Things are beginning to grow in the community garden in Grande Saline. Despite a setback with the beans that we planted, the corn seems to be growing well. Our garden co-managers, Schneider and Tida, are working with the farmers to resolve the bean problem (it looks like they will need to be replanted), but they sent along a great update showing the tiny corn plants. It is so exciting to see the plants growing in the garden! If you look at pictures that show what this land looked like a couple of months ago, it is hard to believe it is the same place! Upon Schneider’s suggestion, the farmers have also planted some moringa seeds around the garden. If you are not familiar with the “mighty” moringa, check it out: “Meet the Mighty, Mighty, Moringa Tree“. The moringa trees will serve two purposes, in addition to being a “superfood”, they will provide some necessary protection from the sun.
Dr. Robinson also provided an update on the water system. Here are his words: “Now we run the system at least three times a day. People come from everywhere, on horses, bicycles, motorcycles and trucks, to take the water. It is the only safe and good water in Grande Saline.” He also spoke about the positive impact the good water is having on the health of the people. Thank you to the Pall corporation for the donation of the system, for the site visits by their talented engineers, and for continued support of this life-changing system. We expect to have a Pall engineer with us in Haiti in January to work with our 2016 students to provide additional system maintenance and operator training. We also plan to continue to collect health data by assisting Dr. Robinson with medical clinics in January. We hope to see an overall improvement in the health of the community.
Tida also provided some pictures from a recent computer class. It is so great to see the classes being held in the new classrooms. Tida tells us that the students are eager for new lessons. We are grateful to SUNY Broome students in Business Professor Sandra Wright’s Project Management class who have been working to develop new computer literacy lessons for the students in Haiti. There are so many difficulties to overcome in developing and translating the lessons, and finding a way to get them to the students. Thanks to Professor Wright and her students for taking on the challenge! In more education news, our 2016 Health for Haiti students will provide face to face education programs for the students on nutrition and hygiene. They also hope to provide some opportunities for digital and hands on art projects.
We have twenty students in our 2016 Health for Haiti class who are helping us to prepare for our January trip to Haiti. We are looking forward to working with our friends in Cite Soleil and Grande Saline! Please consider supporting one of our fundraisers or buying a raffle ticket. Every contribution, no matter how small, will help us to provide meaningful service in Haiti. Even if you do not want to come and show off your bowling skills at our December 5 fundraiser, consider stopping by Midway Lanes to meet the students, check out our basket raffles, or bid on something in our Haitian Art auction. Former students, we miss you and would love to see you as well! Thanks for your support of the Health for Haiti class projects. This is truly a team effort!