Celebrations and goodbyes

It has taken a lot of energy to write this post. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I’ve been really lazy. To be fair, the past week has been pretty draining. Every other day was a party, followed by a day of being too tired to do anything, so forming complete thoughts was definitely out of the question.

The week started with the lovely Jennifer’s 30th birthday party on Monday. Have you noticed the trend yet? We like to throw parties on Mondays apparently. That’s actually one of the things that I love about this country – in the States, celebrating is generally reserved for weekends even if your birthday happens to fall on a Sunday-Thursday, but here it doesn’t matter what day it is. People are always down to have a good time, for any reason. Wednesday was quite a day, with it being my 25th birthday and Jerome’s last night in Haiti. Instead of my normal annoying cell phone alarm waking me up around 7:00, I woke up from a deep sleep to a group of people singing (yelling) the Happy Birthday song to me from outside my tent. It was the most confusing but equally awesome wake up I’ve ever received.

Later that morning David and I made the long trek up to Petionville for a meeting with ProDev, a Haiti-based organization whose goal is to revolutionize education in Haiti (see photos of their Zoranje school in my Flickr). They’ve offered each of us volunteer positions, and I will essentially be their development coordinator – helping with grant proposals, website updates, newsletters, etc. More to come on that! After our meeting, we went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch.

Yup, real Chinese food. In Haiti. And let me tell you, it was good.

Once we had eaten every last bit of food on our plates, it was time to find the next thing that I promised I would do on my birthday: finally get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. The Giant supermarket in Petionville is probably one of a handful of places where you can find it here, and thanks to David, I now had my hands on an $8 pint of Strawberry Cheesecake ice cream. I actually put it in the freezer when we returned to base thinking that I’d wait until I had digested more of the Chinese food in my belly, but I lasted maybe five minutes before I just couldn’t take it anymore. Grabbed it out of the freezer and another five minutes later, I had finished the whole thing. What’s really sick is the fact that I felt completely fine after. And was still able to eat dinner a half hour later. The rest of the night involved drinks, music, great friends and some of the best chocolate cake I’ve had in a long time.

Thursday and Friday were goodbye days, which are always sad. It’s especially sad when you’ve spent a month living and working with someone, and then all of a sudden they’re gone. But, the good thing is that there are always new volunteers coming in and new friends to be made. Friday was also my first official day with ProDev. David and I went to Zoranje, and I spent much of the day working from there. My first task: interview two students and two teachers to create stories to send to one of ProDev’s donors. Now I’m working on a proposal for a photography project that we are hoping to launch at the school, and I’m really excited about it.

Never thought I'd see anything like this in Haiti - a modern computer lab at the Zoranje school

The week of celebrations ended with Tara’s housewarming party. She invited all of the GRU folks and a bunch of other people over to her gorgeous new home for food and drinks (and a swimming pool and air conditioning and flush toilets!), and a group of break dancers from Cite Soleil provided entertainment.

After last week, I’m guessing this one will be much tamer… but then again, you really can’t predict what’s going to happen here.

One Response to “Celebrations and goodbyes”
  1. Bon Bagay, congrats on the new position!

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