HAITI.

The question I keep getting asked is, “how was Haiti?!?!” It is always enthusiastic and with a smile, like I am going to respond back with an, “AWESOME!” or “SO GOOD!”. The reality is that the situation and even my time there wasn’t either of these things. The widespread destruction can be summed up in the word I found myself saying over and over and over throughout the trip, “unreal”. Driving through Port-au-Prince is like driving through a war zone or a movie. With the way our media is you might think that Anderson Cooper might just be finding the worst spots and simply reporting on them.

The problem really is that EVERYWHERE is the worst spot.

Here are just a few video stills from our initial drive through downtown Port-au-Prince.ss2ss4ss3screen-shot-1ss5The coolest part of our time in Haiti was hanging out with the kids. Where ever we went, we’d be followed by a small mob is children. These kids LOVED getting their photo taken and thought it was the coolest thing ever to see the photo right after I took it. Here is to the kids who have lost brothers, sisters, moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas. Their upbeat spirit was incredibly encouraging. blogkids1This kid was poking his head under the gate trying to get a look while we passed out tents. ss6blogkid11Two girls sat outside of their destroyed school.ss7blogkid2blogkid6This girl napped on a small stool during the heat of the day under just a bed sheet for covering.blogkid5blogkid7blogkid3blogkid8blogkids9blogkid101This lady was so excited to get a tent that she literally started dancing. Can you imagine being that excited for a tent?
These people are desperate. How are you involved?ss9ss8The problem is not over and it won’t be long after all the media has left and turned away to other issues.
Please find a way to help if you can. I can’t stress this enough.

Photographed in Haiti.

38 Comments

  1. Kip wrote:

    Thank you for sharing yourself and these images.

  2. Jeff M wrote:

    well shared bro

  3. Marina Miller wrote:

    thank you for that little peek. fourth shout with the chairs is insane. such beautiful people with so much to overcome. thank you for doing something!!!!!

  4. stephen wrote:

    crazy. yeah, this isn’t going away. It feels like there’s nothing we (as individuals) can really do to affect any change, but we have to try. My wife’s told the people we’ve invited to her 30th b-day to not bring presents, but instead $30 each that we can give to Haiti or purchase tents to send.

  5. Chavvon Smith wrote:

    Thanks for sharing Benj. What you said is right on. Just do something. It frustrates me when people ask, “what can I do”. Just find something that would be helpful and do it. Nothing is too small in this situation.

  6. blake wrote:

    i find it hard to tell you “wow these are great!” for the same reasons as you began this post with, but your images are very moving, and i am sure the entire experience was for you as well.

  7. Aubrey wrote:

    thanks for sharing benj. I don’t have a tv so I’ve missed out on all the news coverage. I’ll keep praying for the people there. I love that kids are so resilient. I hope their spirits affect all of those around them!

  8. BethanyAnne wrote:

    wow benj. Thanks for sharing these images with us.

  9. Shaina wrote:

    Wow. I don’t think I could do that. I don’t think I could go, let alone take pictures. It’s just so heartbreaking. I’d want to bring back every kid I saw. Thanks for being willing to go and be used.

  10. Stefano wrote:

    Tragedy and Hope all in one riveting post. Thanks for sharing and thanks for doing something about it Benj. The world needs more people like you.

  11. ryan flynn wrote:

    it’s nice to see hope, and some smiles, amongst all that destruction.

    good reminder, too, that the problem doesn’t end when the Media leaves. too often that’s when we the public stop caring.

  12. Cliff wrote:

    Very righteous of you Benj. Scary stuff out that way, it’s nice to see you could help out.

  13. Carrie wrote:

    Benj, thank you for capturing the heart and struggle of these beautiful people. God has clearly anointed you to share His heart through pictures. I’ve passed along your link to a few friends here at World Vision… I wanted to make sure I didn’t hide you under a “bush”. Your light is bright, and we are blessed to have you shine on us!

    Carrie

  14. Michelle Dyer wrote:

    Benj, these pictures are incredible. I’m passing your link along to friends and family who might like to help! Thank you so much for sharing.

  15. rich wrote:

    good work, keep tellin it.

  16. Nicole wrote:

    What beautiful little kids, so sad.

  17. julie h wrote:

    it makes me smile to see them smiling. especially the black and white of that boy. you can almost hear him. :)

  18. Kat Braman wrote:

    the images I’ve seen from Haiti have been so so heartbreaking. It gives me hope that you were able to capture some happiness in the faces of the children.

  19. Ali wrote:

    Ben, you have s beautiful story about humanity with these images. They are beautiful, painful, and honest. Thank you for sharing these with us.

  20. Danielle wrote:

    Hello Brother. You should definitely consider submitted the girl on the stool to some national publications. I think it speaks a lot and should be seen by this whole country. Love ya bro…glad you are safe! DH

  21. Cameron Birk wrote:

    Been there and yes its that bad, all the time. I cant imagine it after the earthquake. Great photos Benj, I agree with DH, send some in….

  22. Brooke wrote:

    Benj, you have captured a reality that is heart renching. Your photos make me cry and my heart goes out to Haiti…those beautiful children. Thank you for allowing God to use you in such a mighty way…He’s not done Benj! Thank you for sharing.

  23. Ryan Brenizer wrote:

    Thank you for this, your service is inspiring.

  24. Thank for sharing this! We continue to pray…

  25. Mike Brown wrote:

    Way cool – to me these tell the true story of what is going on in Haiti through the faces of the kids. Great Pics Ben!

  26. Daniel Stark wrote:

    amazing images–thank you for sharing.

  27. I have said it before and I will say it again. I think it is super rad that you went over there with a purpose. You stepped it up and did some real good with the time you were there. It takes a special person to take their time and effort and use it to truly give back and make a difference… instead of just talking about it. I already think you are quite inspirational as far as photogs go… but know I get to add you to my list of straight up inspirational people. YOU ROCK DUDE>>>

  28. Kristi Wright wrote:

    Such a touching post. I’m so glad you brought smiles to their faces.

  29. Amazing photos… sometimes so sad and desperate, and sometimes so joyful and happy.

  30. brian grissom wrote:

    All these are so inspiring. Amazing work.

  31. Ellie wrote:

    Wow, just wow. Thank you for capturing these and spreading the unseen stories! Wow, just breathtaking.

  32. morgaine wrote:

    benj, these images are full of truth. it’s not often that i say that about photos. usually i think photos tell the story that the artist wants the image to tell, but these… there’s a whole lot of other-worldly truth. great photojournalism, my friend.

  33. Kassia wrote:

    You are wonderful! It’s so great that you went to Haiti and brightened some people’s lives up. Giving them a reason to smile.
    These are beautiful photographs and what gorgeous smiles those kids have!

  34. Tracie Taylor wrote:

    Ben you are an inspiration in both your work and the person that you are. Thank you for sharing this. I am inspired. I am touched and moved. I too will go do a bit more. Your words ring too true not to go make a difference right now.

  35. bridget wrote:

    totally inspired. and so touching. and so raw. those poor people. glad to have found your blog from marina’s tweet post. love your stuff.

  36. minato-alvin wrote:

    Charles Henri Baker (born June 3, 1955) is a Haitian industrialist and former Haitian Presidential Candidate. Baker was a candidate for president in Haiti’s 2006 election. He initially billed himself as an independent and allied himself with the Komba de Chavannes Jean Baptiste and Evans Lescouflair party.

  37. [...] experience of visiting southern India after the tsunami of 2005 and the decimated country of Haiti last [...]