In LaVallée

14

I have never lived without running water—most people in the United States don’t know what that’s like. However, there are still many Native people in the US who do not have running water. When I was growing up, my grandparents did not have water in their house—they drew water from a nearby well, so I knew having running water in the house was a “luxury” not to be taken for granted. Living without running water is a hardship many people can’t even imagine.  Nevertheless, in countries like Haiti, everyone knows what its like not to have this precious element easily accessible to them. People in LaVallée have to walk up steep rocky trails or roads to get water and then carry it back home, usually on their head. I am amazed at the resilient energy and strength of Haitian people.

2.	Flying over the mountains from Port au Prince to Jacmel is a quick flight and the view is always different. Here you can see the damage on the treeless mountains from heavy rains during hurricane season and you can see the damage caused by the ravaging water as it rushes completely in charge as it pillages its way to the ocean—leaving nothing behind.

Flying over the mountains from Port au Prince to Jacmel is a quick flight and the view is always different. Here you can see the damage on the treeless mountains from heavy rains during hurricane season and you can see the damage caused by the ravaging water as it rushes completely in charge pillaging its way to the ocean—leaving nothing behind.

1.	As I watched this beautiful storm blow in off the ocean, I couldn’t help but think about the river and what it will be like when we have to cross it. But this rain is desperately needed, especially for the crops, the animals, and the cisterns and reservoirs.

As I watched this beautiful storm blow in off the ocean, I couldn’t help but think about the river and what it will be like when we have to cross it. But this rain is desperately needed, especially for the crops, the animals, and the cisterns and reservoirs.

4.	The river is critical for the people who live in and around the area; they rely on it for their daily needs, cooking, drinking, bathing, laundry, watering the animals and their crops.

This river is crucial for the survival of the people in this country. They use it for all of their daily needs—they drink from it, they water their animals and their crops, its where they do their laundry, it is their main source of water.

3.	Everyone crosses this river on the way up the mountains but during hurricane season and after a heavy rain no one crosses until the water subsides.

Everyone crosses this river on the way up the mountains and back but during hurricane season and after a heavy rain no one can cross until the water subsides.

5.	This bridge was just one of many bridges that was built over the years but none could standup under torrential downpours and raging waters during hurricane season.

The bridge here was just one of many bridges that was built over the years but none could standup under torrential downpours and raging waters during hurricane season.

6.	Last spring a group from China came with tons of equipment and started construction on a bridge that will hold up under the forces of nature during hurricane season. We all hope their work will holdup under the conditions of nature.

Last spring a group from China arrived with tons of equipment and started construction on a bridge that will hold up under the forces of nature during hurricane season.

8.	Higher up in the mountains and away from the river people have to rely on underground streams for their water or they have tapped into the spring and installed a pipe to direct the flow making it easier to fill containers or bathe and do laundry.

Higher up in the mountains and away from the river people have to rely on underground streams for their water or they have tapped into the spring and installed a pipe to direct the flow making it easier to fill containers or bathe and do laundry.

9.	When there is a dry spell, people get water where they can and often they walk long distances for it

When there is a dry spell, people get water where they can and often they walk long distances for it.

10.	Rain is good during the dry season but this is Market Day and the rain is coming making people scramble to cover their wares.

Rain is good during the dry season but this is Market Day and the rain is coming making people scramble to cover their wares but they don’t seem to mind at all.

7.	When I first met this woman she told me she had been washing linens for the hospital in these pans, by hand, for a very long time—Not long after, AHDH raised enough money for a large generator, built a water tower and put in a washing machine—no longer do they wash anything by hand at the Hospital St. Joseph.

When I first met this woman she told me she had been washing linens for the hospital in these pans, by hand, for a very long time—Not long after that, AHDH raised enough money for a large generator, built a water tower and put in a washing machine—no longer do they wash anything by hand at the Hospital St. Joseph.

13.	This young girl walks to the source carrying the clothes and spends most of the day here washing them.

This young girl walked to the source carrying soiled clothes and will spend most of her day here washing the clothes, by hand, for her family.

