Monday, February 6, 2012
The village of Naran, also called Klory, was once accessible only by footpath or by a very brave, sturdy motor vehicle. After a few years, funded a LOT by Midwives for Haiti volunteers and their friends, there is a decent road, a school with 250 kids, a lunch program for the school, and a monthly visit from the MFH Jeep for prenatal care. But on Saturday, we brought the movies to Naran.
There was a big music/video “hit” recorded by American Mark Coughlin last year: “Kolera, Kolera”....guess what it was about?? Yep...cholera, and hand washing to prevent it. It was played on radio and sung all over Haiti, especially with kids, to teach cholera prevention. And (along with a lot of great medical relief work,) it worked: there are few cases of cholera right now in Haiti. But now, Mark is something of a celebrity here-- and still doing his non-profit work, traveling all over Haiti and singing songs about health education. Along with great videos to make it entertaining, the videos have Haitian actors doing skits, dancing and singing with the band, etc. It's fabulous!!
Mark hooked up with MFH and Nadene earlier in the week, and offered to bring his show to one of “our villages”! The advertisement that it was coming to Klory was done by word of mouth and a guy with a megaphone. Mark, with all his gear and 2 Haitian staff, and all our midwife-folk loaded in the pink Jeep and drove up dusty road and the steeeep hill around dusk on Saturday. I wondered if folks really would come in from their little houses in the hills for this. Mark said many have never seen any film or video before, and yes, they would definitely show. Well, show up they did: we rounded the hill to the school and about 200 people were all gathered on benches in the front yard of the school. Maybe 250 with all the little kids. Jeep headlights projected onto the porch made the stage, with portable speakers, screen, and laptop projector. Then there was a SHOW! Live singing, movies, and lots of Kreyol talking. Under bright moonlight, near the flagpole and the soccer field, we watched “Kolera”, “Clean Hands-Dirty Hands”, “Take Care of Your Teeth” ( with wonderful graphics on flossing, which I took to heart), and “Malnutrition”. There were a few little fires cooking off to the side, where a couple ladies sold food, maybe hotdogs, but I didn't go there. It was a blast.
Eventually we rode home packed into the Jeep, to a very late dinner. And before we ate, I guarantee: we washed our hands.