We have already shot over 20 tapes, mostly trying to focus on the restavek phenomenon, but finding other potential stories as well. We talked to a woman with 10 children whose husband is in prison and who will send two of her children to live with other families in Port-au-Prince. And then another family with 13 children in which the father said he would NEVER send his children away because of what might happen to them.
We also talked to a woman who has a tumor the size of a baby in her stomach but can’t get it cared for and another family whose house caved in but don’t have the money to do anything about it.
I know I don’t have to say much about the poverty, but it is impressive. It’s amazing that people survive. I’ve seen gross poverty before, but this kind really seems to offer no hope. Some of the children here are so hungry they have taken to eating dirt. According to J.P. – our “guide” of sorts – most of the families in the area are lucky to have one meal a day. There are few sources of employment beyond cutting down trees and making charcoal and selling mangoes which are plentiful in Haiti and, therefore, don’t fetch much on the market.
Or there’s the drug trade. We hiked up a mountain today to get B-Roll of the countryside. While Dane got footage of the landscape, a plane appeared and J.P. said it was making drops of cocaine on the shore to be taken to Port-au-Prince for delivery to the States. Naturally, I pulled out my camera and started taking pictures. They must have seen me because they turned around and came right at us and J.P. started saying “This is bad news. We really should get out of here.” So, we quickly packed up and started back down the mountain.