It was a fantastic first full day in Haiti! This morning we found out that the Haitian Ag Summit was set to start today and finish tomorrow, January 4th. We changed our plans on the fly and it was a very successful day.
We started off by helping organize name tags and registration for he farmers in attendance at the summit. It was a full room with over 200 in attendance. The students from UCCC shared their test trials and results utilizing compost tea that we have assisted with over the past year. The results they have found have been spectacular with great yield increases. We look forward to digging into the data deeper with the students over the next couple days. After lunch we had an open forum session where farmers shared challenges facing them for us to work with in the future.
Following the summit we enjoyed a tour of campus and the story behind the development of UCI. The progress that is being made is remarkable. As we were heading back to our dorm we were met by a participant from the summit who said, "I have a spider in my bag! Would you like to see?" as he proceeded to pull a bucket of tarantulas out. We were all intrigued, but a little cautious.
We ended the day with a visit from Nelson, who is a former witch doctor who has converted to Christianity. We had a great discussion on the effects of voodoo to the society and agriculture in Haiti. We look forward to tomorrow and the second day of the Haitian Ag Summit. It will be the field day of the summit as we head to the gardens.