Impressions From My Trip to Haiti by Jessica Edelen

The little six-seater plane that flew us from Port au Prince to Jérémie turned out not to be as terrifying as I had built it up in my head to be. Roger was a skilled pilot and I had my rosary with me, as did Cathy. We couldn’t crash now, right? And we didn’t. In fact, the bumpy ride in the pickup truck to the Tek4Kids house was much more treacherous than the plane ride.

This was my first trip to Haiti, so many new sights and sounds; my senses were on overload for sure. What stands out the most in my mind is how loud everything is in Haiti. If I could only use one word to describe Jérémie, it would be loud. The zipping and zinging of cars and motorcycles blazing past each other on narrow, hilly roads, the incessant beeping of horns, people yelling to one another in the streets, dogs and roosters barking and cock-a-doodle-doo-ing day in and day out, people laughing, people singing, playing happy, boisterous music. The sights are loud as well. So many brightly painted houses and store fronts, school uniforms and other clothing of all different colors, tropical plants and flowers, and that bright blue Caribbean Sea in the background of it all.

The other thing that struck me about Jérémie was the natural beauty it held, juxtaposed with the rubble and ruin that exists throughout the city. There was something remarkable about seeing an infrastructure in such a state of disrepair, alongside the stunning coastline, the flora and fauna and the beautiful people that inhabit the area. What is most beautiful about the people is that you can tell how happy and joyful they are, despite how much they lack. They appear to be a culture whose joys and riches come from within and from each other, not from material possessions. And that is true natural beauty to me.

— Jessica Roseberry

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