The village of Thomazea is the largest village Friends of Haiti serves. It is located 24 miles from Port au Prince. Nearby sits Lake Azuei. The lake provides fishing and irrigation that the mountain villages lack, however it is still too brackish to drink.
Of the 6 sites we serve in Haiti, Thomazeau is the largest, has the best infrastructure, and is absolutely the hottest!!! You'll never get cold in Thomazeau.
Limited transportation is available. A tap tap goes to Port au Prince in the early morning and returns in the early evening. It is not uncommon to see 4 people riding on a motorcycle made for a driver and just one passenger.
Several schools in Thomazeau are operated by churches of various faiths. The schools are improving as the government now has expectations to be met to remain operational. Schools are still only available to those who can pay. Education remains for those with more money. Several orphanges also provide some schooling.
And, there is a hospital in Thomazeau!! This is a government owned and operated hospital staffed predominantly with health care workers from Cuba. A fee is required before service is provided and you must bring all of your own supplies, medications, and care givers.
Friends of Haiti works in the community center of St. Anne's church, where our largest clinic is held. It is a fast paced clinic seeing between 1200 and 1500 patients on each trip. People come to the clinic from the surrounding area by foot, and occasionally by motorcycle. The walk may be as long as 3 hours.
Two Clean Water for the World purification units are at St. Anne's and are maintained by Friends of Haiti. Water is available daily at certain hours.
The people of Thomazeau are less rural in nature and are sometimes impatient. But they are always so grateful for whatever we can do. We have made many friends at this site over the years and have gained several regular workers for whom we can provide some income. Mona is our chief cook and bottle washer, Sonja our clinic housekeeper and helper, Andre our water and trash man and the keeper of the generator.
A middle school is located above the clinic. While we are there classes are adjusted to provide a limited space for us to sleep, eat, and hang out. In the evening the clinic staff can relax on the roof and some pitch their bug huts up there to sleep. Some of our people sleep at our nearby rented space. This building also provides us with storage space and an area for our dental team to work.