Our first day in Bois Jolie was a success. The hike up was tiring but the weather was amazing. It was not too sunny and there was a wonderful breeze through out the whole morning and early afternoon. Once we got past the dreaded part 1 of the hike (the hardest and steepest part) the rest of the hike was pleasurable and seeing Haiti from above again was a treat. When I traveled to Haiti in March it was not nearly as green as now. This new feature provided a whole different visual experience compared to March. When we got to the nursery to meet the farmers, they were all waiting for us patiently with their goats. Upon arrival, we watched the CFFL employees and interns give B complex shots to the farmers’ goats. I had no clue that the interns that I have been working with everyday also had this skill. The goats each had a different shriek, which after a while ended up making me laugh. After all the goats were given their vitamins, we got to talk to the farmers. This meeting was supposed to be for Professor McGrath and Maxio to introduce us and the new studies to the farmers. However, the gathering turned into more of a town hall meeting. Which was really interesting to witness. I loved getting to see the farmer’s opinions, wants, and feedback about the program. It was also very nice that one specific farmer, Wilfred, expressed how thankful they all were for our program and work with them.
After the meeting had finished we hiked out to a few of the farms. My team went to Jean Nelson’s farm. This farm is the cream of the crop (pun intended). It has many coffee plants that have grown large and bear many fruits. It has fruit trees, ced trees, terraces, and even a nursery with raised beds! We have no idea how Jean Nelson learned these farming techniques and skills because we had no part in teaching him them. While we were there we got to test out our new survey. Jean Nelson is incredibly open to helping the program so he was a great person to do our first survey run through with. After everyone was done their work we hiked back down, where our ride was waiting for us. After a very bumpy ride back, we dropped off our hardworking interns and went home. There dinner was waiting for us- that consisted of all my favorite Haitian foods! Plantains, rice, bean sauce, and picklies! I then got to shower and take a nap. This was a great day as our first big journey and I believe it will be an omen for how the rest of the summer will go.
Farmers from Bois Jolie waiting for their goats to receive shots of Vitamin B complex.