Posted on November 17, 2010 · Posted in writing

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – Blog Published Nov 17, 2010 on

Diondyne-interview-1Due to the negative press, rumors and realities of Haiti, the GNG production crew had its initial reservations about filming at the Boliman Bran Camp, a Haitian tent city,  where our student profile subject, Diandine, lived. Contrary to our expectations, the experience proved to be one of my most memorable moments from this fall’s Students Rebuild video productions.

Upon our crew’s arrival at the Boliman camp, Diandine led us through the 1400 household maze of tarps and tents to get to her home. We were immediately greeted by the curious smiles of women and children that quickly dispelled any misconceptions we might have had about our safety. When we arrived at Diandine’s shelter, she introduced us to her family and neighbors, and proceeded to invite us inside her home. She pulled aside the sheet they used for a door and led us into the muddy tarp covered area. As soon as she opened the “door,” I could feel the blazing heat from the sun, which was magnified by the plastic tarp that stood between us. She showed us the area in the tiny room’s dirt floor, where she slept beside her mother, step-dad and sister. The dense layer of mosquitoes inside were immediately drawn to my flesh, so much so that the prickles made it difficult for me to be present as she told us her story, but it was even more difficult to believe that Diandine ate, bathed and slept in this room.

Throughout the tour of the camp, and pretty much anytime I saw Diandine, she always had a big, bright, contagious smile on her face. It was inspiring to see the obstacles she has to overcome – first hand, and also know that she was ranked second in her senior class at Ecole Ellie Dubois as well as fluent in three languages (Creole, French and English). I think her situation, academic success and positive attitude helped put the situation of Haiti into perspective for me. And I hope it will help viewers of her profile do the same.

About the Author