Friday, July 23, 2010

haiti cell

if anyone reading this is in haiti and would like to contact me, i have a cellphone now, the number is 509 31 10 75 29. please contact me if you have any of the following:
1. A connection to an orphanage or home for kids at risk that needs shelter, food or medicine.
2. A desire to volunteer your time to help prep sites for domes, ie clear rubble
3. If you would like to build a compost outhouse for an orphanage so they can move onto land

My customs broker came today to update me on the situation with my shipment. Apparently I need two more signatures and then they can approve the release of the shipment. It may seem to some of you reading this that having my stuff held up for a week in customs is a long time, but in the larger scheme of things, it's nada nunca.
Other huge NGO's have had their shit held up for months. I will be lucky if it gets delivered on monday.

I hired a dude today named Julian who was referred to me by some medics from MMRC, one of them is a power house of a woman named Heather. she is from Brooklyn! Julian is a Haitian guy who speaks excellent english and is willing to drive a motorcycle. In fact, he lived in Brooklyn on flatbush for awhile. I will be paying him cash 35 bucks a day. We start tomorro morning. I have a list of orphanages we will start calling in the morning on my new cell

I realized today that I am just now getting my Haiti legs, so to speak. The culture and environment here is so foreign it took me a week to fully grasp it, well, grasp it enough to know how to proceed, realistically in this environment. I have learned not to travel via car, truck tap tap if I want to get anything done besides getting stuck in traffic. That alone can save me days.

I drove around today by myself on a motor cycle. I got a wicked sunburn on my arms.
I weaved in and out of traffic, avoided humoungus potholes, mudslicks, kids trying to hop on the back at intersections, UN vehicles hogging the road, aggressive vendors and beggers....

I just want to say a word here about time. Time is a concept that is relative.
When I first got inspired to do this (very small) project, I naively thought it would take three months. Three months from start to finish, that is. From concept to realization.
It took me 6 months so far. The first phase was slow because that is how long it took me to raise the money. In the US, the determining factor was mainly money. I managed to get a substantial amount of the funding in the form of in kind donations, but to complete it, I really needed cash money. Thanks to my community back in Brooklyn, I was able to realize the funding goal and get my ass to Haiti along with ten domes, tools, soccer balls, peanut butter, soap, fabric, notions and leather. Actually, the goods are not officially in Haiti yet because among aid workers, "customs" is not Haiti. Its a country in and of itself.

Now, the second phase of the project, in Haiti, I allotted myself, 3 weeks HA HA!
If I use the model of the US as a time estimate, I can double the projected time and get the realistic time. In Haiti, do you think it's going to take double the time? Well, I think I can easily add triple time. Getting shit done in Haiti takes at least triple the time it does in the US. I think that is a conservative estimate.

I'm just saying.

Today I met Patricia Arquette. I've been hanging out with her brother Richmond for a week. They are with the Give Love foundation and they are building container houses. They were building it at Cite Sole but they moved it to the Grassroots base. It is almost finished, it's a two container house connected in the middle with a roof. It's really nice. Today I learned that she plans on building these container houses for an orphanage. But guess what? It's going to take a few months to build them and in the meantime, the kids need a place to live. Hmmmm.. .. tomorrow they are hoping to go visit the orphanage in its present location. If they do, they invited me to come along.

It's difficult to see through the labyrinth of smoke screens thrown up by any given potential recipient orphanages. There are so many ways to be deceived. I have had my Haiti cherry popped already.

peace and love from Haiti


  1. Hello DfH! Its awesome to read the posts and see you have arrived in Haiti. Im wishing you good luck with all of you work!
    from Brooklyn with love,

  2. Yo Celery!! I just noticed you posted a comment...
    if you get a wild hair or two, you have an open invitation to come down. Your skills would be well utilized at the compound.
    big love from Ayiti