The Land of Haiti

Hey Everyone. So many of you have been asking us questions about our experience in Haiti (what did you do, what was it like, was it safe, etc…) Hland8 and we are going to try our best to answer and share as much about it as possible. It’s hard to truly capture everything that we experienced in a blog, but definitely feel its necessary to try (one of us could actually talk forever but thankfully, his better half keeps him grounded, or at least tries to). In these series of posts, we hope to share with you about the people (Tuesday), the land, the amazing services taking place everyday supported by local leaders and the Haiti Foundation of Hope, and of course, our thoughts and feelings about everything. But we might miss something  and we’d love to hear from you, especially if you have any questions or things you want to know about Haiti and our experience. Please leave a comment or email us. We want to help you know more about this special place. Back to the land….

Hilltop

I realized with the “people” post I did a lot of talking and in sharing about the land, I plan to let most of the pictures speak for themselves. The main thing to think about when you look at each one is the relationship between humans and the land. I’ve never been a true advocate for environmental issues and even remained a bit skeptical of the “green” movement and other issues raised. My friend Mike Abbate shares in his book (Gardening Eden) multiple examples of human impact on their local environment. How greed (both from foreign and local businessmen), and unsupervised monitoring and regulation of human activity caused devastating affects, not only to the land and the animals, but more specifically, to the people who called the land home. Haiti is such an example were deforestation obliterated, and literally washed away the land. In simpler terms, humans have cut or burned the trees to make charcoal (notice the coal part) for energy (fires and what not) without any reforestation plan.

Because of the geographical placement of the island (the Caribbean), rains are frequent (thunderstorms and annual hurricanes) which are normally good, but there are no trees (some),

Haiti from air
Notice there are hardly any trees, green from the rains, still no trees

which means the ground is saturated and flooding occurs. Floods lead to accelerated erosion of the land, especially top soil good for farming. There are some good seasons (we witnessed re-growth of plants and farms) but know one knows when the next major flood might wash out everything. The government doesn’t do enough to protect the trees. There are no incentives or alternative programs for people to get energy another way.  There is little in terms of education to teach people the importance of trees. Pastor Delamy shared with us a Haitian proverb, “Sometimes prevention is better than healing”. Proactive measures such as education are important and effective means to fight this battle in Haiti (and in the world). If not, life and land will continually wash away.

Once a road, now a river for constant floods until they can repair it permanently
Once a road, now a river for constant floods until they can repair it permanently
Water flows from the mountains but most are polluted from trash
Water flows from the mountains but most are polluted from trash
and here's why they are polluted. Notice the dump truck in the upper left corner
and here’s why they are polluted. Notice the dump truck in the upper left corner
Fields of Rice (only in one area of the country from what it looked like)
Fields of Rice (only in one area of the country from what it looked like)
See how close everything is built next to each other? Taken from the air by Janan
See how close everything is built next to each other? Taken from the air by Janan

NOTE:  I realized after looking over this post, you might think Haiti is not beautiful. That’s NOT true. These are just the major things that really stood out to me. I also didn’t want to duplicate using pictures I posted before. Haiti IS beautiful and I think that’s what makes these pictures important to me: if nothing is done, the beauty of this land and others will be swept away…


Related posts:
The People of Haiti
Haiti Recap Video

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