14.	I am impressed with the young people in LaVallée, I never hear them whining because they have to carry heavy containers of water or that they might be hungry. I don’t know how far this young boy has to walk carrying water for his family but does it without complaining.

I am impressed with the young people in LaVallée, I never hear them whining because they have to carry heavy containers of water or that they might be hungry. I don’t know how far this young boy has to walk carrying water for his family but he does it without complaining.

15.	I am always amazed at the resilient energy and strength of the Haitian people. With a heavy bucket of water on her head, she stopped and waited for me to get near enough to photograph her and her granddaughter.

I am always amazed at the energy and strength of Haitian people. With a heavy bucket of water on her head, she stopped and waited for me to get near enough to photograph her and her granddaughter.

16.	This old guy is on his way to fill his containers with water, no telling how far he has to walk and he might do this a few times a day.

This man is on his way to fill his containers with water, no telling how far he has to walk and he might do this a few times a day.

17.	This area called Boursiquot is one of the main water sources. These boys were on a water truck filling the large containers and then putting vines on top of the water to keep it from splashing out while driving back up that steep rough road.

This area called Boursiquot is one of the main water sources. These boys were on the water truck filling large containers with water and then putting vines on top of the water to keep it from splashing out while driving back up that steep rough road.

19.	This young couple was married in a small church, after the service we all walked to the home of the newly weds, which was quite a long walk, to help them celebrate. Along the way we passed the water source where women were washing clothes and hanging them on the fence—they all stopped and greeted the couple as they passed. Even though I thought it was a long walk it was a good time with lots of laughing and talking.

This young couple was married in a small church and after the service we all walked to the home of the newly weds, which was quite a long walk, to help them celebrate. Along the way we passed the water source where women were washing clothes and hanging them on the fence—they all stopped and greeted the couple as they passed. Even though I thought it was a long walk it was a good time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Documentary Photography, Far-Flung Villages in Haiti, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti, Portraits, THE HAITI PROJECT, the young photographers of LaVallée | Leave a comment

Portraits of Beautiful People in LaVallée, Haiti

 

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I have so many beautiful portraits of people I’ve met in Haiti. I think of my first trip and of Dr. René warning me about the people stealing my heart and how right he was. On my first trip I wanted to give something to the people I would be meeting for the first time so I took a small portable printer and tons of ink and paper and made portraits of anyone who wanted a photograph until I ran out of paper. The images you’ll see were all selected at random and from different times and places in LaVallée and Jacmel. I’m happy to show you how they presented themselves to me.

 

Man with the pink scarf

Man with the pink scarf

 

One of the Ladies making our dinner

One of the Ladies making Pikliz (pick-lees) for our dinner.

 

This family has been taking care of the doctors, nurses and volunteers for a very long time and they do an excellent job!

This family has been taking care of the doctors, nurses and volunteers for a very long time and they do an excellent job—Merci Beaucoup!

 

This little one will put a smile on your face.

This little one will put a smile on your face.

 

Michael Beauford and a group of youngsters looking at the pics on his camera

Michael Beauford and a group of youngsters looking at the pics on his camera.

 

Joe And Louise Lature a couple of the nicest people I know.

Joe And Louise Lauture a couple of the nicest people I know.

 

Joe with the Mayor his beautiful family.

Joe Lauture with the Mayor and his beautiful family.

 

In front of the catholic school

In front of the catholic school

 

Lady from Bainet

Lady from Bainet

 

Boy in a blue checkered shirt

Boy in a checkered shirt.

 

Toasting the newly weds at the Cap LaMondeau in Jacmel

Toasting the newly weds at the Cap LaMandou Hotel in Jacmel.

 

We met this young lady poolside at the Cap LaMondeau

We met this young lady poolside at the Cap LaMandou Hotel.

 

Claude is a friend and is always available to help in anyway he can.

Claude is a friend and always there to help in anyway he can.

 

this little boy looks as though he's filled with wisdom.

This little guy looks like he might run the country one day!

 

Professor Artur was one of the three elders in the community, he lived well into his 90's.

