Haiti Visitor Guide 2014

Haiti Visitor Guide

Prepared by the St. Anthony Haiti Committee  2014

I. Before you go

Medical Preparations

It is important to contact your personal doctor as soon as you decide to go to Haiti.

Tetanus shots need to be up to date.

Malaria prevention meds are taken over a series of weeks

Other vaccinations may be necessary

It would be good to get a broad spectrum antibiotic prescribed by your doctor (ex. Cipro)

Anti-diarrhea medications (prescription meds are better than OTC)

Travel Documents and Information

Passport (take with you a photo copy of the front page)

Drivers License (or ID card)

Notify (email) US Embassy in Haiti of the dates you will be in Haiti email:

papniv@state.gov

Contact Tortuge Air to purchase air reservations to and from Port-de-Paix. info@tortugair.com

Obtain travel insurance (take a copy with you) ex. CSA Travel Insurance on-line.

A Travel Grant (up to $500 per traveler) is available for St. Anthony parishioners. Contact a member of

the Haiti Committee for an application.

II. What to take with you

Medications

Any personal medications

Tylenol PM is helpful in the heat and with the noise of dogs and roosters.

Pain Medicine (Tylenol, etc.)

Mosquito Repellent (with a high % of DEET)

Personal Toiletries

Most rooms have a shower, but there is NO HOT WATER

Bath Soap, “Wet Ones,” Sun Screen, Hand Sanitizer

Avoid fragranced items (they attract mosquitos)

Toilet paper is provided (but you may want to bring a roll)

Towels and sheets are provided (but you may want to bring an extra towel and/or wash cloth)

Small mirror , Ear-plugs (it can be noisy at night)

Clothing

Generally light weight, loose fitting.

Medical Team will be provided scrubs during clinic time.

A nice outfit for Mass. Shirt (tie is optional), Dress or Skirt

Sneakers, sandals, shower shoes.

Hat, Sunglasses, Shorts are OK, if not too short.

Helpful items

Flashlight with extra batteries

Camera/charger

Cell phone/charger

Keep hydrated. Bring a water bottle. Drink mixes like Gatorade replenish electrolytes.

Journal/notebook and pens

Snacks for yourself and to share. ex. peanut butter, crackers, trail-mix, nuts, Jerky (a Haitian favorite)

Book or game for down-times

Expenses

You may need to overnight in Miami or in Port-au-Prince (see Haitian guesthouses below)

Transport from Port-au-Prince to Port-de-Paix by plane ($200 RT), bus ($50 RT) or car.

Transport by cab from one airport to the other airport (about $10 per person)

Car rental and driver (may require a $1,000 security deposit, refundable when vehicle is returned)

Gratuity - For meals and to the cooks in Port-de-Paix

Offertory at Mass, Snacks and Souvenirs

III. What to Expect in Haiti

General considerations

• You may need to lower your expectations. It will be hot and humid. This is not a Caribbean vacation!

• Mosquitoes may be numerous. Mosquito nets are provided with beds.

• Mingle with the people. You are ambassadors for St. Anthony Parish while in Haiti.

• Try to speak French (bring an English/French or Creole Dictionary)

• Know a little about Haiti, its customs and history.

• Facilities are primitive. Haitians are very conscious of the need for cleanliness, however not every place is

clean by our standards.

• Bottled water will be available at the guest houses.

• Never drink the tap water in Haiti. Do not even rinse your mouth with tap water.

• Do not eat any raw fruit or vegetable unless you can peel them (ex. banana, mango, orange).

• The food is well seasoned and tasty, however you may want to bring along some snacks.

• Electricity is generally available, maybe not 24/7.

• It is generally not a good idea to walk unaccompanied beyond the grounds of the parish.

While in Port-au-Prince

•You may have to stay at a guest house overnight. Most guesthouses will meet you at the airport.

• Matthew 25 house (about $40 per night, includes 2 meals; and transport to and from the airport) This

guesthouse is sponsored by the Parish Twinning Program of the Americas. Lots of U.S. parishes use this

guesthouse when they visit their twin parish in Haiti. It is a great place to meet people and share ideas. Check

out their website www. Matthew 25 House Port-au-Prince Phone: 011 509 4 272-9166

•  Other guesthouse options include St. Joseph Home for Boys, Wings of Hope, Norwich house and more

• Accomodations are better in Port-au-Prince. Electricity is more reliable. Warm water is available.

• If you have time, there are things to see in the city. Ask at the guesthouse about a car/driver to take you around

to see Mother Theresa’s Home for the Sick and Dying, St. Joseph Home for Boys, The ruins of the Cathedral

(or hopefully a new one being built). Wings of Hope and The Baptist Mission House are in Fremanthe.

While in Port-de-Paix

• If you fly to Port-de-Paix, the landing strip is gravel, but safe.

• If you are visiting ti celebrate the Fet (April 28, the Feast Day of St. Louis Marie de Montrfort) understand

that the people of the parish and the pastor are busy preparing for the fet. Novena-type prayer services take

place during the nights before the Feast Day. Music and ritual rehearsals are scheduled. The Feast Day Mass

lasts about 3 hours. It will be very hot in the church. A luncheon in the guesthouse usually follows the Mass.

• Depending on the weather, you may tour the area and visit some of the parish "chapels" in the countryside

(Poste Metier, Paulin, Passe-Catabois, Baie des Moustiques). Other sites of interest are: The Cathedral of the

Immaculate Conception, St. Montfort School, the Orphanage up the hill, The Sisters of Charity compound, the

beaches of the area, the market near St. Louis du Nord.

Often the Parish car is out of order, so a rental car may be needed, along with a driver.