Kitty Kearns and her partner Warren are volunteering with Haven’s projects in Haiti for a few weeks in February 2016. Every few days, Kitty shares all that’s been going on – keep up to date with their story here.
We arrived in Haiti, safe and well a few days ago. Port-au-Prince is, without a doubt, the maddest place I have ever been to – from the crazy driving, weaving in and out of the worst-looking cars I have ever seen (some with live animals tied to the bumper, apparently to keep the meat fresh until they want to eat it), to the three or four people on motorbikes, and not a helmet between them.
I have never seen so many people: it isn’t unusual to do car repairs at the side of the road – not just fixing punctures, but welding or whatever. They carry anything on their heads, from bags of cement and buckets of water to absolutely anything you can think of.
We stayed the night there and left for the island of Île à Vache early the next morning. Everywhere has armed guards, from hardware shops to supermarkets – it’s their way. We took a small boat with an engine to the island, and it was just gorgeous.
We arrived on the day of the funeral of a local guy who was known by the Haven team, welcomed with open arms, and we had the strangest day – firstly, having my first ride on a moto (a motorbike at the front and a trailer behind) to then the actual funeral, where the body was entombed in the back garden. I was introduced to the public lavatories before long – you really don’t want to know! What a weird day.
Our accommodation is perfect; very glad Warren had the common sense to bring the mosquito net for our bed, which is doubling and trebling up as a cockroach net and a big black furry spider net. We passed my 20,000 steps yesterday walking across the island to one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen.
Today, the real work began: we are in an orphanage with 29 children who live with disabilities and 40 children who live without them. I helped with feeding, massaging their wee twisted limbs and playing with them. They are just gorgeous. I have had such an amazing experience so far, and I am loving every minute.