Monday, June 23, 2014

BuildaBridge & Mercersburg 2014 Report

"Bèl Bonjou se paspò w"
"A beautiful greeting is your passport"

From June 1-10, BuildaBridge International collaborated with Mercersburg Academy for an educational service and cultural exchange project in Haiti.  Under the guidance of INAM (Inyon N a Sonje, AFSAKA, and MJRAV), a group of 9 students and teachers underwent an immersive experience of Haitian culture and language in the rural community of Gwo Jan (Gros Jean).

Gwo Jan is a quiet rural community in the mountains about an hour and a half's drive east of Port-au-Prince. In the morning, residents rise early to sweep the dust and leaves from their front steps. The calling of roosters and barking of dogs generally serve as an alarm clock. Corn grows in between mango, breadfruit, plantain and almond trees. The trees provide shade and shelter from the intensely hot sun. There are waterfalls and fresh springs where local residents gather to collect drinking water, wash clothes, bathe, or just cool off from the heat. A single dusty, rocky road winds through the town. In the evening, farmers walk their cows (on rope leashes) to communal fields for grazing.