January 2nd of 2016 was Dlo Geri’s first official day in Cap Haitian, Haiti. We arrived approximately at 2:30PM and were welcomed almost immediately by Dr. Eugene Maklin, the doctor who is at the forefront of the Plaine du Norde hospital project for which Dlo Geri is designing the water and wastewater treatment system. Almost immediately the team realized we were not only immersing ourselves into this project, but also into an entirely new culture. The majority of the Haitian people were very friendly and welcoming, but we did find ourselves refraining from referring to ourselves as” Americans”, as this seemed to suggest we would pay for any and all types of services, even those we explicitly said we did not need but were forced upon us. An example being people helping us with our luggage, when we said we did not need the help, but did so anyway and expected compensation afterwards. Despite the chaos, we soon found ourselves in an “oasis” of sorts at the Brothers’ Asile. The Asile, far removed from the busy and noisy streets of Cap Haitian, hosts the Brothers of Missionaries of the poor who care for disabled children, orphaned children, and elders that have been left or abandoned. We took most of the afternoon to settle into the guest house, a spacious building complete with a kitchen, living space, and enough beds and bathrooms to accommodate 20 people comfortably.
We then enjoyed a lovely meal prepared by
the Brothers. It gave us an opportunity to talk to the Brother’s, better
introduce ourselves, and understand the kind of work they do here at the Asile.
What the Brother’s have going on here is absolutely amazing! The love and
compassion they have towards others is outstanding, and infectious. Just
speaking with them and hearing their dedication towards their mission was so
inspiring. It’s a real treat to be able to stay here during our work here in
Haiti. Our evening concluded with a team meeting where we discussed the day and
went over our itinerary for the following day. We all enjoyed a nice, cold
(which was actually extremely refreshing) shower and headed to bed to rest up
for the next day.
|The guest house (left).|
|The inside of the guest house.|