Back From Haiti

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Yes! I am back from my village in Haiti! I know many of you want to know about my trip. All I can say is that it was fantastic! At one point, I was a little concerned. The hurricane hit while I was in the village.

The loud sound of the gigantic ocean waves clashing as well as the violent wind buffeting the trees and houses woke me up. It brought back memories of a hurricane I survived in the village 30 years ago. Trust me, I definitely didn’t want a repeat of that. Thankfully, everything was fine.

Anyway, let me tell about the good part. Here’s how a typical day was for me during my stay in the village:

1- Every morning Larieux a fellow villager chops some fresh coconuts for me to drink the milk.

2- Then I head to the sea and spend about 30 minutes swimming with some friends.

3- I rinse my body and get ready to meet the kids. I teach them a few English words and connect with them. Amazing how fast they learn. Every morning they greet me, Good morning!

4- Then I head to the health clinic to assist the doctor. For a week, I had a chance to serve my people. By the way, the health clinic needs lots of help. Too many to mention here.

5- After we close the clinic, I visit some of the older people I had not seen in years. They were so happy to see me. They thank me profusely for bringing them money.

6- In the evening, I had a chance to sit with the young people and share some words of wisdom with them. I learned a lot from them, too.

A highlight of my trip was being able to hear the heart of the people. During my stay they came from all over to tell me about their problems and what they need. Some have big requests. Others don’t ask for much.

One lady begged me to send her a little battery operated AM and FM radio. Honestly, there’s no way I can solve all those problems by myself.

It’s not that I don’t want to but I’m simply not in a position to. Not even the Haiti government is in a position to help its people. They, too, need some help.

Now, let me tell you about the climax of my trip — the real highlight! I am really excited to share this with you. I was interviewed on television in a city called Les Cayes. It’s the closest city to my village. That television station covered the entire southern part of Haiti. My guess is the southern part has more than 2 million people.

After the interview, the phone at the TV station rang off the hook. Thousands saw the interview and are interested in hearing more from me. Boy, I couldn’t go anywhere without people running up to me and thanking me for touching their lives. Talking about instant personal gratification!

Aunt Zette danced a happy dance as she sat of top of the hill in my village watching me on television. Today, many villages have access to electricity. Once or twice a day for at least one to two hours, the power is on. The rest of the time, they go back to the old ways of being without.

You know, the funny thing is it’s easy to tell when the power is on. Many people leave their radios on full blast. When the power comes on, you suddenly hear loud noises of radios blaring. I always laugh when I hear it.

Okay, back to my television interview. I cannot tell you how I felt when people from obscure corners were running to let me know that I gave them hope. One young lady ran to me out of breath and said, “a month ago my best friend committed suicide.

Had you come one month ago and given that interview, my friend would have been alive. I am telling you this because I am going through the same issues my friend went through. But your words boosted my battery. I feel like I can conquer the world. Thank you!

Ooh! I was cold and hot. Can someone please pass the paper tissue? Tears began to roll down my cheeks. That gave me a renewed sense of commitment to continue sharing my message. I went to a local restaurant; the server could not believe it was me. He was beside himself. Just as the woman, he kept thanking me over and over.

I was at a barber’s shop. Five minutes into cutting my hair, he overheard someone calling my name. He froze! “Is that you? He yelled. He then proceeded to tell me his story. I was moved by his incredible courage.

Even at the airport in Les Cayes on my way to Port-au-prince, people surrounded me to ask me for advice. I am telling you, this was the most gratifying aspect of my trip. I remember staring at the lenses of the camera and speaking directly to the heart and soul of the people. I asked them not to give up hope because I was once where they are and I overcame all the odds.

I said, Listen to me. The reason I am sitting on this chair in front of the camera talking to you is not because I am special. It’s because I dared to believe that no condition is permanent. Your condition will change. How is not your business.

You just have to believe in and hope for a better and brighter tomorrow. I then used several examples of people who overcame great odds to achieve what seemed to be the impossible.

Even though there’s so much more to share with you I will stop here.


  1. Lylia Stevenson

    Dear Rene,

    I am so happy for you. I am sure that you felt that you made a great difference in the lives of our people; a word of encouragement and hope is worth billions and trillions. One little seed of enthusiasm can wake the dead.

    You are the ambassador of love in the island which needs a great booster of encouragement. Haiti became a land of despair but people like yourself can and will awaken a people who was so naturally jovial and wishful.