Professor Artur was one of the three elders in the community, he lived well into his 90’s. He was a great man  and I’m honored to have met him.

 

woman wearing a big hat

Woman wearing a big hat.

 

Guy and Kathleen are great people and always there for us.

Guy and Kathleen are great people and are always there to help. Kathleen makes delicious passion fruit drinks when we visit. Love to you both.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Documentary Photography, Far-flung villages, Far-Flung Villages in Haiti, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti, Portraits, THE HAITI PROJECT, the young photographers of LaVallée | Leave a comment

I haven’t posted anything in a few months and I apologize if you have been checking my blog only to see the same images again and again. I’ll be using images from my archives and there might some that no one has seen yet.

Over the years that I’ve been traveling to Haiti with AHDH I documented everything possible and I have watched many changes take place. I will never forget my first time in LaVallée it was magical—like I had just stepped into another lifetime. We flew into Jacmel on a small charter plane and that’s when it started. The airport was one room and the seating area was outside, it was beautiful! There was no fence to keep the people and animals off the runway but as far as I know there were never any accidents. I’m starting with these images so you will see the changes as I post more images.

This first set of the images is from my first few trips. I hope you enjoy them.

The  charter company we flew with for years doesn't fly any more.

The charter company we flew with for years doesn’t fly any more.

 

This was the airport then and I loved it!

The airport in Jacmel. I loved it!

 

We use to have to drive across the river in a shallow spot.

We drove across the river in a shallow spot.

 

This was the road into the main part of town.

The Parking Lot,  the road into the main part of town.

 

On market day

On market day beautiful baskets line the street.

 

Traveling up and down this road was difficult no matter if you walked, rode a donkey or in a truck.

Traveling up and down this road was difficult no matter if you walked, rode a donkey or rode in a truck.

 

St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Church.

St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Church.

 

Offerings on St. Jean Baptiste celebration

Offerings on St. Jean Baptiste Day. This was the most beautiful event of all! The people offered everything they had, fruit, bread, and animals and flowers.

 

St. Jean Baptiste Day is a week long event with lots of music and dancing

St. Jean Baptiste Day is a week long event with lots of music and dancing and food.

 

Michael Beauford danced and celebrated too!

Michael Beauford danced and celebrated too!

 

It was very dark the only light was my flash which blinded us all of a minute but we had fun

It was very dark the only light was my flash which blinded us all for a minute but no seemed to mind we all had fun.

 

This was my first first Haitian Party

This was my first first Haitian Party but not my last.

 

The music was good

The music was great and we could hear it long after we all turned in.

 

 

This street is now paved as well as all of the other streets.

This street is now paved and does not look like this at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Documentary Photography, Far-flung villages, Far-Flung Villages in Haiti, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti, THE HAITI PROJECT, the young photographers of LaVallée | Leave a comment

PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI

In July before coming back to the States I had the opportunity to spend a few days in Port au Prince with friends. Driving from the airport through the city to Pétionville the first thing I noticed was a garbage truck and people busy sweeping and picking up trash—the truck stood out to me because I’d never seen a garbage truck in Haiti before—the streets were not lined with garbage and it didn’t seem to be as chaotic as it was. I have always had hope for Haiti and now I see progress as well.

I was so surprised to see this truck that I didn't even notice the glare on the windshield.. the driver did accommodate me by clearing off the dashboard.

I was so surprised to see this truck that I didn’t even notice the glare on the windshield, but the driver did accommodate me by clearing off the dashboard.

There is still a lot going its a very large city on but its not chaotic.

There is still a lot going on in this very large city, but its not chaotic.

shooting stills from a moving car is not easy, I was focusing on the shoe man in the middle.

There are vendors on every corner.

Even though the streets are very busy there are no horns blowing and drivers cursing each other.

Even though the streets are very busy there are no horns blowing and drivers cursing each other.

The lady with a can on her head and two chickens on her arm.

The lady with a can on her head and two chickens on her arm.

A truck loaded with charcoal.

A truck loaded with charcoal.

On a hillside in Port au Prince.

On a hillside in Port au Prince.

