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Immersion Trip Reflections- Day 2

Tue, Apr 17th, 2012

Today, we journeyed up into the mountains of Haiti to visit L’Arc-en-Ciel, a home for children and adolescents infected/affected by HIV/AIDS. Besides housing children, L’Arc-en-Ciel has also worked to educate the public regarding HIV/AIDS.  We listened to how these programs are evolving as the needs of the communities are changing. We toured the facilities, which were airy, and spacious, and thoughtfully designed for children, with views of the mountains in all directions. Danielle Pinette, the founder, had a very intricate and comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of how HIV/AIDS affects Haitian families and told a moving story about how a young girl had opened up once exposed to the world of farming.

We then moved on to the Wynne Farm Reserve and Ecological Center. At Wynne Farm, we were treated to fresh fennel mint tea as we listened to the story of the farm. Jane’s father started the farm in the 1950’s, with a dream to bring bamboo to Haiti, a resource which he envisioned as very valuable to keep soil in place on the sheer slopes of the mountains for farming purposes. The farm now is also a place of environmental education for youth, and is home to an amazing botanical garden. We wandered among beds of strawberries, sweet passionfruit, and cultivations of trees which are available for sale or donation. Jane’s enthusiasm, love, and passion for what she does was infectious. We all felt how spiritually connected she is to Haiti and its people, and how the farm is an extension of that love.

Seeing the dreams of all of these amazing women – Madame Samson yesterday, and Danielle and Jane today -  impacting the lives of so many in such a positive way was truly inspirational. These women tackle tasks in varied ways of improving the lives of a population direly in need, but all are driven by their dreams. As one of our group members reflected, Haiti is truly a vacation for the soul. 

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