    When I was growing up my people were the happiest in the world and they were very much like you; full of hope and great expectation for a better life. You will slowly rekindle their spirit with your words of encouragement. They will dream again because the human spirit never dies. It was ,after all ,the breath of God which created the soul of mankind. Your language is universal ;it has touched the inner soul of mankind everywhere on the planet.

    It would be nice if you could stay there for a long time and probably you could become an official member of the government of the island but I don’t think that politics would suit the type of work that you do.You are too sensitive to fight against plots and counter plots; unfortunately government officials do have to fight against those.

    I often think about the 40s/50s when Haiti was still inhabited by people who were naive and frail. In those days life was different and the island was coming along fine;there were many people of your caliber but unfortunately there were wolves too and they practically devoured our naive people.

    Yet we should march ahead and be great soldiers to conquer poverty and misery because folks like you care to make a difference by encouraging our people to forge ahead and go with all their soul for a better island and a better life ; one at a time.

    God bless you friend.

    Lylia Stevenson.

    • Rene Godefroy

      Hi Lydia,

      You are so eloquent. Many thanks for taking the time to express your thoughts. That’s so funny you mentioned me being involved in politics in Haiti.

      I have had many people ask me to run for office. As you said, I don’t see myself dealing with the corruption and mess that exist.

      I prefer to make a real difference by reaching out to the people through my humanitarian work.

      Also, thanks for appointing as the ambassador of love for the island.

  2. Rene F.Desrameaux

    Hi Rene,

    How you doing. Fantastic!!! I am pretty sure.

    It was a great satisfaction for me, when I read about your recent visit to Haiti. Our foxes back home need these kind of initiative. As you know already the world is in great need for motivation. Haiti is first in the list.

    Rene, next time you schedule another visit to Haiti, please let me know. I want to be there with you. Will be a great chance for me to share my experience, to talk to them, to listen to them, to learn from them.Let me know what you think.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Brotherly yours.

    Rene F.D.

    • Rene Godefroy

      Excellent! I will let you know next time I am going to Haiti. We need lots of help. Thanks for your offer to join forces with me.

  3. john regan

    Your story, is made even more inspirational by the fact that you took the time and effort to return to the village where you suffered so much pain.

    Many others choose to forget there past once they are free from despair. You chose to return to demonstrate to others they they too can break away from poverty and improve their circumstances by just not giving up, by determination and sheer guts you made it.

    You are a glowing example of all that is good in personal development. You are also right in saying that you or money alone cant solve all the problems in Haiti, however if you can stir the determination and courage in just one person. If you can improve the lifestyle of one family by inspiring them to seek and work for a better way. you have achieved more than all the money in the world.

    Rene I am not poor and live in Ireland which is now a relatively rich country, with lots of opportunity. and yet your words and your character, your unflinching dedication to improving first your own lifestyle and then the lives of others is a supreme inspiration to all. Bless you and keep up the calling you have been destined to touch the lives of others. You touched mine with great effect.

    Well done mate.

    John Regan

    • Rene Godefroy

      Hi John,

      I appreciate your comment. Indeed, I shall never forget my past. Not that I feel bad about it nor am I looking for a pity party.

      Instead, I celebrate and embrace my past with deep gratitude. It is that kind of attitude that nudges me to reach out and help others.

      Well said John.

  4. Tony Bunsie

    “Rene” thank you very much indeed for sharing you wonderful story with us, tears fill my eyes.

    Best regard


    • Rene Godefroy

      You are welcome Tony! Keep pressing on my friend!

  5. Josh Hinds

    Rene, loved here all about your trip. You’re a positive difference maker my friend 🙂


  6. Rose Marie Andree Narcisse

    Dear Rene:
    Thank you for sharing your story with me. I wish I could help the way you do. I envy the way you spent your time because coconut milk is my favorite beverage.
    Thank God for you and your obedience to Him. May He continues to bless you.

    Your admirer,

    Rose Marie Andree Narcisse

  7. Dimy Ambroise

    Hello René,
    What a fantastic thing you have done here in Haïti. If I knew where you were in the South, I think I would come to meet you. Only by reading that report of what happened, I’m touched. Thanks René, I hope you will come more often and you will spend some days with the people of Port-au-Prince. Your story is really inspiring and it really can help someone face troubles particularly in those sad days we’re living in Haiti.

    Brotherly yours, Dimy Ambroise

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