Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tuesday was our first full day in Haiti. We immediately went to business, but not before a home made, well-prepared, healthy and delicious breakfast. There were amazing mangos, avocados, the lightest crispiest omelets you can imagine. Then we split. One half of our team was driven through downtown Port au Prince; the other went to the FastForward studios in Petionville to edit footage and continue research for the documentary project.

Downtown Port au Prince was bustling with activity. Roadside merchants, traffic in all directions, World Cup fever in full swing. Flags and t-shirts of Haiti's favorite teams, Brazil and Argentina, were ubiquitous. The Brazil v. Korea match was about to begin. Our tour driver took us to Place Jeremie, Bas Peu de Chose, Canape Vert, Turgeau, and Champs de Mars (site of the National Palace). There was rubble everywhere you looked. Half-buildings and crushed cars appeared to the left and right of us. The roads were mostly clear, a few were impassable. Children in school uniforms walked in groups, sometimes covering their faces from the dust of passing cars. Smiles were hard to come by, but the city was busy. We drove around for an hour and a half.

Back at editing central, the group pored through hours of footage shot weeks ago in Leogane, piecing together the narrative for the film to come. Progress, lots of progress, was made on that. New discoveries, sublime coincidences, breakthrough moments.The other half of the team returned from their tour and joined them, content to look and listen at the goings-on of the editing team.

The sounds of screams broke the silence. They were joyful shouts, coming from every corner of Petionville. It rose and rose until it caught us all up in its intensity. Brazil had scored its first goal of the game. Haiti felt happy, you could hear it coming from the earth, hanging in the trees. Our FastForward editor said screams like that hadn't been heard in Haiti since before the earthquake.

On our ride home, smiles were everywhere. Haiti was happy, and so were we. Next stop Leogane.

Kimberly Green, Gage Averill, Tatiana Magloire

Tuesday, June 15, 2010