Prior to flying down to Brit’s Home in Haiti, I spent sometime at the Be Like Brit South Florida office in Delray Beach. It was an absolute pleasure catching up with Peterson and seeing everything he is doing to spread the good news. I was thoroughly impressed with his communication skills with the visitors and the people at Delray’s green market. Every Saturday Delray puts on an artist and local business venue in the old school house square. Peterson either walks, bikes or catches a ride from a local BLB supporter. His dedication to the organization is inspiring and motivating. He reminds me of Brit in the sense of his spirit, his kindness to others, his contagious laugh and is always willing to lend a helping hand. From a organizational culture point of view, we strive to Be Like Brit, but some times, we should all try to Be Like Peterson! I can’t believe he’s only been in America for less than two months, you would think he’s a born and raised local.
It’s Haiti, an expression coined by Papi Len. A simple expression yet perfectly defiant of when things don’t go as planned. Plan B and Plan C only work in America, Plan H usually does the trick in Haiti. Francky with his bright smile greets me at the airport, Big and Aleksey walk me out to the Jeep and we have a “It’s Haiti” moment. Jeep broke down in the parking lot and we wait an hour for Boss Awol. He shows up, does a quick tune up, and were off! To sit in traffic. Personally, it’s almost impossible for me to explain the way of driving in Haiti, I’ll try. Their isn’t any highway patrol officers nor is their speed limits. The paradox of no speed limits but poor infrastructure. Police officers will have blockade across the entire highway to randomly check license and registration, but doesn’t let the cars behind them pass. There are very few traffic lights, and usually aren’t followed. You’ll go from a beautiful 1800’s cobble stone road to a dirt trash filled road to a paved highway in all of 5 minutes. People will pass you on the left and on the right, they’ll go down the opposite lane, they’ll cut you off with inches to spear, and people use their horn so much Haitians have become desensitized to it. In Massachusetts, if you beep your horn at someone you better be ready, road rage is common these days. In Haiti, beeping the horn is so normal it’s almost like saying “Hello, I’m next to you” instead of “Learn how to drive (explicit language)”. To better describe it's Haiti, in the photo above their is a Goat on top of a bus.
We arrive at Brit’s Home and all is good. The children are playing, dinner is ready, the sun is shining and birds are chirping. I find a great amount of peace being here at Brit’s Home. I was born in Worcester, MA and raised in Rutland. Central mass is a whole different ball game then Haiti. Yet I feel as if Grand Goave has always been apart of my life. If you were tell me at 16 when I was driving around Rutland and Worcester listening to Bob Seager and Notorious BIG, that I’d find out what Peace feels like in Haiti, I would have had some harsh words to say. I thought I knew what love was, I thought I knew what peace was, I thought I knew what it meant to be compassionate, then I came to Haiti and to Brit’s Home. To say the children have unconditional love for each other and are unfathomably compassionate is an understatement. I learn more from the children here each and everyday then I would reading a self help book.
On Wednesday evening we had a sponsor event in Worcester. We had a live stream with the children singing. The sponsors were able to see their sponsored children. The children sang, introduced themselves and then their was a Q&A. It was a lovely event and it wouldn’t of been possible if it wasn’t for Madam Gina, Boss Dave and the Worcester Team. Above is the pre-recorded video just incase if we lost internet in Haiti.
I had an absolute fabulous week at Brit’s Home. The progress made here over the past year is truly unbelievable. It was great spending time with the children, working with the staff and playing with the drone. I was able to get some great footage. The aerial shot above was taken about 300ft above the orphanage. The Field of Hope is to the left, below the field is a 100,000 gallon water cistern, the back strip and the far right is a micro-farm and the “B” shaped building is Brit’s Home for Children with 100 solar panels on the roof. In between the orphanage and the field is the Depot, currently under construction.
Through out the week I wrote bits and pieces of this blog post. So when I wrote the “It’s Haiti” paragraph, I didn’t not expect what was going to happen on Friday. To make a very long story short, the truck broke down twice, I crossed a major highway by foot in the middle of Port au Prince rush hour traffic, took three cars to get to the airport and 5 hours in travel time. As I was standing on the side of Route Two with Mami Love waiting for Boss Awol to fix the vehicle, I couldn’t help but laugh. The trip on Friday to the airport brought “It’s Haiti” to a new level. In closing I like to sincerely thank the staff at Brit’s Home for a wonderful week.
Thank you for reading!
All my love,
p.s. While in Miami over the weekend their was a double rainbow! Maybe it was Britney and cousin Tom saying hello?