PROGRAMS WE OFFER
If you come just for the day (an overnight the day before gets you an earlier start) and depending on your arrival time, there are a variety of options available for your day complete with language, culture and history immersion experiences. The cultural experiences are all in the immediate neighborhood, but with some up and down hills on dirt foot paths. These experiences can also be had within the N a Sonje compound as well.
Greetings, introductions, basic language acquisition and cultural lessons by the N a Sonje team are a must!Either walk to neighbors home or they can come to you for these experiences:
For the early birds, having traditional “Akasan” or cream of corn with Adel
Coffee Roasting with Matant Bertine
Cassava bread baking with August St. Felix
Chocolate making with Madanm Elvie
Corn grinding and winnowing with Madanm Medsen
Visiting a local traditional Vodou or “Ginen” healer
Stop to visit home artistic exposition by innovative tin re-cycling artist “Najee”
(at N a Sonje center/home)”Tanbou” or traditional drum history and rhythm lessons with “Welele”
Selected experienced speakers on various topics include but not exclusive:
economics, health, politics, agriculture, spirituality, peasant organizations and more.
In house history experiences include:
Full theater production and discussion of “3 Innocents and a spirit”
Semi theatrical historical presentation
Explanation of the Memory Village model
SEVERAL DAYS, A WEEK OR MORE GROUP PROGRAMS AND ITINERARIES:
CREOLE IMMERSION EXPERIENCES
N a Sonje has created a unique Creole learning method that can be done in a few days or for as long as you have the time. Learning Creole on site at the N a Sonje Foundation center gives you the opportunity to practice every day with very patient and experienced staff and their families as well as take in the important cultural lessons that complement the lessons to make it a comprehensive experience. We also can bring lessons to you at your designated place.
1-2 WEEK PROGRAMS
Choose from our sampler menu of options of experiences: A to Z and all you can imagine!
INTERNSHIPS ARE AVAILABLE FOR ANYONE INTERESTED IN STAYING AN EXTENDED TIME TO LEARN MORE IN DEPTH THE CULTURE AND THE LANGUAGE. LODGING CAN BE TO LIVE AT THE N A SONJE CENTER OR THEIR LOCAL PARTNERS IN EXCHANGE INTERNS OFFER A VARIETY OF TALENTS TO THE COMMUNITY SUCH AS ENGLISH CLASSES, WEBSITE AND SOCIAL MEDIA UPDATES, OR JUST SHARING ANY SKILL, KNOWLEDGE, ART OR TECHNOLOGY WITH THE COMMUNITY IS ALWAYS APPRECIATED!
THEATER PRESENTATION “3 INNOCENTS AND A SPIRIT”
The play exposes the destruction and acculturation of the Native Americans and the enslavement of Africans through the transatlantic slave trade, which resulted in a transfer of wealth and natural resources to Europe. Near the end of the drama the Native American, European, and African characters experience a transformational awakening through which they realize their physical and spiritual losses, as well as their mutual need for one another. The three characters and the rest of the cast, offer each other gestures of compassion and forgiveness, ultimately recognizing the need for healing, reconciliation and reparations.
“3 Innocents” is performed to an original soundtrack with only three narrative texts but since the actions are mimed to the music and sound effects of these well-known historical events, our memories fill in the rest.
The N a Sonje Foundation is ready to perform at high schools, colleges, universities, churches, and organizations, as well as with local and national media about Haiti and its special role in this historical context for any touring possibilities either in Haiti or outside!
If you already have an itinerary but would like to have guided accompaniment with translation services NSF can provide this as well.
1. UniversityExchanges “AlternativeBreak” Trips
A semester, a month, a week of credit, or extra credit with a college or university continues to be a favorite of NFSʼs. Activities are customized for the academic focus of the group or individuals that can include lectures and experiences arranged with Haitian and other experts in areas such as agriculture, culture, development, economics, environment, health, history, law, politics, religion and vodou, science, womenʼs issues, et.
*For religion majors and other interested participants: NSF highly recommends Djalòkiʼs specialty in explaining Haitian vodou for the western mind through a Skype conference before arriving. NSF can design experiences that are positive and educational for personal or academic research and study.
2. Young Adult “Twinning” Experiences
3. Theological Journalist/Researcher Trip
NSF staff has had vast experiences with a diverse group of journalists, documentary makers, researchers and doctoral candidates. Over the years, NBC, CBC, BBC among other international documentary makers have used our services. NPR journalist Gerry Hadden writes about his experiences that involve Carla and her husband Ron in his adventures with “fixers” during his first assignments in Haiti. For the real thing read his book: “Never the Hope itself: Love and Ghosts in Latin America and Haiti”. (Weʼre mentioned right at the beginning!)
Contact us about booking your trip to Haiti today!
WHAT TO EXPECT ON YOUR VISIT TO HAITI
Lodging at the N a Sonje Foundation:
The N a Sonje Foundation lodging facilities includes a mountain guesthouse and the Bluntschli home in a semi-confined compound just outside of Port-au-Prince which is used for guests who participate in the Foundationʼs activities since March 2003. It is located in the center of a semi-rural Haitian community called “Gwo Jan” (meaning in the greater land holdings of the Jean family), a rural section of Pernier, a township of Petion-ville. It has rustic dormitory-style rooms (a separate couples room can be made up), 3 family-style Haitian meals, 24 hour natural spring water for bathing, filtered water for drinking and indoor latrines or the composting toilet at the Bluntschli home.
N a Sonje also can help make connections to a variety of other lodging locations ranging from:
Dormitory style guesthouses Bed and breakfast homes
City or village family homestays
Transportation choices range from:
Hired vans and buses for any group size or a rental 4×4 vehicles are available as well.
For those who like the exhilarating motorcycles weaving in and out of traffic but watch out for drivers during carnival (just kidding)! Public vehicles, tap-taps, and rickety taxis at normal fares or hired prices are available as well as horses, mules and/or donkeys!
“First Look” Tour
One of the passions of our work is to immerse you into the intersecting of all of our histories that come together on this land. As time allows, we will guide you through a virtual tour of the “Memory Village” at the center.
What are the lessons in every day Haitian etiquette that will quickly assure you and your Haitian hosts as you visit, work and learn during your stay in Haiti of, at the very least, a beginning understanding of culturally acceptable behavior? Making this first step is already an act of respect that will be greatly appreciated by the country and its people. The rustic chalkboard under our “choukoun” or straw roofed classroom shows the lesson from the proverb: “cooked food has no owner”.
N a Sonje Foundation has developed lessons both in Haitian Creole and Haitian Culture that will allow you to immerse yourself into the people and the country through its language, traditions and customs that will help prevent unintentional cultural mistakes during your time in “Ayiti”. N a Sonje will be honored to accompany you on that road through immersion experiences designed for the length of time you can take, from one afternoon to several days or seeks, depending on intention and time constraints.