Volunteer Experiences: Cristin Senior
The weather here has been in the low 90s during the day and the high 60s/low70s during the night. I can tell that the humidity is higher here but not unbearable. It feels hot during the day but the sun isn't unbearable and the shade provides some relief. There has been a slight breeze during the day which seems to die off completely during the night time hours. An inversion seems to settle in most evenings trapping the warm air, smog and smoke from the burning trash. Clouds come and go and it did sprinkle for two minutes one day. The nights are very warm and it has been a battle for me to either strip clothing to cool down or leave it on to protect from mosquitoes.
Mark and Childer (our translator) picked me up from the Embassy about 10:30 and we headed to the house. Things had picked up for Global DIRT the last day or two because we had a pilot and his personal helicopter at our disposal. He is from New Jersey and comes to Haiti periodically to assist in any way he can. Adam lined him up with several missions delivering medical supplies and water purification supplies to small communities throughout Haiti. Logistical support is another facet of GD. Mark, Childer and I then went to our makeshift helicopter landing zone to meet up with Adam, our private pilot and a German medical helicopter. The landing zone is in a field adjacent to the Embassy and happens to be the site of a driver’s training facility. The facility consists of an open field with rocks (instead of cones) marking out lanes and curbs. Childer jumped on the German helicopter to translate for them as they picked up a patient. Mark and I drove to the MTI facility and picked up a truck full of water jerry cans that we took to the private helicopter to be dropped in a mountain community. The rest of the day I spent planning a water assessment mission in a mountain community which never materialized. We ran out of time and they were going to do it the next day, the day I had to leave. I was looking forward the helicopter ride and seeing Haiti outside of Port au Prince but it just didn't work out. I went on one more ride to a small airport to pick up the pilot and some goods from the street vendors. On the way back I walked back a portion of the way and spent a little time with a family living in a small shack. They let me take several pictures and video and even tour their home. I have noticed that if show even the slightest warmth, and love to anyone in Haiti they just melt from our kitchen lady to our yard guy to a guard at the Embassy and the small family. Everyone has been very grateful for material things but even more so for love.