Scalfolding

Scaffolding

Jesus Boutiue

The Jesus Boutique.

Posted in Documentary Photography, Far-flung villages, Far-Flung Villages in Haiti, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti, THE HAITI PROJECT | 1 Comment

Far-Flung Villages in Haiti

Last month I was asked to document a water source in an area in LaVallée that I had never heard of before—I jumped at the chance. Over time I have photographed just about everything but this would be my first venture out into those far-flung villages that outsiders rarely get to visit. When I first began photographing in Haiti I let it be known that I would document whatever they needed.

We drove as far as we could and then hiked to the source. It was a man-made lake but I was more interested in the area around the lake, it was thriving. Then we were invited to another water source. We walked on a narrow path through a jungle to a clearing where there was fresh running water, not a lot but enough. Everything looked different, the people the animals and everything else that thrives on water.

When it was time to leave they insisted we quench our thirst with fresh coconut milk. A young man climbed the tree for coconuts and another man used his machete to open them.

What an adventure! I can’t wait to go back there.

All images are copyright: 2013 J. La Rance

A Farm in LaVallée

A Farm in LaVallée

The Water Source

The Water Source

Woman on the Levee

This levee helps to hold back the water during rainy season when it rises to the edge. They built an overflow to direct the water when it floods and I hope it works for them.

The Farm

The Farm

Man with a donkey at the lake

Cement walls were built to prevent the lake from flooding the crops.

The run-off area

The run-off area

Our guide through the jungle area

Our guide through the jungle area insisted we drink coconut milk before hiking back to the trucks.

Through this jungle

Through this jungle is an area I only dreamed of.

path through the jungle

We followed the path through banana trees and other exotic plants and trees, past houses where people greeted us. It was awesome!

The garden

The crops are well protected and two little girls water the large field with buckets.

They protect the new growth with palm leaves

They protect the new growth with palm leaves. It must take hours to water the crops, but they didn’t seem to mind at all.

This is a good thing to see in Haiti

The farmer brings his animal to water before sundown.

Long shadows

As the sun cast a long shadows on the two little girls I had to have just one more image of them before leaving.

woman walking

woman walking on the hill

Young man climbs with ease

This young man climbs with ease to get coconuts for us.

Man uses his machette

This man uses his machete to open the coconuts and perfect every time.

He opens them perfectly, it was delicious!

It was delicious!

Francois a good friend

Francois

the end of a beautiful day

The end of a beautiful day.

All images are copyright: 2013 J. La Rance

Posted in Documentary Photography, Far-flung villages, Far-Flung Villages in Haiti, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Photography in Haiti | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

AHDH, Inc. 57th Medical Mission Summer 2013 Hospital St. Joseph , Ridoré, LaVallée de Jacmel, Haiti

Our weekend in Jacmel at the Hotel Cap LaMandou is always a great time with lots of good food, good music, good friends and laughs. This is the time we change teams, one leaves and another crew joins in for the second half of the mission. Team 1 was the most photogenic I’ve ever worked with. In the group shot every eye is on my camera and rarely do I get that much cooperation from a large group. I’ve worked behind the scenes on movie sets and never did I get all eyes on my camera at the same time on the first take. You guys made my work so easy, Merci Beaucoup!

You may capture the images you want from this mission.

I love this image, everyone looks happy, mission complete.

I love this image! everyone looks so happy,  mission complete.

The bartenders at the Cap LaMandou

Bartenders at the Cap LaMandou Hotel

Dr. René gives his thank you speech to the departing team

Dr. René gives his thank you speech to the team that will depart in the morning

Three AHDH Veterans

Three AHDH Veterans

Doctor, Dentists and students

Doctor, Dentists and students

Dr. Nicole Michael and Dr. Charles René

Dr. Nicole Michael and Dr. Charles René

Three Haitian Doctors join us on most of the missions, we are grateful to have them!

Three Haitian Doctors join us on most of the missions and we are grateful to have them!

