Friday, November 9, 2012

HTRIP October 2012 Highlights

Deschapelles, Haiti

Dear contributors,

October has been quite a busy month for HTRIP as the staff had to follow up on some projects and start planning for nurseries production. For instance, all of our communities have already put up compost piles and follow ups are being performed by the technicians to make sure that everything is working as expected. We have also started cutting the small recycle water bags that we use for seedlings production in our central nursery in Deschapelles as well as in the extended HTRIP communities’ tree nurseries. We have finished collecting all the broken tools in our communities, and have also made an inventory of tools to be purchased in Port-au-Prince next month. Our current participants at the monthly educational sessions have so far received training on how to take care of a tree, to put up a compost pile, and to make a successful tree nursery.

 Frantz Antoine, Ross Bernet, Marielle Pharelus, 
and Julson Pharelus in DR 
Picture taken by: Shellon Mondesir 
Along all its routine activities, HTRIP had a big change in leadership because of Ross Bernet’s departure after a year of service as project manager. Melissa Sanon took over the program’s management at the start of the month. Melissa is a Haitian woman who studied Agriculture Business for Export at Modesto Junior College in Modesto, California. Her studies were funded by the USAID (United States Agency for International Development) under a program called SEED (Scholarship for Education and Economic Development). A nice farewell dinner was hosted at the Mellon’s house to say thank you to Ross for his great work in the Artibonite. It was also a nice opportunity for the HTRIP staff to formally meet Louis Martin, the new CEO of the hospital, and also gather everybody from the SCI-ICS (Integrated Community Services) department together. In addition, some members of the staff had this great opportunity to go to the Dominican Republic with Ross Bernet. Despite the inclement weather brought by hurricane Sandy, the trip went wonderfully as expected. The technicians who went on the trip got to visit Santo Domingo for the first time which allows them to compare the ecosystems of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Frantz Antoine, Ross Bernet, Marielle Pharelus, and Julson Pharelus in DR Picture taken by: Shellon Mondesir HTRIP October 2012 Highlights Deschapelles, Haiti.

The staff of SCI-ICS and HTRIP with the new 
HAS CEO Mr. Louis Martin at the Mellon House 
Hurricane Sandy’s heavy rains and strong winds affected several bridges in the Artibonite and destroyed many agricultural fields. Also, a few flat areas flooded, and in some cases farmers lost significant numbers of livestock. Our HTRIP tree plots have remained resilient, but the strong wind from the hurricane broke some branches.

During this month, Melissa gave a Power Point presentation at one of the routine morning medical conferences at the hospital’s library. The presentation was mostly focused on the Shade Crops program that HTRIP is leading in the old communities. She also made sure to educate people about the relationship between the mission of the hospital and the work that HTRIP is doing in the surrounding mountains in the Artibonite. It is not always obvious to people how ecological problems such as erosion and deforestation affect health and well-being, particularly for population with limited resources. This presentation aimed to show the connection to the doctors, nurses and technicians attending the meeting. Since this presentation, many people who work at the hospital have been asking to go out on a tour someday with HTRIP in order to get a closer look at the work that we have been doing in the Artibonite.

The HTRIP staff was also pleased to give a nice tour in Koupwa to LeGrand Mellon, David Zawadski, and Luquesse Belizaire. It was their first time visiting an HTRIP locality. In fact, they were amazed by the great work that we have been doing in the Artibonite. Just by looking at some incredible tall Spanish cedar trees, LeGrand got inspired by new ways she could collaborate with the work that HTRIP is doing in. For example, she was wondering if it will not be a good idea for HTRIP to plant cotton. It will indeed be a good idea to introduce cotton in the HTRIP communities that could grow it. It will also be an additional source of income for our farmers since LeGrand will be willing to buy cotton from them. Once again thank you to our dear contributors for their great support in making HTRIP what it is today. We also want to thank Ross Bernet for his collaboration with the HTRIP staff, and wish him success in his new adventures.

Thank You,

The HTRIP Staff
including Starry Sprenkle, Melissa Sanon, and Ross Bernet