I am sure that most of you reading this have heard of the demonstrations in Haiti against the government and how dangerous it is to travel to Haiti. There have been almost daily demonstrations against the shortage of fuel, inflation, lack of communication from the government, and the lack of medical and social services available for the population! I will not post photos because the news media has shown every bad photo that they can find!
First I want to say: We are safe. The children and staff are safe. We have no trouble in our area.
Most of the demonstrations are in the city although we have had our road blocked coming up the mountain a few times. Usually, the demonstrations do not start until late morning so we try to get our business done early in the morning. We do not leave Fort Jacques if the situation is dangerous at all.
Most times if a foreigner is hurt, it will be because they are in an area that is known for problems. Our drivers are good about telling us not to leave GLA or if we should not take the vehicles outside of our rural area. As foreigners, we listen to our Haitian staff because they are aware of the news and the changing status of the situation.
The gas stations had no fuel for about 2 weeks. We now have fuel at most of the stations. Inflation is a high of 90 gourdes to $1 USD. It has never been this high before. Due to it being so high, prices have gone way up for food and supplies. The President of Haiti is not talking to the people which means that the message that the opposition is shouting out is all the people hear and believes! Due to the demonstrations, many hospitals are functioning at minimal services. Staff cannot get to work and supplies cannot be delivered!
Very few flights in and out of Haiti have been cancelled. Tuesday, flights were cancelled due to a fire at a restaurant inside the airport. The restaurant was next to the Barbancourt Rum store and they were just lucky that the fire did not get to all of the alcohol that was stored there! The next day, flights were back to normal. Our biggest problem is getting to the airport and back due to roads being blocked. We try to go as early as possible to the airport to take people or pick people up.
In our 28 years in Haiti, we have seen similar things happen here. There have been demonstrations before. There have been road blocks before. Some governments have been more effective than this one. Haiti needs your prayers. Please pray for the safety of our staff as they come and go from GLA. Pray for safety of people in the areas where they are having protests. Pray for people coming into and going out of Haiti at the airport. Pray for the problems to stop.
There is a movement going on Facebook of finding three good things about Haiti and listing them every day. It is encouraging people to think about the good things in Haiti and not focus on those things that are tearing the country apart.
For Today, My three things that I love about Haiti are:
- The joy our Haitian staff has even when life is difficult and also their dedication to their jobs. (yes, I know it's two things but I couldn't pick just one!)
- The beauty of this country especially up here in the mountains and down by the sea.
- Mangos, Mangos, Mangos! There is nothing better than a ripe Haitian Mango for dessert!
And Life in Haiti Goes On...