cove. The soundtrack of crashing waves keeps you company all day and night. It's beautiful!

Reflections on Our First Konbit

It starts with a drum and ends with rum, but it’s what happens in between that makes konbit the cultural institution that’s helped the Haitian peasantry survive for centuries against all odds. Konbit, the Haitian Kreyòl word used for just about any collective effort, usually refers to the equivalent of a Haitian barn-raising. It’s a work exchange, when a community member calls upon his or her neighbors to join a work party to help clear, plant, weed or harvest their fields.