There is no air conditioning in this hotel, so I slept with the screened windows open to keep cool. I was entertained by the night noises, and awoke to the sounds of cows, goats, roosters and tropical birds.
After a great breakfast (and great coffee!), we set off to visit the LBM Area Development project (ADP) ADP. LBM stands for La Belle Mer. To reach LBM, we first travel to Cobocol ADP and then continue onward. Although it is difficult to believe after the road to Cobocol, the road to LBM is much worse! We often had to slow to a crawl as we navigate poor road conditions, and for much of the trip we traveled at 20-30 km/hr. We even drove through a small river as we crossed from the central to the northern district of Haiti.
When we arrive, we are welcomed by a large group of children, there must have been about 150 children in all. The children danced and sang for us. They did a great job.
As I watched the children and listened to speeches from the ADP staff, I was so moved I was almost in tears. Perhaps it sounds odd to say this, but despite all the discussion and presentations I made over the past year, I do not think it was until I met these children that I really understood the true scope of what World Vision accomplishes. There are 2500 sponsored children in this ADP alone. To see the changes in the 150 children we did meet, to see their joy and enthusiasm, and the light in their faces, was truly amazing. To imagine this for 2500 children in this ADP alone – it is overwhelming, breathtaking, I cannot find the words to express this! All I can say is that deep in my heart I know this is RIGHT! This is something I must participate in and share with others.
When I went on this trip, I went expecting to represent Fredericton and FreddyLink. What I did not expect was that in the eyes of the Haitians, we represented Canada. I must say that in that moment in the ADP with all those children, I have never been so proud to be Canadian!
Afterward we went to visit a medical clinic, then on to meet a group of parents in the LBM ADP. This is a new ADP, started only three years ago. This ADP is just coming to the end of the establishment phase, before the ADP plan starts to be implemented. This is an area which is 85% agricultural, yet where people can only eat one meal a day due to lack of production. I was so impressed by the parents we met. They have such a sense of hope, such a strong vision of the future for their children, and such a powerful faith! I was truly inspired. They have truly grasped the World Vision community model and made it their own. This is their task to accomplish, their vision to achieve, World Vision is there only to support and facilitate their activities. I came away truly inspired that these people, with such a need, could so effectively articulate such a promising future for their community and their children.