What to Expect
Maybe we should start with what not to expect. Don't expect:
- To feel comfortable
- To understand their culture
- To have all the answers
- To always feel like you are needed
- To see royalty
Our Vision trips to Haiti provide you with opportunities to stretch yourself. There may be times when you will wonder what someone is doing and even after it is explained you might think you know a better way. Ours is not to question but to learn and share. It is easy to come with a sense of superiority. After all, we may be better educated and have more resources but that does not mean that we are right and they are wrong. It's okay to ask questions and to discover the rich culture of Haiti. That is part of the reason for our trips.
One of the most common questions is about safety. There may even be times when you don't feel safe. Just trust your trip leaders and Haitian chaperones. They understand situations and people. At no time will you ever be put in an unsafe situation. You will see many homes with large walls and maybe even some U.N. vehicles but these are just to make sure that everyone is safe. Over all the people are very friendly.
Haiti is a land of beauty both in its land and people. You may drive in mountains and beside the Atlantic Ocean. At the same time it suffers from poverty and poor infrastructure. You may experience long times without electricity and there will only be one temparature for your showers. It is a third-world country. With a population of around 9 million Haiti has an unemployment rate of around 65%. At the same time there are an estimated 250.000 orphans. These numbers give you an idea the state of the country. This also means that the roads are not always paved and the potholes may be large enough to be considered valleys. The one rule of the road is that if there is an opening you go wherever that opening may be. I guess you could say that getting around is part of the adventure.
The temperature often gets into the 90's in the summer time with heat indexes well into the 100's. At night it might not even cool down much. Coming in the winter time is more comfortable. You will not find air-conditioning here and will come to love the fans.
For most of the trip you will stay in a guesthouse in Gonaives that offers running water and electricity. You will be given a clean, comfortable bed with a pillow and a towel. Even if we are not staying in the guesthouse you will receive the same ammenities. Water will be supplied here for you to drink. Never drink water unless it is bottled and you are told it is safe.
This is a brief overview of what to expect. If you would like to know more feel free to contact us by clicking here.