Catching Up With Friends and the Archive Project
Marie Flore Chipps, Pere Fritz Lafontant and Brooke Irvine, discussing the Lafontant Archive Project, Zanmi Lasante, Cange, Haiti. January, 2015. [photo: Pradip Malde]
While on a quick trip to Cange, Haiti in January, I had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends. Pradip and I got to spend part of a rainy evening chatting with Pere Fritz Lafontant and His daughter Marie Flore Chipps. Pere has lived in the Central Plateau for almost all of his adult life and has a wealth of knowledge and stories about the area. He has been an integral part of much of the work that Zanmi Lasante and the Episcopal Church have done throughout the Central Plateau. This past summer I spent much of my time working to scan and digitally preserve the photographs he has collected throughout over the years. He and his daughter were both kind enough to sit down with me for extensive interviews about the photos. I loved hearing their perspectives on how the area has changed over time.
On this visit I was impressed once again by the contributions which Pere is still making to the community. He is now in his nineties, and when Pradip and I commented on his busy schedule his only response was “Si ou kanpe, ou mouri” (If you stand still, you die). I look forward to continuing the work of building this archive in the upcoming summer. Pere and Marie Flore are central to many of the positive changes which have come to pass in Cange and the surrounding area, and I so value the time they have taken to tell me their stories.