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Rosedanie is currently in Limbé, helping to upgrade the center to serve as an emergency shelter.

This summer she attended a seminar hosted by several governmental departments, to talk about contingency plans in case of an earthquake in the north. The center for seismic studies in Colorado has predicted an earthquake for the northern region of Haiti sometime in the next month. There is a great possibility of this quake being followed by a tsunami. News reports cite other sources also predicting an increased chance of local earthquakes.

We at Helping Hands Noramise are currently filling gallons with water, stocking dried foods, hygiene and medical supplies in order for us to be able to provide initial aid to the community.

Contact us for more information or to find out how you can help.

I don’t have much time to write today as I’m still in transit. I’ve now left Ayiti and am on my way back home, having left Dave and Jen behind for more days teaching. But these two quotes leapt out at me when I arrived on American soil today:

The guiding of thought and the deft coordination of deed is at once the path of honor and humanity.
-W.E.B. DuBois, ‘The Souls of Black Folk,’ 1903. (Found in the classics section of a Miami airport bookstore)

In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
-Mother Teresa (Seen on the back of an aid worker’s shirt in Miami)

So much more to tell later…

Blog post by Nicole Vulcan…

“I feel like I keep saying O my god,” David says as we round another bend in the Limbe marketplace. True, there is lots to lament upon in this place where soiled discarded shoes mix with old animal horns and a gooey black muck, all very near thin mats where young and old sell beans, rice, used clothing and little bags of Dominican chips.

We’ve been in Limbe now a few days, and have rarely left the Noramise compound. Inside its gates lies a mini Haitian paradise, in the form of clean, dirt free floors (thanks to Rosedanie’s no shoes policy), a tidy yard with fruit trees, shady places for sitting and Lunise’s vegetable beds (one of the caretakers of the house, who recently attended the first-ever Haitian permaculture training in Port-au-Prince), as well as good fresh food and comfortable beds. Yes, showers are by and large taken with a bowl of water flung over the body, and the toilet flushed with buckets, but there ARE toilets and a clean bathroom, which is a far cry from the amenities available in the huts we passed on the road to Limbe.

And, a far cry from the church where we stayed on the team’s first trip, which lacked the basic amenities named above and stood just outside the marketplace. Back then heaps of trash, worse than now, burned in fetid piles. That’s why I had to smile a little when David made his comment, since now, thanks in part to the efforts of Team Noramise, there are no longer piles of burning trash, but instead only smears of trash here and there. Overall, I see improvements in the situation here — in the marketplace, in the accommodations for Noramise volunteers, in the general feeling of hope that pervades the house and the people who are part of the organization. I am heartened by progress as the journey continues, though we all know there is so far to go…

The following post is from Nicole Vulcan, (Vulcan Media Inc.) who is a member of the volunteer team now on the ground in Limbe:

In the film world, one way to move from one distinct scene to another is with a cross dissolve, where one scene slowly blends in to the next. Traveling from the U.S to the Dominican Republic and then on to Haiti is like a cross dissolve. We leave our pretty paved comforts and travel to a place where cracks start to show; things are not as organized or “straight” here, but there is still beauty and order among the raw life of the DR. We stayed in Santo Domingo’s colonial zone, where old meets new, and we were afforded comforts like aircon, cold beer and water flowing freely from the taps.

Then it was on to the other side of the cross dissolve, in the cool cocoon of a Caribe Tours bus, taking us in insulated comfort into Haiti’s northern region. We know this from history books to be the first place colonized in the Americas, once the Pearl of the Caribbean, and upon my third entry into this country I’m still intrigued, shocked and hopeful enough to keep believing the pearl is here…somewhere…

As we pass into Cap Haitien, I see the awe in my companions faces, the same I had, that this city, with its brownblack bay choked with garbage and the carcasses of boats, its streets teeming with sooty burning trashpiles and lotto stands, could possibly ever have been “The Paris of the Antilles.” My own pained awe is lessened somewhat from the last two times, but it’s still there…

As we make our way off the cool bus and into the wash of humid heat, the reality of our arrival hits. This is the part of the film where the dissolve has stopped, and the new scene begins in full; in this case, it begins with the mad thump of four drummers, greeting the arrivals at the bus station.

to be continued….

The team will be working on several projects from July-August, but the principal focus will be ESL training for the Haiti Committee. Visit our website often to see ongoing updates and images posted by the team!

Here is a link to a piece written by Olivia Jeanne, a research volunteer with Helping Hands Noramise. Olivia has been working with our Haiti Committee as both an observer and a helper, as you will see below. Hers is one of the wonderful connections Rosedanie has made which are gradually forming an intricate web of like-minded people who, with us, are determined to help turn the tide for the people of the Limbé region of Haiti.

A past volunteer with Helping Hands Noramise is returning to Haiti early  in 2011.  Her name is Bonita Ford, and you can contribute to her volunteer mission by visiting her website @:  http://www.eco-logicalsolutions.com/haiti-support

Team Noramise arrives at house in Limbé, Haiti, with lots of gear & supplies.

The first Orcas-Limbé student exchange is happening! Volunteers are working on land in Limbé which has been dedicated for the construction of a tuition-free vocational high school to be built by Team Noramise and a local family.

See recent PHOTOS taken by the group in Haiti on the Noramise Facebook page.

Thank you to all the people who donated time and money to support this trip!

The summer solstice fundraising benefit event for the school project in Haiti, held at Chestnut restaurant in Brooklyn, NYC, was an amazing send-off party for this group of student volunteers. Thanks to the generous owners and chef of Chestnut who donated the delicious food and beautiful space!

Steve doing what he loves best, Limbé, Haiti.