Today started with a series of events that concerned me. It started by us going down to meet our team leader for breakfast, only to find that after texting him and knocking on his door with no response, we had to began breakfast without him. There's nothing quite like the feeling of being in an unfamiliar place, not knowing how to communicate, and the person who is your only link to their world be MIA. About 30 minutes into breakfast, after we were finished eating, he finally joined us. He apologized and shared that he wasn't feeling well, so much so that he had trouble getting out of bed. I suggested, jokingly, that we bring a chair with us today so he can stay sitting and rest as we go about the day. His indignant response was, "What? No! I'm a man!" That made me laugh. Our morning was delayed again when our driver went to the wrong place to pick us up. Thankfully, this allowed David to get out the drone to fly around for a bit as the driver made his way from the opposite end of town.
Finally on our way, our first stop was the Regional World Vision (WV) office, whose staff coordinates all of the many projects in the Central Plateau. We picked up the Community Outreach Director and started on our way to the first of two schools. Before we could even get down the street, our driver noticed a problem. We had a very flat tire. The roads in Haiti are so bad, that flat tires are a regular occurrence. In fact we learned that tires wear out so quickly, that they must be replaced often. Thankfully we hadn't gone far, so we could go back to the office for him to change it (the office is in a walled compound, as many buildings in Haiti are, for security).
After over an hour of driving down very bumpy roads, we finally made it to our first shooting location of the day, which was a school. We arrived about 2 hours behind schedule so we missed some of the events they wanted us to capture. But while we were there, we were able to get footage of their feeding program in the school and interview teachers about the feeding and washing programs they offer with World Vision (WV). The main thing that was emphasized about the feeding program is that in many cases, the meal the kids get at school is their only meal of the day. Offering meals at school help ensure that the kids actually come to school, and then are able to stay awake and have energy to learn. A saying we heard is common in Haiti about this is, "An empty sack cannot stand".
We didn't make it to the second school until after the children had left for the day, but we still went to interview the director of the school and get some footage of the school.
We returned to our guest house safely at about 3:30pm and had lunch. We are trying all kinds of new and different foods during this visit. We sit down to a table of food prepared and set for us. Today's lunch was cooked plantain, chicken, and rice. Our breakfast was fried eggs, pasta noodles, and papaya fruit. One thing that we're enjoying about the food here is the fresh juice. We had lemon juice with lunch today and it was absolutely amazing! It was clearly just freshly made, and the fruit juice by itself was so good and refreshing that we didn't add any sugar (as is common to do).
After our lunch we received a security briefing by a staff member of World Vision (WV), which went over a lot of information we were already aware of. The saying they kept coming back to in the training materials, is "not to overreact or be concerned". But when you're asked to list 5 questions and answers about yourself, as facts that only you would know, as proof of life questions for them to ask if you are kidnapped and held for ransom, there's at least a little cause for concern.
We had a restful evening importing footage we had captured during the day, and backing the footage up to several different sources (you can never be too careful!). Even though the day started out with some uncertainty, it ended well. We know that God is in control, and he did a lot to keep us safe today and provide for our needs.