We catapulted into 2016 in a new country, jobs, and language. Learning Haitian Creole together had moments of both frustration and hilarity. We practiced our new vocabulary at the maternity clinic, when two months after we arrived in Haiti, we became parents! Paul reflected about becoming a father to a daughter, pondering some of the global challenges that girls and women face. Madeline could not have a bigger ally in her proud papa. This year, our first as parents, we have felt deep gratitude and joy for our little daughter. Along the way we also started trying our hand at Haitian cooking, learning to make some of the iconic sweet, savory & spicy dishes we had learned to love. And through it all, our little baby kept growing, and so did we.
On the work front, we jumped into our new jobs and started a work blog to have a platform to share the stories of our staff, partners, and projects. Our first new project was funding construction of a bathroom for girls that would allow a vocational school we support to welcome their first cohort of girls in the fall of 2016.
In early October, we learned that Hurricane Matthew was on course to hit Haiti, and we anxiously prepared and prayed. Many of you donated to our organization's Hurricane Mathew response, it was a moving show of solidarity and support. Hurricane Matthew destroyed much of the south of Haiti and many of the remote communities that we serve in the mountains of the Artibonite. We visited these communities, often by foot, and heard the stories of Hurricane survivors, people whose loss of houses, crops, and livestock were often not recorded on any official tally.
New Years is an important time for Haitians as they celebrate independence as a nation from slavery, a proud and continuing history of resilience against long odds. Celebrate New Years with the Haitian classic, Soup Joumou, or try one of our readers favorite dishes of 2016: