Summer Intern Field Notes

Hi everyone, I have been interning with Haiti Child Sponsorship this summer as part of my pursuit of a Public Relations degree at Berry College. I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to Haiti as part of my internship a few weeks ago.

The purpose for my trip was to take pictures and document the students at All Equal College, a school in a tent city that we are beginning to help sponsor. When I got to Haiti and met up with the rest of the group it became clear that this trip was going to hold many more opportunities than what I was planning on. The group consisted of our videographer, Jack Couch and 4 others from Grace Covenant church in Orlando. I have been to Haiti twice before but never have I had an experience quite like this one. This trip was different in so many ways, from the places we stayed to the way we traveled around; it was all very unfamiliar but very exciting as well. The evening we got there we were picked up by our friend Wooby in a TapTap — if you have ever been to Haiti you are probably laughing at the idea of 6 Americans riding around Port-au-Prince in a Tap Tap all week. A TapTap is a small pick up truck with no tailgate, a camper top or another sort of shelter on the bed and benches in the back. Needless to say these vehicles don’t offer much back support or protection from the elements and heat. It was quite an experience getting from point A to point B each day.

The first full day we went to the Good Shepherd School and although classes had just ended for the school year, we had a productive day taking measurements for a potential new water system that we want to install. I also took pictures of the new classroom buildings and interviewed Chedrick about the students. I climbed to the top of the roof of the kitchen and see Cite Soleil from a new angle which was really quite amazing and one of the most memorable views of the trip. I also got to shoot hoops on our basketball court with two kids who were there. When we left the school we went to a very remote village on the largest lake in Haiti to hand out rice and beans and other basic supplies. It was amazing and heartbreaking to see the juxtaposition of the beautiful landscape and the extreme poverty.

The next day we went to All Equal College, an elementary school in one of the few tent cities still in existence in Port-Au-Prince. I learned that there are about 8 tent cities left and unlike most tent cities, these communities of people will not be relocated to a more permanent and stable settlement because they are simply not on government land or in the view of tourists. For this community and others like it, the only hope of getting out of this situation is through self-improvement, especially education. It was one of the most hectic, chaotic and productive days I have ever had in Haiti — I thought for sure we would need at least two days to get all the pictures and information that we needed from all 60 kids at the school, but somehow it only took us a crazy, crowded, wonderful two hours. God is good. I am excited to be able to inform you that these kids will be up on our website and ready to be sponsored soon!

The next few days were spent visiting hospitals, orphanages, and other places where we met some incredible people who are making a difference for Haiti. I was so blessed to have gotten to go on this trip. I would say I had two major takeaways from this trip. The first is that God truly does give everyone their own set of abilities and gifts and when we use those gifts he blesses them and grows his kingdom in ways that we never could have seen coming. The second is the beauty of juxtaposition and I might even say paradox — there is hope in the midst of loss in Haiti; there is joy in the midst of fear and sorrow; there is poverty surrounded by the most beautiful countryside you’ll ever see. It is amazing to interact with the people of Haiti. This trip was unlike any trip I’ve ever taken to Haiti and I am changed because of it.

God Bless and Thank You for the support of this work to educate kids in Haiti,
Mac Howard