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Haiti – Day 1

Watching the ripples of the ocean fly by underneath as we land in Port Au Prince. Local Time 7am.

We step outside the airport, 10 sleepy eyed faces. We get to the hotel, eat and crash heavily. Hours later we are greeted by the same supplies we brought in. Now it’s time to put in work. We start organizing everything we’ve brought, making neat little piles of toothbrushes, toothpaste, women’s hygiene products, medicine, slippers, backpacks with school supplies, underwear, socks, and first aid supplies. Everything is earmarked for a different displacement camp or orphanage that we’ll be visiting in the coming days. That part was easy. Next came the tough job. As we visit each displacement camp we are expected to give a presentation on cholera, HIV, Hygiene, and the prevalence of rape in the campsites. The organizers have decided that at the campsites they’ll split the women from the men for these presentations. I gather with the other few male volunteers and we think through how to broach topics like safe sex and rape with the goal of actually affecting positive change in the lives of the community. We come up with a plan that includes some statistics, some jokes, some props, and some heart-felt stories. The female volunteers also gather, and come up with a plan of their own. Tomorrow, we meet the people we’ve come to serve.

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