Is a vague optimism detectable?

 In News, News


The end of my stay in Haiti is now getting closer by the minute. I hope and believe that I have been able to accomplish the things that I set out to do, and I feel that the plans for Manaman Troll Studio and a new Manman Troll hairdressing school this autumn are now ready.  Budgets, shopping list for Ikea, specifications for a power generator. Applications for financial support for the generator. And a whole lot of other stuff. Very pleased with that.


Manman Troll Studio has barely started in the new premises in Delmas 19.  Chantalle, Myfarah and Guerline work three days a week for now. They do simple haircuts, rollers and nails. We are going to look for new premises pretty soon as the area we are in at present is too quiet. We need more traffic passing by in order to attract customers. But at the moment it is ok in order for the girls to be comfortable in their new job and gain experience.

Yesterday we were out in two different guesthouses to hang up advertising posters for the salon. It is important that the girls learn that they need to bring in customers, not just sit and wait. But it is a very new situation to them. They are inexperienced in promoting themselves. It will come. I’m at least very exited about getting started.


Project  Haiti has an abundance of projects going these days. Its very good. The bakery is ready for opening. The oven producer has been her to install the oven. Only waiting for the gas tanks. The salon has opened (and all Project Haiti visitors are obliged to make an appointment, just to have that on the record). The Screen – Connecting Youth – project is ongoing with exchanges and film groups both here and there. Circus artists are visiting at the moment. They are going to make a show with the youth club (very disappointed that I’m missing out on that!). Marna Kotte Åsgren and Siv Mika Engebretsen were here on as quick visit along with two ladies form Lille Vinkel Sko (shoe shop) in Oslo. Lille Vinkel has donated lots of shoes to Project Haiti, nice to see that they come into good use. Medical students have visited and held lectures for the youth club in addition to their own studies.   Marte and Ronja visited and held an English course, a creative workshop and a lecture about the UN for Etappe Jeunesse.  Still lots of work going on in St. Lois with the new school.  Manman Troll and Petit Troll are still” hanging in there”.  Lots of activity, almost so that it boils over from time to time. I almost get exhausted at times, not surprising that I can hear occasional sighs from my left where Ingvill sits.


And Edwin has started exercising towards the New York Marathon.  He will be taking over for me to run the marathon and raise money for Project Haiti. Don’t know if he is planning on a price per meter yet, but stay tuned, because when he is ready you better buy some meters. I’m going to back him every meter. Have joined him the days he go running, but not the same distances. He needs to cover more meters than I have to at the moment. But Edwin is like a machine, so he will do this just fine! Looking forward to following him.


So many good things are happening, an I for one feel a great optimism for all of Project Haiti’s activities. Money is ALWAYS needed, but the enthusiasm and will to work are present!


Elsewhere in Port au Prince I sense a small shift in direction/atmosphere. More a gut feeling than anything else. There’s more construction activity. A few foreign investors are building hotels, i.a. I see this as a good sign. They obviously believe that people are going to travel here, ad that will always be positive for the economy. Additionally, there is something happening with the atmosphere. Barely, but still. Cannot express it clearly, but perhaps something like less apathy, in addition to the increased activity one can se around. I hope and believe it is for the best for Haiti, and I am very excited to see the development in the next 10- 15 years. A lot is going to happen. Not quickly, but it will happen! I can feel it in my water!

So until next time, a bientot and thank you!


Åse Midtveit



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