Recent Events

Creole Pig Pilot Project

July 9, 2013
Creole pig
Local farmers each receive a Creole pig
HSE will not only focus on education. In keeping with the ideal of sustainability, the majority of HSE’s food supply will come from the local community. To achieve this goal HSE has begun creating agricultural cooperatives with local farmers, such as our pilot Creole pig project. A group of local farmers each received a female piglet; once the piglet matures into a sow, they in turn agree to give HSE two piglets. In this way, HSE can now give piglets to new set of farmers. Here is a link where you can learn more about the importance of the Creole pig for rural families, in essence they act as living "piggy banks". We also plan to provide training for local farmers in new productive and environmentally sustainable methods, such as the introduction of greenhouses and vertical farming.

Edwidge brings the HSE school renderings to Grand Bois

July 7, 2013
Edwidge with Congressman
Edwidge and the local congressman in front of the HSE rendering

On Sunday, July 7 the Grand-Bois community came together to celebrate the parish's patron saint. After the mass, Edwidge had the opportunity to present the HSE project to the community and show them the school renderings. During this visit, Edwidge also had the opportunity to meet with the mayor and the congressman, both of whom voiced their support for the project. A copy of the renderings was placed at the local hospital, one of the most frequented places in town.

Edwidge Takes Ann to See the Site in Grand Bois

tour of site
Edwidge Takes Ann to See the Site in Grand Bois
April 21, 2012
At 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 21st, our crew was up and out the door of the Hotel Oloffson in Port au Prince to begin our journey to tour the Grand Bois site with Edwidge. Two 4 x 4's with four passengers each (including drivers) headed out of Port au Prince. Our guest list included Edwidge's brother, a water engineer, a journalist and a photographer from the Chicago Tribune, a cardiologist, Edwidge, Ann and a colleague from her office. The night before, it had rained quite heavily and the streets of Port au Prince were flooded and filled with garbage (the garbage tends to flow downhill during the rains and pile up at the bottom of the roads). I recall feeling a bit nauseous as we headed out of town, due to the visuals and odors of the wet trash.

Once out of town, we started into the mountains. Though the site is only about 40 miles from Port au Prince, the journey took 4 ½ hours. Edwidge had warned us. What he had not been able to convey to us, however, was the true beauty that we would experience once in the Grand Bois region.

Though an experienced traveler to Haiti, I had not been to this region before, but can honestly say that it was like finding paradise. There was no sign of infrastructure, but the air was clean and cool, the sun bright, casting beautiful shadows.

Along the road we encountered people who told us that they were 'fixing the road' (which, of course, they were not). The road was unpaved the entire way once we passed through Thomazeau.

Upon arrival at the site, we hiked up the hills to survey from the top and review which slopes and adjacent properties would be best for building. We could see the Dominican Republic in the distance, just 2 miles away. Standing on top of the hill, I now understood why Edwidge wished to build on this site. This is a stunning and exhilerating environment in which to teach children. And after seeing and experiencing the remoteness, it was clear to me that the school must be a boarding school.

While we were up on the hill, a man came by who represented a local radio station that was housed in the nearby hospital. Edwidge was asked to do an interview and tell the local people about the project for the boarding school.

It was a long day and a tiring journey, but worth the effort to see the future site of Edwidge's realized dream.

Presentation fo First Presbyterian Church of Blairstown

April 15, 2012
Edwidge and Audrey Dorelien were invited to give a short presentation on HSE to the First Presbyterian Church in Blairstown, New Jersey. The presentation was well received. Several members joined the HSE mailing list, and Pastor David Harvey asked us to keep the congregation updated on our developments. Some members of the congregation mentioned interest in volunteering in Haiti. One of our future goals for the school is that during school recesses, groups of volunteers will be able to rent space at the HSE, and thereby reach communities that are more difficult to access because of lack of housing infrastructure for visitors.

Breakfast in Chicago

March 19, 2012
Suzi Gurry whose family has been volunteering in Haiti for more than twenty years, hosted at tea for HSE at her Lincoln Park home in Chicago. Edwidge and Audrey Dorelien as well as Ann Clark and Michelle Sakayan presented the HSE project to a group of 20 individuals, many of whom have worked with and are interested in volunteering with organizations focused on Haiti. Members of Haitian Congress and directors of some schools in Haiti. Edwidge and Audrey were pleasantly surprised to learn that they have many personal connections with the Haitian community in Chicago. On their next visit, they hope to present HSE project to the Haitian Congress based in Chicago.

Tour of Francis Parker School, Chicago

March 19, 2012
Michelle Sakayan conducted HSE on a tour of the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago which she helped design. It was great to visit such a dynamic educational environment, and HSE will be sure to incorporate some of the great features of the Parker school into the future school design.