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    Posted September 17, 2013 by
    CNN iReport staff
    atlanta, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    This is a business trip?!

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    Opportunity Seeking In Haiti


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Talia Day is a student at SCAD Atlanta. She says she had an unusual business trip to Haiti in September 2011, while working as a freelance corporate video producer. The photos in this post were taken in Jacmel and Port-au-Prince. Day says she has many memories from the trip including earthquake damage, daily life in Haiti and contracting Cholera -- despite taking great care. The experience has stuck with her: 'I wanted to share the photos because the trip was life changing for me and they have helped me cherish my trip there forever. I was able to see the destruction of the earthquake firsthand after all the dust settled and the efforts people were making to rebuild the country in a positive way.'
    - nsaidi, CNN iReport producer

    In September of 2011, I took an assignment as a freelance corporate video producer in Haiti for a hotel consulting firm that had started a vocational school in Jacmel, with the hopes of revamping Haiti's post-earthquake economy through Travel and Tourism.

    Nothing could prepare me for the things I saw, both good and bad during my three days in Haiti.


    Tent cities and pop-up street markets lined the almost destroyed road to Jacmel from Port Au Prince as our driver rushed against daylight to reach the hotel, claiming that nightfall could be dangerous once in the mountains. Garbage amassed in piles near drinking wells and signs warning against the infection of Cholera were posted everywhere. The UN military presence was evident with many patrol vehicles and armed soldiers monitoring resentful locals.


    When we finally reached the hotel in Jacmel night had fallen and the coastline was pitch black. It wasn't until morning that I was able to see the true splendor that is the Jacmel coast. Beneath my hotel room balcony local fisherman prepared for the day, as nearby cattle grazed on a tiny patch of land. Children played with rusted toys and a woman bathed in the ocean water under the shade of a massive tree. The scene was so different from the chaos and rubble we left behind in Port Au Prince and a reminder that beauty exist even in chaos.

    During my three days in Haiti I was able to visit both local and tourist attractions, which allowed me to really get a feel for what the natives were going through. I realized that although the country was still in ruins and daily life in Haiti was truly a struggle, many people were optimistic. Everyone I met was friendly and living their lives with pride for their country but wanting things to change. Wanting more opportunity and hoping that the world did not abandon them after their stories left the headlines.

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