James’s Blog | Day Four – Not Just Building

As the work continues on the projects, building and repairing are only the start.  The church projects which developed during the week are unique as they are for a special event that means so much to this small community.  Newly-appointed Haitian Cardinal Chibly Langlois, the first ever Haitian appointed as a cardinal, is due to celebrate mass on the island at the end of May.  This is a huge honour for the local community and they are all really excited about the visit.

The community on Île à Vache is very spiritual with some mass goers walking for up to three hours to attend mass on a Sunday.  This church is important to the community and they hold so much pride in their church.

This community integration goes further than just building projects.  At the bottom of the hill, there is a patty stall; a patty is a type of deep fried Haitian sausage roll, many of the volunteers fell in love with the patties, making this a great week for the stall owner!

Another local business is Selim’s, the local hostelry.  Selim’s is another focal point of this little community, with the lotto man selling the lotto at the entrance and many a game of dominos played.  Not to mention the flag wars with the county flags of many of the volunteer’s hanging from the rafters. Today is a memorable day at Selim’s as Haven Country Director John Moore finally hangs his native Carlow flag from the rafters.

Only in Haiti ……

Today’s “Only in Haiti” is a personal one.  On Sunday, I started to teach some of the local kids the song and dance (yes, I dance in Haiti), “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”.  This song had worked for volunteers in Léogâne and is easy to teach and remember.  I quickly became the piped piper of Madame Bernard’s.                                

Espwa Pou Ayiti – Hope for Haiti




Every evening from Haiti during the 2014 Volunteer Programme, we hope to give a little run down of how the day has gone and what we’ve been up to so please stay tuned and share the link with all your friends and family.
Please note, all views and comments are James’ own and not those of Haven.
For up to the minute news you can follow Haven on Twitter at @HavenHaiti or Facebook at

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