Poverty, rum & orphans.

We’ve been here five days now, in Port au Prince.  Ellie and I have been setting up FunForLife’s first Haitian project.  Thursday we’ll start working in an orphanage in Croix de Bouquets which we visited a few days ago.

With most of our meetings done and the team arriving tomorrow, we decided to grab the little spare time to see a bit more of the capital city – or what’s left standing after last years earthquake.

The cathedral is a shell – with bits of stained glass still in some windows.

Tents are everywhere in this city, and the outside wall of the cathedral is no exception. This is one of the poorest areas in the city and even 24 hrs after we were there I’m still not sure how to put into words the faces of the people here… or how I’m feeling about it all…

I didn’t take photographs of them.  I last posted about a photographer’s dilemma, and here more than ever before I didn’t want to put a camera in someone’s face.  The people at the cathedral were gathered together at the end of the row of tents and just stared with a blankness, a weariness almost too defeated to glare.

A new marketplace has been built downtown, but isn’t quite finished so the stalls line the streets.

Many of the stalls were just opening up, as a few hours before had been a demonstration because the people want President Preval gone. Police barricades were up and skip bins were emptied over streets.  A few fires were still burning.  The market was by now opening and carrying on as usual. You can buy anything here.

We decided to go for a wander around our neighbourhood when we got home, and of course, ended up at the local rum stall.  Bottles of Bakara sell for G50 and the local stuff is poured out of big plastic bottles into an emply rum bottle for G25.

Here Ellie is tasting it

We visited the orphanage which is new and still undergoing construction, originally was to be a nightclub, so has a great space for the workshops.

Of course the kids are gorgeous. This is their classroom.

We’re off to the airport now to pick up the others, and so our work will begin…

For the previous Haitian post click here

For the full blog click here, or to go to my webiste, click here.


  1. Sue says:

    Love your gentle approach to the people, some of this can’t be easy. I expect your greatest joy will be in respone from the children once you get workshops underway. Best wishes to the team. Love M

  2. gary schuler says:

    Just spoke to Dr Patricia Back–she & I are partners at FRADES in C-d-B.Thanks for visiting them–love your work,you capture so well the human element.
    Frades is stabilized,and although much to be done,the worst is over.Dr Back visiting 4 other orhanages ,all in C-d-B area–2 in pretty desparate shape next week.
    I am in Pa–could you call me some evening at 717-324-5480–want to discuss how we can introduce photography into these childrens lives–I do not money–need ideas.Thanks.

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