1 Year Later: Haiti reflections continued

A post from my original blog written Jan. 9, 2011.

It was called “Jan 12th approaching”

I’ve been thinking about nothing but Haiti since the new year.

Now that I am saddled with my full-time job, the most I can do to contribute to recovery there will be to talk to a group of interested students this Wednesday on the anniversary of the earthquake. I am under the impression that the students will be interested in collecting supplies to send to my friend who founded the organization TeacHaiti. The supplies will go towards supporting students whose education is being sponsored by donors. The list of needs, both financial and material, is long. You can find out more about this organization at TeacHaiti.org.

I was talking to a colleague last week about my memories from Haiti from last February. As Wednesday approaches, I have been thinking over things I have been missing from Port-au-Prince, and things that I certainly haven’t missed and won’t plan on missing.

Among the list of things I don’t miss from my time in Haiti:

1. My breakfast cup. This is pretty much how it looked every morning. It was filled with oatmeal, made with milk that was often already sour. On top of that, I have been milk- intolerant since almost forever. Ironically, as much as I don’t miss it now, I was quite happy to have it at the time. Otherwise it probably would have been something like plain saltines for breakfast.


2. I don’t miss these signs. One time I absentmindedly rinsed out my Nalgene bottle in the sink after a long day volunteering at the hospital. Then I refilled it with water I had filtered myself. It was a long night on the john, sitting there in the heat trying to sift through the day’s memories of when my lapse in carefulness could have occurred. Some of the nurses insisted it was the fact that I had rinsed out the bottle with untreated water; I chalked it up to just another sweaty day of diarrhea on the island.


3. To continue on with signs decorating the bathroom, this one freaked people out the most. Yep, just follow the simple instructions. They didn’t want us putting paper in the toilets due to extremely low water pressure and overall unreliable plumbing. Next to each toilet was a wicker basket where you were expected to throw all paper and feminine items. The sense not capable of being conveyed via my photos is that one which pertains to olfactory perceptions. You are so spared.

The things I miss affect me far more than the trivialities I don’t miss.

1. I miss the daily session of “the children teach Creole to Marisa.” Thanks to the age of my professors, I learned only the most important words like butterfly (papilion), star (etoile), and play (I can’t remember that one now, but it was a fun word that started with a “j”).


2. Care bear coloring books



3. Spending time with my helpers.


4. And playing “slide.”

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3 Comments on “1 Year Later: Haiti reflections continued”

  1. Michael Willscher Zammuto February 22, 2011 at 20:36 #

    Really cool Marisa!!!!! My brother just made music for this amazing documentary about Haitian voodoo. It was just so happened to be filmed during the time that the earthquake happened, and the months after. It is really incredible footage!!! Ill try and send you a copy sometime so you can watch it!

  2. Marisa LaValette February 22, 2011 at 21:34 #

    Thanks for reading Mikey!

    Send me a copy! Does it have The Books or Classy Penguins music to go along with it?…

    • Michael Willscher Zammuto February 22, 2011 at 22:21 #

      Its not the books! its more just a project my brother did on his own. Very different from the books. Ill see what I can do!!!

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