Asheville’s Haiti connection: Mission MANNA final day and return to the U.S.

Friday night, Oct. 23: In Montrouis, after the last clinic:
“Back from Piyat — the team will inventory remaining meds, store them, pack, hoist a Prestige [Beer] and sleep well,” reports Todd Kaderabek, Mission MANNA’s point person in Asheville.

This short (20 second) video from yesterday’s Piyat clinic, gives a good sense of the atmosphere.

Saturday, Oct. 24:
“And then, it’s off to airport in Port au Prince (there’s Colt 45 malt liquor in vending machines), check all the bags and wait,” Todd explains. “Landing in Miami is always surreal: culture shock of the developed world. At that point, all you want it to get home,” he adds.

Later, Todd relays he has gotten word from Dr. Derek Dephouse that MissionMANNA’s team has arrived in Miami. “Drama til the end. Tap tap [the bus] did not show this morning, so we strapped the bags to the roofs of the rentals (no roof racks) and took off! Good to be back.”

Sunday, Oct. 25:
Here’s MissionManna’s latest trip blog — with an “after” photo and a poem, posted by David Bourne, at

October 25, 2009

The Trip is Done

We’re Done

We have walked through a rain-soaked jungle,
shining leafs of plantain
blue wood smoke swirling
into mountain mists

We have seen tears and blood,
scabies, malnutrition
pneumonia worms
and examined 1230 children

We have had hard work
harder four-wheeling
mules, backpacks and backs carrying
sacks of ground grains and beans,
medicines, scales and all that makes clinic

We have shared a lot of laughter,
soccer in a gravel lot
  (Haitians 15 — Mission Manna Blans 10)
soaks in the Gonave Bay
respect and affection
with our Haitian brothers and each other



About Jeff Fobes
As a long-time proponent of media for social change, my early activities included coordinating the creation of a small community FM radio station to serve a poor section of St. Louis, Mo. In the 1980s I served as the editor of the "futurist" newsletter of the U.S. Association for the Club of Rome, a professional/academic group with a global focus and a mandate to act locally. During that time, I was impressed by a journalism experiment in Mississippi, in which a newspaper reporter spent a year in a small town covering how global activities impacted local events (e.g., literacy programs in Asia drove up the price of pulpwood; soybean demand in China impacted local soybean prices). Taking a cue from the Mississippi journalism experiment, I offered to help the local Green Party in western North Carolina start its own newspaper, which published under the name Green Line. Eventually the local party turned Green Line over to me, giving Asheville-area readers an independent, locally focused news source that was driven by global concerns. Over the years the monthly grew, until it morphed into the weekly Mountain Xpress in 1994. I've been its publisher since the beginning. Mountain Xpress' mission is to promote grassroots democracy (of any political persuasion) by serving the area's most active, thoughtful readers. Consider Xpress as an experiment to see if such a media operation can promote a healthy, democratic and wise community. In addition to print, today's rapidly evolving Web technosphere offers a grand opportunity to see how an interactive global information network impacts a local community when the network includes a locally focused media outlet whose aim is promote thoughtful citizen activism. Follow me @fobes

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11 thoughts on “Asheville’s Haiti connection: Mission MANNA final day and return to the U.S.

  1. Jeff Fobes

    Tweets from @missionMANNA today relay the following message from Eddy Prophete,a community health worker in Haiti: “Me and all the others think that MISSION MANNA is doing a great job in the Montrouis communities. Clinics would not be a success without support of the october group, specialy Tom and Derek.”

  2. Jeff Fobes

    A couple ideas have surfaced for possible future Asheville-based collaborative projects with Haiti:

    Derive oil for energy from Haiti’s native jatropha tree. Would Blue Ridge Biofuels possibly want to help with such a project in the Montrouis area?

    Here’s a link to a video about just such a project in south India.

    Promote the use of goats (dairy and meat source) in rural farms in the Montrouis region. Would the Piedmont Dairy Goat Association possibly want to help with such a project?

    Promote the growth of moringa trees for nutrition and for soil stabilization.

  3. David Bourne


    Of all three ideas, the goat project is the first one that Asheville should get behind. Kids in Haiti need sustainable protein sources now, and with proper training and follow-up, this one could work.



  4. SH

    How does one go about helping toward something like the Goat Project? Do we start with money, animals, supplies…?

  5. Renee Garcia

    I am the editor of the Piedmont Dairy Goat Association newsletter and I would be happy to get the word out if someone can write an article for me. The deadline is Dec 12th for the January/February newsletter. I can also explain it to the club at our meeting on November 8th as well.

  6. Jeff Fobes

    There’s seeming potential for collaboration between the local goat club and Mission MANNA with its nascent goat project, as some club members are discussing the project on the club listserve.

  7. Renee Garcia

    I saw that as well and hope that Susan and you might come to the meeting in January at David Brank’s and I’ll bet folks will want to discuss it.


    Sorry to be slow to respond — I’m apparently not very good with passwords.

    Have now responded to Susan and Renee. It may be a bit too early in our process for an article but I think we can consider the following initial steps.

    1) meet with PDGA members to discuss our project as well as the broader Mission Manna goals
    2) visit a local PDGA member and get hands on with the goats, learn as much as we can (like how to milk them, for example)
    3) perhaps consider taking one or more PDGA member with us on our initial goat buying trip to Haiti
    4) consider PDGA as our core group for later visits to the herds (along with local veterinarians?)
    5) and of course, we’d also like to explore ways to turn this into a fundraising opportunity

    What do you think?


  9. Renee Garcia

    Hi again,

    I know there are club members batting all of this around trying to figure out the best thing to do. It has been mentioned to have you come to a club meeting and talk to the club. I am not the one to make the official invitation but I wanted you to know that you are on their radar.

    I imagine that Susan will keep you apprised of the happenings. I think it is a great concept.

  10. TJKTJK

    We would certainly be willing to attend a meeting and outline our plan. Just let me know.


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