Today’s post is written by Madeleine Munn ’19 to recount Tuesday, June 14, 2016:
To say the least, it has been an amazing four days in Hinche. To conclude our visit here, we made the drive/hike to Clory to hand out clean cookstoves. At the school, we were met with a massive group of community members hopefully awaiting a sustainable, environmentally friendly stove that would improve their respiratory health. Most of the people in Clory cook with wood charcoal that emits a smoke harmful for the lungs when inhaled often. Ryan, the brains behind the idea to distribute clean cook stoves, gave an informative presentation on the benefits of this new way of cooking and explained how the cookstoves work. To demonstrate the true capability of the cook stoves, Ryan, Graham, and Helen proceeded to make popcorn in one and handed it out to everyone there. People were grateful for the snack, as there were 80 stoves to give out and the recipient’s name, phone number, and serial number of every stove had to be written down on the same pad of paper. It was great to see the excitement and immediate ownership that people took to their stoves. Finally, after a long, brutally hot day, we took temporary respite in a photo shoot. We managed to pick up our feet and walk to the beautiful overlook of the valley near the school. We all took turns posing with different people and ended up with tons of pictures (mostly of James).
It was a quiet ride back to the MFH house in Hinche where we were greeted with a hot lunch and cold showers. After a short break, we headed back out, this time just down the road to the Maison Fortune boys’ orphanage. Immediately divided into two groups, the intense games began. Ryan, Nathalie, Graham, and James attempted to tear it up on the soccer field. Turns out, the boys at the orphanage are extremely good and even thought they were too good for the four newbies. Our other game of basketball consisted of Kara, Ingrid, and two boys against Ray, Andrew, and two other boys. Helen and I would jump in for Kara every now and then. Despite some of our height advantage and our spirit, the boys at the orphanage easily beat us. Following all this fun, we said our ‘good games’ and ‘goodbyes’ and climbed back into the van, sweaty and even more exhausted. We ate dinner, cleaned up, and together reflected upon our last four days in Hinche and Clory. Tomorrow, we head back to Port au Prince and then make the journey back stateside Thursday morning.