Much excitement this week in Haiti, as long-awaited visitors from America -- Starthrowers Mme Cindy and Anna, on their first trip to Haiti -- traveled by plane and bus to meet the staff and students at Lakay Fondasyon in Cap-Haitien!
Staff and students had prepared a Welcome sign to greet Mme Cindy and Anna. Until now, the stafff had known of Mme Cindy and her friends in Pennsylvania by name only, and through the parcels they send several times each year. How exciting to put a face to a name, and to finally meet one another!
And they came bearing gifts! Along with good wishes and clothing, Mme Cindy and Anna, with one of their Haitian friends (yellow shirt), brought some rice and oil they'd bought in Cap-Haitien for Starthrower staff and students. In the foto, Cindy's friend shows Anna how to balance and carry a sack of rice (diri) on her head.
Several of the Starfish sported new Tshirts, which I believe were part of the gifts brought from Pennsylvania. At the Lakay, we keep an assortment of games and balls on hand for the kids to use. You may notice that socks and running shoes are lacking. Flip Flops (those flat, plastic sandals) are fine for walking around, but not suitable for playing soccer.
No one was more excited to finally meet in person than were Anna and Micheline, one of Stathrower's senior staff on the Text Book Refurbishing Program. The girls have been emailing for almost two years (thanks to donors who arranged for internet access and computers at Lakay Fondasyon!), ever since Anna sent Micheline a Christmas gift box as part of Mme Cindy's holiday initiative that year.
This visit gave them a chance to meet one another and for the American visitors to see first hand Life in Haiti. Anna and Cindy will be back in the U.S.A. this week, and I look forward to talking to them about their trip.
For those of you interested in travel routes to Cap-Haitien, Haiti, Mme Cindy flew to Santiago, Dominican Republic, then traveled by road via Caribe Tours bus from Santiago DR to Cap-Haitien (Caribe Bus to Haiti Info) This is the same bus service that our two students Elorge and Marlene take to get to medical school in Santiago.
Mme Cindy's trip coincided with high school graduation in Haiti, and she was on hand to congratulate our new grad Gaby! (see update and photo here)
On another but related topic . . .
TS Ana map National Hurricane Center
Travel to Haiti at this time of year (late August, September) is often difficult as this is the time when tropical storms and hurricanes usually appear (see post last September - Hurricane Ike). For current information on tropical storms in the Caribbean see National Hurricane Center updates. Today, Ana and Bill, the first storms of the season, are south east of Hispaniola, Haiti's island.