It was literally a ground breaking week here in Terrier Rouge as the first posts for the chicken coops went into the ground. I will get back to the construction of the chicken coops later on in the post but first, how we made it to this point.
In my opinion this past week was the most important one of this phase of the project. We made the final selection of the 10 families, 5 in Grand Bassin and 5 in Terrier Rouge that will be receiving chicken coops. After spending Monday and Tuesday visiting all the different families that were nominated to receive the coops, we had to make a final decision, on Wednesday. I believe that selecting the families is the most challenging and crucial part of this project. The fate of the project lies in the hard working and dedication of the families first and foremost. Isabelle and myself (Joe) will be following up with the families on a weekly basis over the months to come making sure that all is well. We will be answering questions and helping the families with everything from basic poultry care to creating budgets and developing marketing techniques. We are a support network for the families and the families will be responsible taking caring and tending to the birds on a day to day basis.
On Thursday we met with all the beneficiaries to talk more in depth about the project as well as get them to sign a contract. The contract committed them to the project as well as to abiding by a set of principles and values that are essential to the success of the project. On Friday we started construction of the coops. It was nice to get the first posts in the ground and get the construction phase started. After spending so much time planning and preparing, it was great to see the project take another big step forward.
Just as we were packing up for the day, a swarm of kids appeared, looking over the hedge at what we were building. Lloyd and I were trying to figure out what was going through their heads. Our guess was that the kids were thinking of a million different uses for these chicken coop bases. Some that came to our mind were, soccer net and jungle gym. Luckily they are well secured in the ground so even if the kids are hanging off of them over the weekend they will not go to far.
It has been 3 weeks now since I arrived in Haiti and am finally adjusted to life here. The only thing that will take some more adjusting to is to the heat. If you mention anything to the Haitians about the heat they smile and say that 30 degrees is cold. Someone snickered at me this week and said that heat runs in their veins. Meanwhile I am constantly drinking the water and sweating it out almost as fast.
So far my experience has been incredible. I have met so many kind hearted people that have welcomed me into the community with open arms. Working with the families has been a great experience so far and am looking forward to working with them over the 5 months to come. I am slowly but surely learning to communicate in creole.