Welcome to our blog!

First let me say welcome to our new blog! Many of you followed along with Jeff and Janet Portzers’ blog last year during the couple months they were interim guesthouse managers.
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The Grand Tour

What kind of host would I be if I didn’t give you a tour of where I live and work? Managing the guesthouse is one of my primary roles with FHM.
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Name that fruit….

Fill in the blank. The fruit pictured below is called __________________.
corossol

If you said “corossol”, you’re right! This fruit can grow quite large, typically weighing a few pounds, and is characterized by its green color and prickly skin. Inside you’ll find a delectable white pulp with big black seeds similar to watermelon seeds.

You can eat the pulp itself, though after a few bites, it becomes almost like indissolvable chewing gum and most people spit it out. In Haiti, it’s more commonly made into juice… a juice I refer to as “sweet nectar from Heaven”. One corrosol can produce a significant amount of thick juice that is then combined with sugar, evaporated milk, and sometimes vanilla or almond extract.

To make the juice, Haitians generally use a sturdy cup to mash the pulp juice through a sieve. If available, a blender may be used to chop and smooth the thicker pieces.

Woman fixing corossol
My friend Andremene making my favorite juice! It takes about 4 hours to hike to her house. Enjoying this juice in such a remote location is an exceptional treat!
Evette with corossol
I’ve already let our cook Yvette know how much I love corossol juice. She’s been making it at least once a week! I’m getting spoiled!
 
A fruit of many names. Corossol is also referred to as soursop. In Haitian Creole it’skowosol or corosòl. And in many Spanish-speaking countries it’s called guanabana. Other names include custard apple, graviola, and Brazilian paw paw. But what’s in a name? That which we call a corossol by any other name would taste as sweet!

A refreshing treat to beat the heat. Many people in Haiti freeze corossol juice to make ice cream. Haiti’s famous Pat n To’s ice cream offers corossol as one of their flavors as does Bongu’s canned shakes.

A wealth of health benefits. Corossol has been reported to offer a number of benefits including high amounts of B and C vitamins, relieving liver ailments and skin irritations, protecting against UTIs, and some even suggest it can prevent cancer. (Other uses include treating bedbugs and head lice with its leaves and using the pulp as fish bait.)

A hot commodity. It’s not always easy to find corossol in the market. You’ll need to rise early and have your 100 goudes* ready. One reason is that many Haitians know the benefits of this delicious and nutritious fruit. The second reason is that if you find a corossol tree, you typically only see a small amount of fruit hanging. The sources I found note shy-bearing of only 12-24 fruits produced per tree. *A decent sized corossol will typically sell for 50-100 goudes, $1.25-2.50.

corossol

So the next time you’re in Haiti, keep your eye out for this impressive fruit. And don’t forget to swing by the guesthouse so we can whip you up a fresh glass!

“Where are all the cats in Port-au-Prince?”

From Hannah: As a guesthouse manager I field a lot of questions about Haiti. From time to time, I’ll include some of these questions and answers on this blog. This post by Heather gets that ball rolling for us! (more…)

God willin’ and the creek don’t rise

Growing up in East Tennessee, this is a phrase I’ve heard often. “Tomorrow we will do such and such, God willin’ and the creek don’t rise.” Meaning, we will do it—so long as no unforeseeable circumstances arise and change our plans. (more…)

FHM News

Representatives of the UNC School of Nursing, Rhonda Lanning and Leslie Hackenbracht traveled to Haiti last week with Family Health Ministries. They were in country for the opening of the new Carmelle Voltaire Women’s Health Center. The Center saw more than 50 patients during their first 3 days of operation. It was wonderfulRead More

The Global Health PLUS (Placement of Life Changing Usable Surplus) Program, in association with Duke Global Health Institute, allowed Family Health Ministries to glean hospital equipment from inventory to use for the Carmelle Voltaire Women’s Health Center in Haiti. The mission of Duke Global Health PLUS is to make this surplus medical equipmentRead More

Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity. We have a day for giving thanks. We have a day for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, communityRead More

PIZZA WITH A PURPOSE! Join us Sunday, August 16th anytime during the day to dine out for Haiti at California Pizza Kitchen at The Streets at Southpoint, 6910 Fayetteville Road #154, Durham, NC 27713. 20% of your check will be donated to Family Health Ministries including dine in, take out,Read More