Having madly packed by bags and said a few goodbyes over the last couple of days, today I am taking it easy in Canmore and Calgary before heading out this evening. I managed to pick an awkward time to fly because Air Canada is shipping me from Calgary to Edmonton to Toronto to Montreal, finally arriving Port-Au-Prince tomorrow afternoon. Fine by me- I’m armed with a couple good books and I’ll be sure to soak up every drop of air conditioning because Haiti has better uses for their electricity.
Amongst the endless unfamiliarities that await me, I am really looking forward to giving Haitian Creole a good go. I’ve watched some YouTube videos with people speaking and I’d like to think that with lots of patience and practice, I’ll be able to extend my French language enough to get by on my own (many foreign volunteers require a translator to help them through the day).
Prior to signing up for volunteer work with All-Hands Volunteers, I did a fair bit of reasearch on the situation in Haiti. I learned about the country’s history, read countless news stories on the quake and its aftermath, and tried to put together a picture in my mind of how I might react to the shocking situation in which Haitians find themselves. Here’s a video from Leogane in the days after the quake. My tremendous excitement is tempered but not quenched by these sobering images.
I look forward to sharing with you what I am soon to see, hear and feel.
A pi ta! (“See you later!” in Creole)