11 May 2014

Weekends in Haiti Pt. 1

Standing in the middle of the school ground at La Saline

I'm almost certain that I won't be able to cover absolutely everything I've been up to since Thursday afternoon (when I met the girls of Frères) and right now: Sunday evening, a little after 9pm. But I shall try. Alors, on y va... Friday.

On Friday morning I visited La Saline (above). It's a clinic/church/school on a single campus right outside of Cité Solail, which is one of the poorer and more dangerous areas of Haiti. It's the beginning of the school year here, and so I went to donate exercise books and other useful stationery to the children and teachers to use during the term ahead. Although both are Methodist schools (evident by the matching yellow and grey uniform) La Saline is markedly more impoverished than its sister school at Frères. The site was a little smaller and the classrooms had fewer resources. Still, all of the kids and staff were incredibly welcoming as I introduced myself to two classes of children aged between seven and nine, and were pleased to receive some useful tools (cadeaux) for the term ahead.
Giving exercise books and stationery to the class teacher
Schoolchildren at La Saline school

After the morning's visit to the school campus, we headed back towards Port-au-Prince and over to Hotel Oloffson for lunch. Hotel Oloffson is a beautiful residence which was once the mansion of Tirésias Simon-Sam, president of Haiti from 1896-1902. You could tell - the grounds were absolutely stunning. We made a beeline for the dining area and so I wasn't able to take as many photo as I would have liked, but it was a nice opportunity to wind down after a morning surrounded by excited schoolchildren!


On our way to lunch, I was able to catch a glimpse of a few notable areas of Port-au-Prince: the iron market, various monuments and more of the island's renowned mountains.

The old iron market

A now desolate cathedral that was badly hit by the earthquake

The house pool had been calling my name since my arrival, and so with a bit of time off after lunch and before my evening plans, I finally gave it a whirl.


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