Posted by: mytriptohaiti | September 23, 2011

Roosters and Cows and Goats, Oh My!

Day 2

09/22/2011 7am

A big, bellowing “cock-a-doodle-doo” at sunrise is just about the best way to wake up. Even better, a ‘moo’ from one of a few cows along the hillside just beside the house. “There’s no hot water,” I’m told when I open it after a soft knock. I stand still, looking bewildered at Jamie before I finally blurt out, “does that mean it’s my turn?” I turn to my computer to check the time and the power has gone out, as well. Luckily for me, I can manage. Camping has prepared me for this.

An hour later we set off for Junia’s house to visit her and her two daughters, Daphcar and Schneidine.

Junia’s sister-in-law, Jeta, and her son, Kervens will be greeting us there, as well.

Our visit to the school the children will begin in October was as exciting for me as it was for them and their mothers. I walked away from the tour proud to have made this trip and honored to be able to share what two caring women have done and will continue to do for these beautiful children and their loving parents. And this is my first morning with Jamie and Ali.

It’s the day to register for school and I was lucky enough to be along for a tour of the cinder block building. Walls were scant, probably better for ventilation, and the rooms were not much bigger than a typical Pittsburgh dining room – 12×12, maybe a few feet larger. Although the building is simple and relatively small, it is not unreliable. The local water pump is in the courtyard and while we were there, women and children streamed in to fill ten gallon buckets and out with the water atop their heads.

Haitians are proud, artistic, clever, and hard working. This is a wonderful combination. Nothing goes to waste, everything is salvaged and reused if at all possible. A school worker repainted chairs for the children – the very same type of chairs used in my kindergarten class a few years ago.

School workers were sorting books and cleaning floors preparing for the 600 or so children who will fill the six rooms this year. Cedric read to the registering children while I took photographs.

One child’s tuition, including uniforms, books, and supplies for a year is equivalent to about four month’s salary for the parent. And no school is free. Some schools offer a snack program for an additional cost. For the children I met, a half day of school will last from 7am to 1pm. Unless children can walk to school, which Junia and Jeta’s can, they’d have to take a Haitian taxi service, a Tap Tap. With other costs for living in Haiti, most parents simply cannot afford a good school, much less a school at all.

This is why we visited with the families and toured the school today. These are just two families that Jamie and Ali help. Two thankful mothers can send their children to a good school and three Haitian children have a world of opportunity in front of them.



  1. I actually just read all the blog posts here, and I wanted to tell you that you always amaze me, and I am extremely honored to be with friends with a person who does so much good. Reading all of this quite literally made me cry. I wish I could write more, but I’m still just stunned by all of it. Perhaps I’ll have a bit more social commentary to add next next time.

    Take care.

  2. oh, vivian.

    i love you so much.

    and i’m totally weepy over here. this is just beautiful. thank you for your beautiful photos and words.

    can’t wait for more…


  3. I had no idea they had to pay for school in Haiti. I guess it makes sense… I have lots of questions but I’ll wait until you’re back:) Great posts!

  4. I’ve reposted your blog entry about your trip to the school onto my blog site (; thank you for doing this work to make more people more aware of Jamie and Ali’s work! Tell them “hi” for me. There are too few people in this world who do the right things for the right reasons, and Jamie and Ali are two of those rare examples of absolute integrity. Love them, love their work, love that you’re doing yours. Meci anpil!
    –Sherry from Illinois

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