She offers some great insights from her November trip through posts on her blog called The WOW Chronicles (Women of Washington) . These are wonderful accounts because Elise is such a great story teller. Stories offer a type of grounding that statistics and straight news can never deliver.
Below are excerpts (and only excerpts--these posts have a lot of depth). Each piece is accompanied by gorgeous pictures of Haiti. Take look for yourself by CLICKING on each of these headlines.
I'm heading to Haiti tomorrow for a week-long work trip. My June trip to Haiti exposed me to the massive damage that Port-au-Prince had suffered during the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Now, in the wake of Hurricane Tomas and Cholera outbreaks, I'm not quite sure to expect. So, again, I'm really, really, really going to try and just listen, watch and learn. I'll also try to update my blog with pictures and stories from the field.
Haitian children are beautiful (ok, children do officially count as people, but they still get their own category.) When I emerged from the Guest House yesterday early evening to go for a walk with Marie, the children and their soccer ball descended. A round of voices started asking me if I knew how to play soccer. I joked and teased them and said of course I did, but did THEY know how to play soccer, or would I have to teach them. This resulted in the most beautiful chorus of giggles and laughter and enthusiastic pleading for me to come and play a quick game with them.
We greeted every Haitian that we passed in Creole and were received with the warmest, most sincere response at every turn. (Creole goes a LONG way…It is inspiring how the Haitian people have held onto their language and so respect its use by foreigners.) I oohed and ahhed over the amazing agriculture projects all around us: terraces of sweet potatoes, cassava, peppers, tomatoes and onions. Green houses with marigolds and lettuce and herbs.