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Haiti Team Information Booklet
We’re excited that you chose to serve in Haiti! We hope this information will provide
you with some insights, and along the way if you have any tips to add, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll include them. Have a safe and meaningful trip!
It’s very possible to pack for a week in a large backpack, so you can carry-on more
supplies. Clothing can be rinsed and hung to dry to use every other day. Taking a cool dress/
casual, loose clothing for evenings is a must! Jewelry should be kept at a minimum. Rugged
sandals or closed-toed shoes are best (no flip-flops unless just for evenings in the Guest
Example of what to take (remember it’s fine to leave items behind-they will put them to
A backpack with eyeglasses, sunglasses, passport, driver’s license, credit card,
notepad, pens, lipstick, flight information, cell phone and charger, business cards, cash of
$200, camera, list of important addresses and phone numbers in Haiti, germ-x, wet ones, an
empty water bottle. It is important that you have your driver’s license with you each day.
A carry-on with two pair of long shorts or capris, tennis shoes, a dress/casual clothing, under-wear, jump rope, exercise wear, protein bars/snacks, nightwear, socks, 4 tops, work gloves, vitamins, deodorant, toothbrush, cosmetics (no creams or liquids), vitamins, Cipro, Tylenol, band-aids, book, journal, laptop and charger, baby powder, ear plugs & eye masks if you are a light sleeper, malaria pil s, immodium.
Check any liquids plus razor, hydrocortisone, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste, sun-screen, and insecticide with the supplies that are being delivered or if you carry them on, they must be in a quart size Ziplock bag and be no more than 3 ounces each.
Wear flat shoes/rugged sandals (easy to take off through security), watch, long shorts or capris, a shirt, belt and underwear.
Typhoid, Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B and anti-malarials. Begin the
vaccinations at least 4 months prior to trip, as some pharmacies have to order the
Comes either as a shot or pil s, the potential side effects less severe and lower
incidence with the pil s and they are less expensive, prescription from you physician is needed
for both. A booster is needed every 2 years.
Injection, prescribed by physician or available at the health department for free, with
booster shot needed every 10 years.
Hepatitis A and B:
Can be dispensed by the health department at a low cost, and both are
series of timed shots, or by your physician. These immunizations last for years, but check with
your physician if you have questions.
Larium is a weekly pil and there is Primaquine and other daily pil s your phy-
sician may prescribe.
This is not a vaccine but an antibiotic we recommend you obtain from your physician
prior to the trip, just in case you ingest something that causes GI issues. 500 mg is suggested.
Staying at the Renaissance in St. Louis was perfect for the night prior to the flight. We awoke at 4 a.m. and left by 4:30 for the airport. Elite Travel is able to get a very good rate for us and free parking.
You’l be staying at Heartline Ministries Guest House which has wifi, free phone calls to the U.S., and all of their outlets are U.S. plus it is safe and secure. They also know reliable drivers who wil not take advantage of you on pricing. Check them out at heartlineministries.org and click on “guesthouse”.
Cash is needed for drivers on many days as well as incidentals. We suggest $40 per day for that in addition to any shopping money to support the local businesses. Only use drivers that Heartline or H.A.C. recommend.
We recommend helping at the Sister of Charity Red Gate Hospital, visiting The Apparent Project, and spending time with John McCoul and the others from Heartline as well as the volunteer time at the Haitian American Caucus (HAC). Be prepared to be overwhelmed at the hospital, but remember the “starfish story” of helping just that one child. Take a large package of small disposable diapers with you to the hospital to share, and have wipes for each member to carry. The bowls under the bassinets/cribs are for washing faces and there are aprons that they offer to keep you a bit less messy from feeding or baby accidents. There is an elementary school associated with the hospital and it’s fine to take the babies into their play yard. The children and teachers are sweet and welcoming and we thought it was good for the babies to get some fresh air and walk on their own.
Donations of pencils and sheet notebook paper would be great for the school. Also be prepared for the primitive/rural feel of H.A.C. Since the area is a large part of your visit, it’s good to research them at HACUS.org and click on “Haiti”. Take Kleenex or toilet tissues with you every day as there may be restrooms with no tissue. Lunch at H.A.C. is $10 per person. Bags of hard candy are a treat for the children and you can give them to the teachers to distribute. Be prepared for the women or children to ask you to give them your personal items like your sunglasses, necklaces, etc… Do not give them any of your personal items as it encourages behavior H.A.C. doesn’t want to promote: a “handout”.
Team debriefing is held each evening to share how each member felt about the experiences and to record tips, suggestions, lessons learned. We also believe that “what happens or is seen in Haiti stays in Haiti.”
