I made two quick visits to Fonds Verrettes last week. It was very inspiring, as always, to meet the farmers there and hear how the community is moving forward together. Here are a couple of photos and short reflections.
Here’s where the trees go: Charcoal for sale at the Dominican border. It was sobering to see all the large trucks coming down the mountainside filled with charcoal…
Yes, despite the first picture, trees in Haiti really can grow well! This man proudly showed us his very steep five acre farm, which included these trees. The trees are preventing erosion and increasing his crop yields. He was super happy to talk with us.
Free and fair elections: This savings group changed their meeting time so we could attend. They selected five new officers for the year, using pebbles to vote for their candidate. The whole process was taken very seriously, though they also had a good time.
We met this man, Monel, in the loan group. (as is often the case people take posed pictures very seriously…) When we asked him what he thought about Plant With Purpose’s work in the community, here’s how he responded:
“I am very happy that Plant With Purpose is in Fonds Verrettes. We have accomplished more in six years that we did in the previous eight years. We are grateful for your help in protecting our land. The work you have done before and after the earthquake isn’t just good- it’s wonderful! When I compare the consequences of the last two storms, I see much less damage, thanks to Plant With Purpose’s work. You have helped us learn how to make tree nurseries, composting, grafting, and working with animals. All these things have improved our economic condition. Your being here isn’t just a job, but is a calling from God, like a family, and like a medicine.”
We get to stay in the lodge in the Foret des pins above Fonds Verrettes. A very cool place to stay. One thing I learned last time I was there was that you can actually heat water in a plastic bottle right next to the fire, you just need to fill it all the way to the top.
The road in and out of Fonds Verrettes is memorable- here’s one section of it.