Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Six Days in Haiti

I've been here in Haiti for six days. And it feels like a month. I've seen so much. I feel as if my heart, my head and my camera are going to burst. There is so much to capture and I can't move fast enough. There is so much to digest and my heart can't take it. This has been a journey of a lifetime. I don't know how to go home.
It is very difficult to see this kind of poverty. I've seen poverty. I'm lucky to have never lived in poverty. I never realized how lucky though until now. But this is extreme. This poor country has been stripped of so much and not just from the earthquake. And yet it still shines.
Our team traveled an impossible route to a small town of Manac yesterday. I hiked four hours in and four hours out with food and friends and water and hiking shoes and nothing to carry but a camera. And it was difficult, to say the least. There were rocks moving under your feet, mud making you slip, tall grass hitting you in the face and keeping you from seeing the trail that was on the edge of a cliff at times, and the sun was beating you on the head like it's raining rocks on you. 
An entire community of Haitians who barely eat two meals a day, without shoes, without water carried on their backs and on their heads (YES!) all the supplies to build a school in Manac. Think about the metal, the concrete, the wood for shelves, for desks, for chairs along with all the tools to make these buildings. They wanted their children to learn so much that they carried every piece of that school four hours up these mountains. Then they began to build a school, A COMMUNITY, with their own hands. They broke ground. They sang. And a school rose up. There is so much more to this story. This is just a piece. 
I was explaining to a friend how beautiful the light is here in Haiti. Everything glows. 'Luminous' might be the word I'd choose but still it's not a strong enough word. After being here for only six days— having feeling so loved, so welcomed, having children hold my hand and follow me with giant smiles and giggles, having elderly women make me promise to come visit again and kiss me, having families show me their tiny, tiny but beautiful homes with so much pride — I'm convinced that the only reason this country shines so bright is because of the people.

We shot stills and motion — which means we shot a lot. It'll be another journey just editing and digesting this amazing, life-changing experience. 

Please visit Haiti via this link:

Monday, October 6, 2014

Six Days in Haiti

Over the past six years I've been incredibly lucky to work with an amazing woman, the brilliant toy-maker of B. Toys, Gisela Voss. With every B. toy purchase, she made sure portions of that sale go to 'Free the Children.' Her story is emotional and large and inspiring. And she's heading to Haiti to not only see the schools and communities she (and you) have helped grow but she's bringing light. Really. She's delivering solar-powered lights to families without electricity. The word 'amazing' might be too small a word to describe her actually.

And I have the opportunity to travel to Haiti with her and Free the Children. We leave Thursday and will be trekking to six villages in six days. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I've never felt luckier in my life. It's pretty fair to say that I'll be sharing stories and photos here and on my facebook page. Stay tuned.

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