We wil be checking with Heartline and HAC to see what supplies they need that could be delivered, and an additional 50# bag is only a charge of $30. The birthing kits were very much needed, and if we could find the cloth diapers that have Velcro or ties in front they were a hit (rather than using the pins).
Remember to change your email and telephone messages before you leave to indicate you wil be out of the country with potentially limited access to return calls/emails. Also, turn your phone off or leave it in “airplane mode” once you land so you don’t have any roaming charges.
For your information, HAC is located in the city of Croix Des Bouquet, about 20 minutes from Port Au Prince. It is a section of town referred to as “Michaud”.
Getting through the airport:
On the flight you wil be given a white customs form to
complete—keep it handy at all times as well as your baggage claim tickets. You wil be handed
a green immigration form to complete when you disembark. KEEP THE GREEN STUB IN
YOUR PASSPORT FOR YOUR RETURN FLIGHT. There is a podium near the luggage
carousel where you can pay $2 to get a cart (they give you a receipt that you hand to one of
the men with the carts).
Get a cart definitely and load your items. You wil flow out of the baggage claim area to a long outdoor “corridor” where you may be bombarded by men in plaid shirts who want to assist you with your bags. Choose one, and if they say they are the “boss” don’t believe them. There wil be much drama—lots of shouting, confusion, and just go with the flow and try not to get stressed. At the end of the corridor wil be Heartline representatives to help you to the vehicle. You wil pay $1 for each bag the men assist with. You also might keep in mind that the gate is long and ride takes awhile to Heartline and there aren’t restrooms in the baggage area that are convenient. So go before you get off the jet. ON THE RETURN HOME the men in plaid shirts wil try again to get money from you by helping you move quickly to the front of the line. If they approach you to “help you get to business class” ask them how much they charge. Ours wanted $40, not worth it.
There is a nice grocery (DeliMart) where you can purchase real y anything you need. Heartline is great about letting you keep things in the fridge and kitchen. Ask about certain items you might want/request. For example, peanut butter is very expensive (who would know?!). If you want to take a jar of peanut butter with you to donate to the Guesthouse or eat while you are there, it must be checked. Peanut butter cannot be carried on the flights.
The bedrooms at Heartline Ministries’ Guest House are group style with all the women in one room and the men in another (bunk beds) with multiple fans/mosquito netting. If you can put a fan up on a suitcase in a window it helps keep things cool. There is no hot water but not a problem. The showers feel great by the time you get to them! Don’t let the shower or sink water into your mouth though—use only the purified water for brushing your teeth or drinking. Wash your hands after handling money and we highly advise getting the preventative pre-scription of the antibiotic Cipro 250, 500 or 1000 mg from your physician just in case you do ingest an organism as well as the Imodium on the packing list. Also, no alcohol is allowed at the Guest House. You wil love Larry and Nora the “watch dogs” that keep the grounds safe, as well as the staff. There is a gift shop in the Guest House that carries the Haitian Creations and coffee, etc. A prayer is said prior to each meal. If you want to leave clothing, shoes or any other items behind, they make sure they are donated to the women of Heartline. You might want to consider taking a gift for the Guest House hosts.
The Haitians are busy, kind and welcoming. Be mindful to slow down and observe them, watch for subtle cues in communication that we might miss otherwise.
We recommend Creole lessons
prior to coming. Primsleur MP3 audios can be easily ordered/
downloaded at pimsleurapproach.com
, Village Theodat Rue 2, #3 Tabarre, Port Au Prince, Haiti
Phone from U.S.: 772-617-1727 From Haiti: 3490-5993
: John & Beth McHoul; Guest House Hosts
: Ryan & Melissa Alberts (phone: 3389-9407)
Guest House contact
: Wergsy Seraphin Haitian Creations,
#6 Impasse, Gelin, Clercine 21, a part of Heartline Ministries where the women’s
education programs are located, Chandler Hamilton, designer
Haitain American Caucus
, #64 Michaud, Rue Double Harvest, Croix Des Bouquet, Haiti
Phone from Haiti: 3727-8872
(Director of H.A.C.)
Phone from Haiti: 3848-6587 or 3701-4875
(Volunteer Coordinator of H.A.C.)
Phone from Haiti: 4687-4628
Phone from Haiti: 3644-8544
The Apparent Project
, 16 Rue Cassagnol Prolongee #16, Delmas 75.
Founders: Shelley and Corrigan Clay (phone: 3726-7832, other phone numbers listed on their website)
Team Leader: Cheryl Mothes
cell phone: 573-450-6269
Emergency Contacts & phone: Rick Hetzel 573-270-0090
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