As we landed, we saw breathtaking Caribbean water in shades of deep blue, sky blue, teal, turquoise, white sand and a majestic mountain range enveloped us. As we drove West through the countryside we got even a closer view of Haiti’s natural beauty. But we also got a bird’s eye view of beautiful people and people with the will power to fight on. “We are a strong people” said a student of Haitian descent. It’s easy to feel enormous sadness for a little boy (less than 5) showering outside with a cup of water at a time. But instead you could see the joy on his face – he was laughing with his caregiver as we drove by. That shared joy represents hope. As students reflected after their arrival, many commented on the beauty of the nation and the strength of the people. We witnessed a gorgeous sunset on our way to Archaie, which punctuated the end of another day and the struggle continues just before sunrise.

Follow through March 18 for service activities led by Howard students, faculty and staff throughout Haiti.