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Remembering A Student

October 15, 2020

It’s been over a year since any HFH teams have traveled to Haiti. In the last 10 years, I have joined one or two teams a year. I miss that ability to physically interact with and help the people in Terre Blanche.

As I reflect on past trips, I think about the people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had. I remember visiting the local market and seeing “mud cookies” for sale. Mud cookies are just what they sound like – little cookies made of a certain type of mud that are sold to eat. I’ve never tried one but supposedly they take away hunger pains.

One student stands out in my memory. He was very bright and wanted to practice his English. His English was better than my Haitian Creole so we agreed that he would speak English, I would speak Creole and we would correct each other.

I could tell he was hungry as he was explaining to me that you feel less hunger pains if you push your stomach out rather than suck it in. That seemed counterintuitive to me.

Food vendor outside the clinic compound.

Rather than just getting him something to eat, I asked him to help me with an experiment. I gave him money and asked him to go outside the clinic gates to buy food from the multiple vendors there. He was then to determine which was the best food and the best value for the money.

He thought he could do that and came back with a report in an hour. He said it was hard for him to pick the food that was the best value for the money, but he liked the egg sandwich the best. He told me he saved half of the sandwich for his father.

Now we are hearing that the food situation in Haiti is far worse than anyone can remember. It is hard for me imagine. I don’t ever think about how to push out or pull in my stomach to reduce hunger pains. It never occurs to me that a mud cookie would be an option.

Even though there are no HFH teams currently traveling to Haiti, Haiti Foundation of Hope is still able to help and make a difference.

The Clinic of Hope has community health volunteers in the villages around Terre Blanche who keep in touch with their neighbors. These volunteers provide education and point those most in need to resources such as food and medical support.

The generous supporters of Haiti Foundation of Hope and our partners in Terre Blanche are making this possible. I have to say, thank you.

by Steve Bressler, HFH board member

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