Open Ears is following a group of Sonova team members as they head to Haiti with the Hear The World Foundation. Laura Gifford is an Audiologist and Senior Account Executive at Unitron. Her favorite sound is the opening note of a Duran Duran song.
Up and off to the Nashville Airport at 5 am. After having a day to prepare for the trip (physically and emotionally) I was finally getting excited about leaving.
Arriving at the Port-Au-Prince airport was surprisingly modern. Apparently, it was rebuilt after the earthquake.
We took a bus ride through LaPlaine and arrived shortly later at New Life 4 Kids, an orphanage and guesthouse where we will be staying for the week. We came through a secure gate of the colorful campus, and were greeted as we disembarked by a group of children whose soccer game was interrupted by our arrival. The grounds are filled with great fruit trees, green grass, bright, Caribbean architecture, animals and children playing.
We freshened up while a lady named Rose prepared us dinner –a delicious meal of tender chicken with rice, vegetables, salad, pasta and mashed potatoes.
After dinner, our project leader Cathy, took us on a tour of the grounds. The kids at the orphanage are very well cared for but craving for love and attention. I can’t wait to spend some time with them!
We finished the evening getting settled into our dorm-style rooms, taking cold (there’s no hot water here) showers, and visiting with team members on the patio. Our diverse group is comprised of employees from the various Sonova group companies (Phonak, Unitron, Advanced Bionics and Connect Hearing).
Tomorrow, we’ll be going to La Piste, the outer section of the poor neighborhood where the deaf and hearing impaired gathered after the earthquake and where some still live today. We plan to use this day to become a little more familiar with Haiti, to better understand the community and to contribute to moving forward our Hear Haiti project.
The breeze is great out here, and I really don’t want to go back inside. We have electric fans, but it’s still a bit stuffy.
Oh, wait…a bat just squeaked six feet from my head. I’ve also been told the geckos get really loud at night.
Maybe it’s time to go get under my mosquito net…
Follow our journey here on Open Ears and on social media: