Travel Haiti: A Conversation with Melissa Adler

Travel Haiti: A Conversation with Melissa Adler

Travel Haiti: A Conversation with Melissa Adler

This month we’re interviewing women from all over the world and asking them about their experiences traveling to Haiti. We had the privilege of speaking with Melissa Adler about her experience traveling to Haiti. Here’s a glimpse into our conversation.

Tell us about yourself! What do you do when you’re not traveling the world? Where do you live? What made you decide to go to your most recent destination?

I decided to travel to Haiti on a humanitarian service mission with my university two years ago. I’m originally from Florida, only a two hour flight away from Haiti. So I was curious about this region still suffering from the earthquake that struck years ago and was eager to volunteer.

When I’m not traveling the world, I actually get to coordinate travel for others. I work for a company that provides educational group travel to Israel.

Travel Haiti

How long did you go for? How did you spend your time?

I went to Haiti for one week, with 18 other volunteers. We spent most of our time in what used to be a church in Port-au-Prince, the capital.

The upper floor of the building is now used for a medical clinic funded by Heart to Heart International, and the basement is a school for about 70 students of all ages. We cleaned the clinic and repainted its walls in the mornings, and ran different arts and crafts activities for the kids in the afternoons.

We came prepared with tons of arts supplies for the kids! And, we built bridges with toothpicks and gummies and made volcanoes out of water bottles and silly putty. Even though we didn’t speak Creole, we still managed to form connections with the kids, who were so excited by the opportunity to color with new markers and paper.

What were your most memorable experiences? What were the biggest disappointments?

The most memorable part of my trip was visiting a quieter and more peaceful city in Haiti called Zoranje. In this city there was a school set up by Prodev, and a community center with a large soccer field.

We worked together with a few members of the community to clear the soccer field of garbage and shrubbery that had accumulated. We also set up new goal posts and nets, a project that was started six weeks prior to our arrival.

Though it was inspiring to see the hope of the Haitians and the extensive efforts of various aid organizations to rebuild the region, it was definitely disappointing and heartbreaking to witness the level of poverty that is still so prevalent.

Though it was inspiring to see the hope of the Haitians and the extensive efforts of various aid organizations to rebuild the region, it was definitely disappointing and heartbreaking to witness the level of poverty that is still so prevalent.

Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

What do you wish you knew before you went?

I wish I knew how incredibly hot the region is, especially in the summer. There were days when the temperature surpassed 100 degrees Fahrenheit!

Any favorite restaurants/hotels/hostels/sites you’d like to recommend?

We stayed at a great hotel in Port-au-Prince called Le Plaza Hotel. It has an outdoor pool, nice dining accommodations, WiFi, and clean rooms. I would recommend visiting the Iron Market, which was rebuilt after being fully destroyed by the earthquake.

You can bargain for great souvenirs there – cool paintings, rugs, bracelets, and even pet turtles. The President’s Palace is another site worth visiting. It was severely damaged from the earthquake and has yet to be rebuilt.

What’s next on your travel list?

I just recently relocated to Israel, and am most excited to explore the country once I’m settled in!

Travel Haiti: A Conversation with Melissa Adler

Travel Haiti: A Conversation with Melissa Adler

Related Reading

Drawing Maps in Haiti: In Conversation with Allison Coffelt
Music and Medical Missions Trip to Haiti: A Conversation With Aliz Koletas
Haiti Travel: Heart Breaking Living Conditions

Have you traveled to Haiti? What where your impressions? Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Travel Haiti: A Conversation with Melissa Adler photo credits: pixabay and Melissa Adler.

Travel Haiti

About Real Deal

Real DealOn the Real Deal, women share the highlights and challenges from their recent trip–and what they wish they knew before going.

One thought on “Travel Haiti: A Conversation with Melissa Adler

  1. Avatar
    ellen adler
    October 1, 2014
    Reply

    Great article! Ellen Adler(Melissa’s mom}.

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