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Royal Palm, Vwa Pep La: In the Provinces

December 24, 2010

Just a quick update to all of our supporters out there.  Many thanks to the friends and family and support that I’ve received encouraging the community work that I’ve been fortunate to share in en Haiti.  Richard Morse and I have are lucky to be Gemini’s because sometimes I don’t know how we continue to manage with all of the strides we have made.  As organic as the film Strange Things was during the years worth of work, a similar vibe has made its presence with Royal Palm, Vwa Pep La (voice of the people).  Richard Morse came up with the name, which I fully supported, due to the fact that palm trees continue to stand; despite storms, earthquakes and other environmental disasters.  The palm tree stands strong, just as the voice of the people do.

I call Richard new business development and myself the program person.  Richard has been amazing at keeping Haiti relevant for many years and I am blessed to be able to work alongside such a powerhouse.  A few weeks ago (or maybe a month ago) Richard introduced me to Ben, a farmer from the US who spoke Kreyol and had done some work in a farming community in the South.  Ben is now working in the DR, on similar terrain as Bas Gormand, and was very happy to visit the community with us.  We have been searching for a specialist, someone who would be able to consult, train the farmers, and help them to get towards their goals.

After being delayed due to manifestations, car breakdowns and all the other fun stuff that happen out here Ben and I finally paid a visit to the village to conduct an assessment with Mont Perus.  Mont Perus has been our coordinator and has been our volunteer point person in Bas Gormand outside of the committee and the community.

Here are a few photos from our three hour walk and committee meeting with captions.  I am grateful to share in this journey with you and look forward to your support towards community development. Ayibobo!

Ben having a look at the soil and taking samples and photos while Mont Perus looks on...

Ben and Mont Perus first got to meet at the Oloffson. They hit it off and continue to be two peas in a pod...farmers!

I on the other hand was fascinated by the water pump, which no longer works. One of our goals is to get clean water to the village but we have chosen to begin with increasing farmer production.

Plan International is doing a canal digging project here. I've been trying to find out who is in charge of this project at Plan International to no avail. The farmers have issues of irrigation and their water source gets flooded by another river from Chotte in the South. Our next visit is this Sunday and we are going to visit the source of the issue. It would be important to liaise with Plan as we address the root of the problem while they build canals throughout the community

It planting season...all cultivated by hand. Its the season for beans which the farmers are preparing for.

The committee is committed to the work and recognize themselves as stakeholders. We had a wonderful meeting and since our first few meetings the tone has shifted. The committee is no longer asking questions. We now plan all next steps together, Richard and I provide briefings and from there we plan, exchange, and grow. Its a long journey but we're still here.

Mont Perus and Ben moving forward and sharing.

I look forward to sharing the next updates from our visit to the water source this Sunday.  Much love and light to mother earth and all of her children during these last few weeks of 2010.  It has indeed been a journey and its certainly not over yet.

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