Petit Goave Blog DAY 3: A Magical Evening

Petit Goave day 3 blog main imageSaturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday was an amazing day for the entire team. We all went to Petit Goave to participate in and enjoy the Food for Souls showing. But before we get to that part of our story, let's backtrack a day to Friday afternoon.

Green Family Foundation (GFF) president Kimberly Green, GFF Founder Dorothea Green, and family friend Mrs. Sheila Roy were invited to a luncheon with the first lady of Haiti, Madame Elisabeth Préval. The ladies were treated to Haitian delights and casual conversation. Kimberly presented Madame Préval with the Haiti Box Set which she helped create and bring to life. The First Lady was impressed and showed great interest in and appreciation for the cultural vibrancy the box set aims to bring back to Haiti and her people.

Another important topic they spoke about, and one close to the Green Family Foundation, is children and mothers. We had visited the Bureau de Nutrition et Développement (BND) a few days before and witnessed firsthand the toll the January quake had taken on Haiti's children. You could see in their faces that even though they were well fed and relatively safe (via BND services), they were traumatized and oftentimes solemn.

Madame Préval spoke about enriching children's cultural lives and encouraging creative outlets for them. We can't help but think to the Food for Souls shows that we are so proud to be a part of. The kids are so engaged in participating during the showKimberly Green, Elisabeth Preval, Haiti Box Set, one just knows they are taking in all the information that's being presented to them. The education information, the health and hygiene facts, the suggestions that they appreciate their country's natural resources. We agree with Madame Préval, a cultural rebuilding of Haiti must include her children.

As we said earlier, on Saturday July 24, 2010, our entire team (Kimberly Green, Dorothea Green, Sheila Roy, Anthony Colon, Nel Hernandez, Robert Becker, and our friend Daniella Buttini) all piled into a Jeep Cherokee and were driven (by our favorite driver, Claudi) 42 miles southwest of Port au Prince, past Leogane, to Petit Goave. Our drive was cramped but pleasant. We had snacks and plenty of water on hand. The group arrived at the FastForward Haiti team's camp site and enjoyed being seaside for a while, getting to know the crew and talking about our experiences thus far.

Then it was time to pile in the car again and see the show. The sun was just going down when we arrived at the soccer field that doubles as a cultural center for three magical nights. We sat by the sound stage and immediately noticed the children were all ready huddled together in front of the main stage, waiting for the show to begin. Sinema anba Zetwal (Cinema Under the Stars) had taken hold of the kids' interest by day 2.

There were two clowns working their way around the crowd, culminating in a conga line of children prancing behind them. All smiles, all great to behold. The mood was set -- the night that followed did not disappoint.

Welele and Michou opened the show, as is customary for the Food for Souls Tour. Their messages of love were punctuated by their soulful singing and drumming. Once the duo steeped offstage, the emcees (or animators) took over. Maritza, Steve and Gregory held the audience captive, leading them in cheer-like chants while explaining how the show works. Soon there were cameramen in the audience, and a live feed was projecting their camera images onto the large screen. Gregory and Steve worked their way through this audience of folks who had lost so much in a few seconds a mere six months ago.

The short films program for the night was varied and included some comedy and animation in addition to cultural pieces such as a segment on Alan Lomax, the ethnomusicologist whose works comprise the Haiti Box Set.

The weather was beautiful, the lights were right and bright. We had some barrettes and headbands to give to the kids around us. They absolutely loved them.

Our trip back to Port au Prince would take us two hours. It was delayed about 20 minutes by an freight truck, La Tranquilite, that was stuck in a shallow river crossing that doubled as a road just outside Leogane. For a second we thought if we'd have to turn back and camp out with the FastForward crew. But Claudi, of course, found a tight alternate road and we cranked the 4x4 on our truck and made it out.

The next day's brunch was packed with great food and even better talk of our experiences the night before. We all made instant friends that night in Petit Goave, Haiti. And we've got the photos to prove it.


Local girls before the show

View of the field in Tigwav, Haiti







Boy and Dog in Tigwav, Haiti

Sheila Roy and Dorothea Green with kids at SAZ





We have many more incredible photos of our experiences in Petit Goave, Haiti. We are in the process of creating a gallery. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, @GreenFamilyFdn for updates on the gallery and other GFF activities.

Also see Petit Goave Blog Day 1 and Petit Goave Blog Day 2