So we've had an interesting week sorting through both containers and coming across a lot of interesting items. Pretty much this blog is going to be about what not to send to Haiti. I also hope it makes us ponder where we get the mentality that we can send 3rd world countries junk or things that we wouldn't want to use ourselves.
In the first container we received lots of hygiene products (all brand new). It was like shoppers drug mart emptied a warehouse and put it in a sea-can. In this particular container we received the following 'not' Haiti friendly products: ~ sunscreen, tanning oil, skin bronzers ~ panty hose ~ stevia, expired food and candy from 2008 ~ expired cough syrup, protein shakes, vitamins as far back as 2008 ~ hair removal cream, bath oil, face mask packets ~ heating coils so your pipes wont freeze ~ fabric softener sheets, I am sure there were others but that's all we could think of as we made our list.
Now mind you there were some really good things in that containers as well like baby diapers, soap, shampoo, lotion, candles, and band-aids. I have a story for you about the hair removal cream. In our sorting we made a "not for Haiti pile" and placed the hair removal there. Some how as stuff was being distributed a few ladies received the hair removal cream. Marc was talking with some computer students today and we heard that the ladies were using it in their hair as shampoo and were starting to lose their hair. Like it's falling out! Whoever handed out that product clearly did not read the label or tell the ladies what it is and how it can be used. Can you imagine if that happened in Canada? Lawsuit central~ Ha anyways that was supposed to make you smile.
Now onto the next list of things we found in the container that is staying here. ~ ski pants, snowboard boots, knitted slippers ~ an English book on Canadian parliament from 1983 ~ 2010 calendar ~ VHS videos on the petroleum industry ~ Used binders with school papers notes in them from whatever class ~ 1950 black and decker drill that does not work plus a bunch of other old tools that do not work and are in the junk pile. ~ A polaroid camera from like 1960 that has no film and doesn't work ~ used, dirty stuffed animals/ toys
These are again a few of the items that we found and sort of shook our heads at. I guess what I am trying to do is help people try to understand that what comes here needs to be useful. It costs a lot of money, time and effort to fill the containers ship them here and then get them out of Port au Prince. People in this country want good things and need good things. So please before you donate something to Haiti or any other 3rd world country please think about what you are sending and if you were on the receiving end what would you think.
I do want to thank those who did put a lot of time and effort into putting good things into the containers that will be useful here in the future and now. I am sure it was a lot of work to get everything together and sorted.
Thanks for reading~