Dr. Yvonne Major and Sharon Green

Dr. Yvonne Major and Sharon Green

The Eye team, over 300 pairs of eyes were checked but I'm sorry I don't know how many went to surgery

Dr. René with the Eye teams. David and Anika, surgeons and Yvonne and two of her assistants

Dr. Victor and friend

Dr. Victor and friend

Ultrasound team with Dr. René

Ultrasound team, Mike and Nick with Dr. René

Doctors, Nurses, and students

Doctors, Nurses, and students

Celeste and Dr. René

Celeste and Dr. René

 Students


Students

 Political Science Majors


Political Science Majors

Students

Students

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You can order your omelet anyway you want it and watch her cook it

At breakfast you can order an omelet anyway you want it

This team will travel in buses to Port au Prince with all the luggage

The teams will travel in buses to Port au Prince with all the luggage. First time for everything.

The luggage has to be separated and Dr. Nicole knows just what she's doing

The luggage has to be separated and Dr. Nicole knows just what she’s doing

Mike with his new carry-on

Mike with his new carry-on

First bus is loaded and ready to leave

First bus is loaded and ready to leave

Two nurses

Ready to board the bus

This is the first time they've had to use buses, only because MAF Charter doesn't fly on Sunday

This is the first time they’ve had to use buses,  MAF Charters don’t fly on Sunday

Posted in Documentary Photography, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti, THE HAITI PROJECT, the young photographers of LaVallée | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Surgery at the Hospital St. Joseph, Ridoré, LaVallée de Jacmel, Haiti

Every person who becomes a part of the medical team has a major part in the order of how it all works, and after all this time I continue to be fascinated by it all. There are still many pieces missing like an x-ray machine but we do have ultrasound, and there isn’t much that Michael Beauford can’t or won’t get a view on with his machine. I think back to when it was only a dream to have an ultrasound machine—and it all started with a dream. I remember when all Dr. René talked about was doing his first cesarean at the Hospital St. Joseph. Now, after many years cesareans are performed on every mission. I’ve watched Anika Michael develop into an amazing eye surgeon with her own operating room! and all of this in a country with no running water or electricity. I know it sounds like we have everything we need and we all wish that was true but…

 

Ultrasound team Nick Pechon and Michael Beauford

Ultrasound team Nick Pechon and Michael Beauford

 

Ultrasound

Mike teaches Nick a few new things in Ultrasound

 

Nothing much takes place in surgery without Anesthesiologist Arshi Michael and student

Nothing much takes place in surgery without Anesthesiologist Arshi Michael assisted by med student

 

Epidural

Epidural

 

Prepping for cesarean

Prep for surgery

They all work together

They work together

 

Arshi adjusts lights for the surgery

Arshi adjusts lights for surgery

 

Dr. Victor and med student

Dr. Victor and med student

 

Dr. Victor

Dr. Victor is ready

 

Hernia repair

Hernia repair

 

Another surgery is being prepped before the Doc is finished with this one

Another surgery is being prepped on the next table

 

Student nurse makes sure the patient is warm

Student nurse makes sure the patient is warm

 

Dr. Blaise preparing for cesarean

Dr. Blaise preparing for cesarean

 

Dr. Blaise

Dr. Blaise

 

Nurse Diane with the healthy new baby

Nurse Diane with the healthy new baby

 

It's a girl

It’s a girl

 

Anika Michael and assitant

Anika Michael and assistant getting ready for surgery

 

Dr. Monsanto and med student watch as Anika begins

Dr. Monsanto and med student watch as Anika begins

 

David Mostafavi and Lorri Heraly

David Mostafavi and Lorri Heraly

Posted in Documentary Photography, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti, THE HAITI PROJECT | Tagged | Leave a comment

Xavier University

The three women in this set of images are from Xavier University in New Orleans, Dr. Sarah Amering, Pharm.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, Porscha Showers and Shana Simon, Pharmacy students. They organized the storage room and helped make things run smoother at the Hospital St. Joseph—they also moved around and through the Hospital helping where it was needed. But mostly they maintained the “Pharmacy.”

