This is Corky Terry responding to Tom's request for feedback on some of my Haiti trips I was fortunate to experience with Jean. Fall 2006 was my first visit to Port-au-Prince, where Fr. Rick Frechette, staff, and volunteers were preparing for the dedication of the newly constructed children's hospital. The children, who were so very ill, many abandoned, are a memory that very much stayed with me. One young man was Polenta, who is HIV positive, and now 10 years later is helping farming in Fond-du-Blanc.
Ensuing visits brought me to the orphanage in Kenscoff, where two of my children Mike and Kathy were instrumental in setting up a computer classroom for the students at the orphanage school. Computers had been donated and were in a storeroom, but within a few days with the help of Haitian students and some guidance from Mike and Kathy a lab was born.
Jean and I were a part of a team that traveled to Haiti a few days after the earthquake. Doctors nurses, and auxiliary staff were dispatched to various sites to provide care for victims of the devastation. For me, it was an experience that will forever stay with me. The positive from that disaster was my grandson Kellen came to our family within a few weeks, due to the collapse of his orphanage.
My last few visits have been to the village of Fond-du -Blanc to aid in the establishment of a sewing co-op for the ladies, (and an occasional man) of the surrounding area. Many efforts from many people to obtain the best treadle machines, fabrics and sewing supplies all paid off, when 2 years ago an actual room was designated for the school to become a reality.
Another area that has been rewarding for me is the development of small farms and gardens due to a generous donor who supplies me with seeds without end to aid the people of the village to grow food for their families, and to sell at market.
The Haitians are a symbol of strength and faith and resiliency... they love to sing and dance and give praise to God.... pretty amazing people to me with all they have endured.