To See More Light - Images from Haiti

I'm just returning from a trip to Haiti, having traveled with an optometric team called VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity). This team, made up of seven optometrists, an optician (my mom), a medical doctor, two nurses, a plumber, a machinist and an art teacher, traveled with the goal of giving eye care to the poorest and most desperate people of Haiti. To provide relief and dignity. To help them see more light.

 Morning Light

Morning Light

We traveled to the mountain village of Hinche after arriving in the country's main airport in Port-au-Prince. There we found the SOLT mission, run by Father Glenn Meaux. He builds 80 houses a year, employs 130 Haitians on his farm, grows enough food for a small village, and educates 1,300 children at his school. It is an amazing operation. We performed eye exams on about 900 people from the village and school. 

 Elegant. Delicate. Hardened.

Elegant. Delicate. Hardened.

 Celebrating Mass together

Celebrating Mass together

 Students

Students

 Three the Hard Way

Three the Hard Way

 Open Air Classroom

Open Air Classroom

 Single Vision

Single Vision

 Gary looks closer...

Gary looks closer...

 Pierre instructs...

Pierre instructs...

 Brenda adjusts glasses to fit more precisely...

Brenda adjusts glasses to fit more precisely...

 Roy, ageless.

Roy, ageless.

 Mission dogs keep us company.

Mission dogs keep us company.

 Angel Face

Angel Face

One food produced at the SOLT farm is a small black bean. It takes a significant amount of labor to liberate the beans from their pods and sift away the chaff.

 Smash

Smash

 Sift

Sift

The group traveled a few miles down the road to view a basin and waterfall. We hiked up a cliffside with the assistance of some young men from the village. At the top we found caves rumored to be used for voodoo rituals. They were full of wasps and bats.

 Basin and Waterfall

Basin and Waterfall

 Cave Spirit

Cave Spirit

 Waspssssssss

Waspssssssss

 Guides

Guides

 Plantains

Plantains

 Tabasco

Tabasco

 Village Children

Village Children

 Welcoming. Confronting.

Welcoming. Confronting.

From Fr. Glenn's we traveled to the Sisters of Mercy mission in downtown Hinche. The sisters care for adults and children. They also provide temporary care for children diagnosed with tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. The eyes of these religious women emanate peace and joy - despite the burden they bear each day.

 Dividing Line

Dividing Line

 Boys and Candy

Boys and Candy

 In Full Bloom

In Full Bloom

 Baby Face

Baby Face

 Brothers. Orphans.

Brothers. Orphans.

To and from the mission we witnessed the harsh living conditions of these resilient people. You've got to be tough as nails to survive here. The people we encountered manage to be strong while maintaining warmth and joy.

 Car Wash

Car Wash

 Other Realities

Other Realities

 Honest Trucking

Honest Trucking

More photos and reflections about our trip into Port-au-Prince in my next post...