We visited the Lycée Philippe Jules in Ridoré to see if the new computers Xavier had shipped to them were working. The small, hot stuffy room was packed with students and all of the computers were being used. Xavier also sent a small generator to power the machines and generators are loud and the other students don’t like it but I’m sure they’ll figure it out.

Dr. Sarah Amering

Dr. Sarah Amering

Porscha Showers and Shana Simon

Porscha Showers and Shana Simon

Shana Simon

Shana Simon

Porscha Showers

Porscha Showers

 Sarah, Porscha and Philippe caring for a patient


Sarah, Porscha and Philippe

Shana in O.R.

Shana in the operating room

In the operating room

Students observe in the operating room

Visiting the Lycée

Visiting Lycée Philippe Jules

Classrooms at the Lycée resembles an abandoned building

The Lycée resembles an abandoned building

Inside the computer classroom

Inside the hot stuffy computer classroom

Xavier can be proud of these women

Xavier can be proud of these women

New Computers

New Computers

Claude is always available as interpreter

Claude is always available as interpreter

They discuss the projector

The old projector

Doorway to the computer room

Doorway to the computer room

The generator

The generator

Posted in Documentary Photography, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti, THE HAITI PROJECT, the young photographers of LaVallée | Leave a comment

LaVallée, The Ceremony

This was a very special trip for me. I had a special christening ceremony to attend on Sunday morning in Boursiquot, an area far down in the valley below our house in Ridoré—I was asked to be the godmother of Lilly, the daughter of Marie Carmel and Jeannot, a young couple we have known for a very long time. I photographed their wedding, the birth of their son and now I have the honor of being godmother to their baby daughter.

I have to admit the hike down and back was so treacherous that I couldn’t even make a photograph. But I invited Nick Pechon a photographer, along to cover the ceremony and he lagged behind to make these images of our hike down.

The people who live in this part of the valley hike this path daily, sometimes several times in a day carrying water and food. And it was embarrassing when the grandmother walked by barefoot carrying a chair on her head! While we stumbled and fell all over ourselves—we laugh about it now but it was not funny when we were sweating and falling down.

I can honestly say without hesitating there is never a dull moment in LaVallée.

Half-way down looking up

Half-way down looking back up

Me and Lilly

Me and Lilly, my godchild

No flat ground in sight

No flat ground in sight

It's steep but beautiful

It’s steep but beautiful

We take turns hanging on to the guys

We take turns hanging on

Barefoot grandma

Barefoot grandma

She walks the steep path with ease—barefoot!

She walks the rocky steep path with ease—barefoot and a chair on her head!

Posted in Documentary Photography, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti, THE HAITI PROJECT, the young photographers of LaVallée | Leave a comment

Medical Mission in LaVallée

These smiling faces are Nurses, Doctors, Surgeons, Periodontist, Pharmacist, Ultrasonographer, and students. They work tirelessly, saving lives, delivering babies, restoring eyesight and making people happy—never complaining just doing what needs to be done at the moment. I have been traveling to Haiti for several years now and I am still amazed at how the teams of doctors and nurses make everything happen in a hospital that has limited supplies and is powered only by a small generator.

Summer 2013

Summer 2013   Hotel Cap LaMandou, Jacmel, Haiti

 

Doctors Michael and René

Dr. Michael and Dr. René

 

Three Nurses and a student

Three Nurses and a student

 

Dr. Sarah Amering, Pharm., Xavier University

Dr. Sarah Amering, Pharm., Xavier University

 

Xavier student

Xavier student

 

Xavier student

Xavier student

 

Eye surgeons David & Anika

Eye surgeons David & Anika

 

Periondontist

Periodontist, Kiya Green-Dixie

 

Mike & Nick Ultrasound Team

Mike & Nick Ultrasound Team

 

Dr. Monsanto and students

Dr. Monsanto and students

 

Dr. Judith Blaise

Dr. Judith Blaise

 

Doctors Monsanto and Victor

Dr. Victor and Dr. Monsanto

 

 Students


Students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Documentary Photography, Jeane LaRance, LaVallée, Medical Photography, Photography in Haiti, THE HAITI PROJECT, the young photographers of LaVallée | Leave a comment