When we agreed to come to Haiti for FHM, we knew we were to be here only temporarily. We were on location to help out until a decision could be made on the next guesthouse manager.
As I write this, the decision making process is still in progress. We are orienting another interim manager over the weekend. He will work at least for November and December.
The good news is that our 40 pages or so of guesthouse manager notes should make life easier for anyone new to running a guesthouse in Haiti.
A bit of reflection on our time here –
- We’ve learned a lot about ourselves and how we personally and as a couple have been able to respond in a situation like this. Yes, we’re still married.
- It’s been rewarding as well as frustrating to figure out the “systems.” We have enjoyed the challenge. It’s been immensely interesting to get to know Leogane, the good, the improving, and the imponderables. We would have to live here a long time to understand more, to even know the questions to ask.
- We’ve enjoyed getting to know staff members, Yvette and Richard particularly. We’ve met and interacted with many others, although getting to know them less well. It has been a special privilege to develop relationships with local people.
- We have also met quite a number of interesting Americans, some just here for a week, others here for longer term. It’s a treasure trove of people dedicated to helping Haiti.
- We had a very long list of projects for Kathy, some expecting analysis which first required our understanding of how things worked. Other projects were repairs that Jeff did or we asked others to do.Many projects we added ourselves because we saw they needed to be done. And some we added to “entertain” ourselves, to pass the time well.We’ve actually done everything on our list, close to 60 small and larger projects, so that feels good. I think the guesthouse is in better shape physically than when we arrived.
- We haven’t read all the books we brought, which is a good thing, because it means we didn’t have a lot of spare time to fill.
- We have seen many beautiful sites, some of them right here at the guesthouse. Haiti is truly a beautiful place.
We still believe in the work of FHM, to collaborate with local partners to bring better health care to Haiti, particularly cervical cancer prevention and safer motherhood.
It would have been especially interesting to have been here for the start of construction on the Women’s Clinic in the Fondwa mountains and the Surgical Center here on the coastal plain. But we knew that these were probably not going to happen while we were here.
But, we have great hopes for all that is planned. We have been pleased at all the new development made since the earthquake. And we hope that Haiti keeps being Haiti.
So, laughing with the pleasure of going home, and with wet eyes at having to leave all we’ve gotten to know here, we say good bye.