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Haiti, 3rd time around

A quick look on my calendar tells me that it’s already 2012. Hard to believe that the devastating earthquake in Haiti happened already 2 years ago! On my last journey through different countries in Latin American and the Caribbean I had another opportunity to visit to visit this country. On my 2 earlier visits I’ve always chosen ground transports. This time I was flying into Port-au-Prince coming from Santo Domingo. Needless to say that it was so much more comfortable than hours and hours on bumpy roads. The pediatric hospital of nph is pretty close to the airport but the ride it was another brief chance to soak up impressions from the capital. It’s hard to describe as I am quite used to poor places in Latin America but Haiti is different. People seemed to have returned to normality but there is still a lot of destruction and poverty and UN peacekeepers at the same time. And traffic, loads of traffic with loads of traffic jams. People I was dealing with were incredibly nice and open minded. I just wished I spoke more french of creole. Security is a huge issue — at least in the capital. So leaving the hospital was not an option and I spent most of my time there. I remember how I was looking for some diversion and started to jog back and forth behind the hospital building … about 300 meters from the place were they put they lay out the corpses of the dead to the kitchen place of the volunteers and brigades.
And I especially remember this one night when it started to rain like crazy. The water was increasing quickly every minute and I had to hurry up to hang all my belongings under the roof of the tent (big military tent I shared with a medical brigade from Minnesota). Luckily that that rain stopped with the water level had almost reached my mattress! And I remember how I traveled to the orphanage in the mountains. Such a beautiful place!

Even after my third visit I wouldn’t say that I know much of Haiti. With all those huge problems it seems a place with a stunning landscape and such nice people. As for me I will keep my fingers crossed for the country’s future development. Haitian people deserve so much better!

January 11, 2012   No Comments

Dominican …

Now that I have solved technical issues on the website (WordPress ain’t really that good friend of mine) that I couldn’t solve during the past months I am finally able to post stuff again! Let’s start with square one: in early september I started this last journey in the Dominican Republic. I’ve always liked it there although the home is quite different compared to the other ones. But it is hard not to be absorbed by that Carribbean flow and the cheerfulness of Dominican people. This time I wasn’t traveling at all, spending most of my time in the home with the children and just going to the city (San Pedro de Macorís) and the beach occasionally. Enjoyed it though and will definitely miss the crazy nights in the Batay. And one day I have to learn that Bachata!

December 23, 2011   1 Comment

Mexico video

This is the last video I made in Mexico about agriculture in the orphanage. Hope you like it! Subtitles are also available: just click on the little “cc” button an there should be german, english and spanish available.


Further information: http://www.nph-mexico.org/

June 29, 2011   1 Comment

Honduras, again!

While writing this I am already in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Here I have the internet connection it takes to upload a couple of photos with impressions of my visit to Honduras.
It’s always something special to return to the Ranch. After having lived there for one year and to know all those great people – volunteers, employees and most important the kids. Two weeks are few but it was great. I only wished I could have stayed a little longer! It is remarkable how fast the kids grow … I remember them when I started as a volunteer and the boys in my house they were little. Now they are in their adolescent phase. Anyhow, most of them still like me so I suppose I did thing well back than.

Also, I had the chance to visit Ben (he and I were both volunteering at the Ranch) near La Ceiba were he works now for another NGO. While I was always a little disappointed with the whole landscape and nature around the capital Tegucigalpa I have to state that La Ceiba and the national park “Pico Bonito” is an amazing spot! I definitely have to return one day. I better let the photos speak for themselves:

April 13, 2011   2 Comments

A Visit to Haiti

Back in 2010 just a couple of weeks after the devastating earthquake I was visiting NPFS (Nos Petits Frères et Sœurs) for the first time. As you might imagine this visit left a strong impression and I was glad to get another opportunity to visit that country that was forgotten by the world for too long and that moved to the spotlight after the tragedy in January 2010.
We hit the road in the Dominican Republic at 1 o’clock in the night. A little bus (“guagua”) packed with a group of awesomely jolly Canadians (all of them about 70 years old) and my buddy Janvier, a cheerful guy that grow up in the orphanage in Haiti, as the driver. A bumpy 10 hour ride with some “moments” at the border. But we made it, passed by those tent cities on the way and finally reached the St. Damien pediatric hospital in Tabarre, which is some 5 or 6 km outside of the capital. Compared to the time I was there in 2010 things have improved so much! There are new programs such as the “Father Wasson Angels of Light”, St-Louis which is the a new orphanage, the St-Anne babies house, and Kay Germaine – the physiotherapy and educational center. I did not have many opportunities to visit the “outside” (which isn’t recommended anyway if you’re not with someone who knows the bosses in the districts) but I feel I’ve seen so much. Not just all the different program but rather a spirit among the people. Let’s called it charity or love … which makes it sound cheesy. But it is definitely there, in this place that is so terrible and forgotten and where is seems that there’s no hope for a better life for the vast majority of the people.
I got to know great people, listened to so many languages (English, German, French, Creole, Italian, Spanish) and am still impressed by the pictures in my mind. Godspeed Haiti, hope to see you next time!
Please find more information about NPFS Haiti on the website. Of course there is a big need. Your help is appreciated!

March 5, 2011   No Comments

día de los muertos

The “day of the dead” is big here in central Mexico. Pretty awesome and a nice tradition the invite dead family members and friends to join the party for 2 days and also to make fun of the death. I’ve never seen so many little kids dressed up as skeletons as here in Cuernavaca!

November 5, 2010   No Comments

volcán Pacaya

hello! … this time from beautiful Guatemala. Last Sunday I happened to climb the volcano Pacaya which is situated near Antigua (which is a bit like the guatemalan Disneyland for gringos). Anyway, I had a hard time getting up but in order to catch the first bus I had to be in the next village at 5 am. Then a 20 minute ride to Antigua where this mini bus full of gringos and israelis picked me up. Now, those of you who know me could imagine that I do usually no really enjoy walking in guided caravan of gringos. Sounds like a rough morning, hu? Indeed, but up there was amazing! At some points the trees were dead (they told me that it’s because of the last eruption), we were in the clouds and this like and colors and shapes made it pretty spooky. Enjoy the photos!

P.S.: there weren’t any rivers of lava, but spots of hot air. And just today I saw an eruption not that far from the children’s village here. But I was the only one freaking out since this happens quite a lot around here I suppose.

August 24, 2010   No Comments

Neverville on karmapolice.de

Dear karmapolice.de reader!

Due to the fact that this blog seems a little frozen, I would like to seize the chance to plug my own website and hereby the band Neverville. Some of you might remember a post on karmapolice.de where I advertised a new recording of the song In the Light. Well, The Primps are now Neverville and the song In the Light is still one of our favorites, now with a better (studio-) recording.

After being left by the drummer and the bassist in August 2009, Neverville has found a new drummer. But we are still searching for a bassist. I surmise that karmapolice.de is not the hottest spot for musicians looking for a band, but if you know someone playing the bass and having time to rehearse with us here in Leipzig, please let him or her know about us.

I hope my post also helps heating up karmapolice.de.

Best wishes,

Matze Cash

www.myspace.com/nevervillemusic

August 6, 2010   2 Comments