Thursday, June 27, 2013

Healing and Home for Quake Survivors

This blogpost and photo come to you from Coleen Higa, MBB Office Manager, who visited our Haiti projects recently:

It was such a delight to visit our scholars in Haiti last month! 

The slender young scholar who shows us into her home is vivacious, with lively, intelligent eyes and a quick smile.   Christelle is eager to introduce us to two of the cousins with whom she lives, and to her aunt, the matriarch of this apricot-walled home.

Many people returned to Gros Morne after the 2010 quake which devastated Port-au-Prince.  Like our young scholar and her cousins, tens of thousands lost loved ones in that disaster:  parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers. Those who managed to survive remain haunted by memories of being buried in rubble or hearing the cries of those not quite so fortunate. 

Christelle’s aunt  exudes warmth and solidity and strength.  Like so many others throughout Haiti, without hesitation she gathered up the young after the disaster, gave them refuge, made them safe.  With the support of people like you in the Mercy Beyond Borders network, girls like Christelle will learn to FLY!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

"Vending your vay" through life...

A few sweet potatoes. A handful of onions. Seventeen little tomatoes. Spread them out on a mat in the shade. Sit beside them all day. Sell them or barter them to feed your family. 

This scene plays itself out around the globe, every day, in places where the poor have never seen or even imagined a “supermarket.”  To vend is, quite simply, to live.  If you ask an MBB scholar (lucky enough to still have a mother) in South Sudan or in Haiti, “What is your mother’s occupation?” she will likely respond, “My mother  sells in the market.”

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Where in the World is Gros Morne?

Guest Blog by MBB supporter Julia Shepardson:

Accompanying Sr Marilyn on a short trip to Gros Morne, Haiti, we visited the new dormitory for girls from remote areas, family homes of scholarship recipients, a school, as well as a hospital, markets, and a housing facility for the old and unfortunate. It is energizing to see how donations touch the lives of young women who, with an education, can have promising futures that will help Haiti help itself.

Gros Morne is a small town in the northern part of Haiti.  It is rural, extremely poor, with scenic beauty, and great human potential. From the International Airport on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, the ride was supposed to take 3 hours.  On the outbound trip, we ran into a roadblock (locals protesting the lack of electricity) and the trip took 5 hours.  Our return trip had a different complication.  The villagers said “the bridge has fallen more than usual” due to heavy rains the previous night.  Inspecting our chances of getting through, we found huge holes in the bridge.  On both sides of the bridge, there were long lines of vehicles unwilling to chance a crossing. Unimaginable that anyone could make it through safely... Yet our driver expertly navigated between the abysses, one tire on the rim of the bridge and the other precariously hanging over a gaping hole.  Soon we were zipping back to Port-au-Prince, with these photos to back up our story!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Our Linguist in Haiti

Mercy Beyond Borders has had the great fortune to be assisted in Haiti by American volunteer Jennifer Prillaman, who spent the past year in Gros Morne as a volunteer in the Quest Program, which in turn allowed her to work part-time mentoring the MBB Coordinator. Jennifer has a natural gift for languages; fluent in French prior to coming to Haiti, within 2 months she was also proficient in Haitian Kreyol. She is pictured here with Danicka, one of MBB's Scholars.  

Only the well-educated speak French in Haiti. For MBB's daily work, therefore, our Coordinator functions in Kreyol and writes her reports to MBB in French.  When Sr Marilyn and others visit Gros Morne, Jennifer interprets Kreyol and French to English--seemingly without effort!  She radiates warmth, respect and obvious love for the Haitian people.

Thank you, Jen, for the many ways you freely helped MBB get established in Haiti.  We wish you all the best as you head to DC this Fall for graduate studies.