The Other Side of the Water: Miami Rara Festival (May 21-24,2009)

  • Posted on: 19 May 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

From May 21st-24th, there will be a festival of films, workshops, and music in Miami to celebrate the premiere of the documentary "The Other Side of the Water".  The Other Side follows the 20 year journey of a Haitian rara band in America. Much like Haiti itself, rara is unique, compelling and chaotic.  If you have a chance to attend, by all means do.  The Miami Light Project, the Backyard Movement, Change Charity, Inc., Moksha Family, and will be participating.  Below is more information and a schedule.

Project Medishare Makes Progress on Nutrition Training Complex

  • Posted on: 27 August 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Project Medishare has been operating on Haiti's Central Plateau since 1995.  Working with community groups, the Haitian Ministry of Health, Partners in Health, and the Green Family Foundation, Project Medishare has dramatically improved the health infrastructure of Thomonde and sorrounding areas.  Construction is proceeding on their latest and most innovative project - a Nutrition Training Complex with three components: (1) An AK-1000 processing facility; (2) A treatment center for malnourished children; and (3) An education and training center.  This community-driven approach will promote children's health and bolster the local ecomomy at the same time.

Rara Band in Thomonde, Haiti

  • Posted on: 21 March 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Sitting in Project Medishare's office in Thomonde, located in the Plateau Centrale, I overhear the sounds of pounding drums and overpowering song. During the days leading up from Carnival to Easter it is not unusual to come across a Rara band in the rural roads of Haiti. Especially in time for the final week of Easter, Thomonde has Rara bands parading down the streets with drums, maracas, guiros, and cylindrical metal trumpets. The bands construct unique instruments such as trumpets made from cans imprinted with "USAID Vitamin A Fortified Oil" to produce an amazing variety of rhythms and melody that attests to Haitians' creativity and inventiveness.