Author Archive

Yeardley Smith in Haiti: Post Script

May 27, 2009

Wednesday May 27th, 2009
Los Angeles, CA.


I’m back in Los Angeles. Back in my lovely home with its big backyard, and my two well- nourished cats, poring over the myriad choices that are available to me each day: What would I like to eat? Where would I like to go? Which dress shall I wear? Should I take the car, or walk? My dream job on “The Simpsons” notwithstanding, the fact that I have so many choices at my fingertips at any given time is what makes me wealthy. To me, choice is the brass ring in my life.

Since I returned, friends and colleagues have been quick to tell me how proud they are of me for going to Haiti and seeing Grameen Foundation’s work firsthand. It’s very flattering. But I have so much to learn that I feel like I didn’t do that much this trip. The most useful I felt in Haiti is when I tried to teach a group of women in an education center, outdoors under some shade tress, to knit with a pen and pencil for “needles,” and “thread” from a nylon bag of mulch! I still want to go back and really teach them. I would bring a whole suitcase full of yarn and needles next time so they could make beautiful placemats or afghans to sell at market. Anyway…


Yeardley Smith: Journey to Haiti -Day 4

May 25, 2009


Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
Mirebalais, Central Plateau, Haiti

Dear Zibby,

There was no hot water at the hotel this morning. Of course I was all soapy by the time I realized the freezing cold water really, truly wasn’t going to get any warmer! Ooof!

Same as yesterday, I met Alex, Kate and Myriam on the upstairs porch of our hotel for breakfast: tea, (coffee for Kate), and slices of pale toast with butter. Myriam had bought some mangoes and pineapple, so the kitchen sliced those up for our breakfast, too. The fruit was out of this world! Alex kindly provided the tea. He travels with his own stash, like I do. Though I completely forgot this time, I was so preoccupied with remembering to bring things I never travel with like bug spray, malaria pills, and my own quick-dry bath towel.


YS Journey to Haiti –Day 3

May 24, 2009

Day 3
Monday, May 18th, 2009
Mirebalais, Central Plateau, Haiti

Dear Zib,
In the midst of the wreckage of this country, I continue to meet the most inspiring, charismatic people on both sides of the micro-finance fence. It makes it impossible to stay mired in despair, despite the never-ending sprawl of abject poverty here. In fact, I feel quite hopeful. Because even though you could liken the day-to-day progress that GF and Fonkoze are making to emptying the proverbial well one teacup a time. The well still gets emptied that way.


GF Staff and Yeardley Smith, Haiti

May 23, 2009

YS in Haiti – Day 2

May 23, 2009

Sunday May 17th, 2009
Port-au-Prince, Haiti

Dear Zibby,

What a day. A huge day! I met up with Alex and Kate at the Miami airport this morning and we flew to Port-au-Prince. There, we were picked up by a driver from Fonkoze (the org that GF partners with in Haiti) and taken to the Hotel Montana where Anne Hastings, director extraordinaire of Fonkoze, met us for lunch. More on Anne in a minute.

The Port-au-Prince airport is small and painted that strange mint-green color inside that I’ve seen in other tropical countries. It’s a color that clashes so vividly with the foliage. Odd.

Ooof! It’s incredibly hot and humid here. Air conditioning is a luxury mostly reserved for hotel rooms and some businesses, it appears. But even then it’s iffy since the state turns off the electricity for several hours each day. Can’t keep up with demand, or can’t afford it? Unclear. So everybody has batteries, like car batteries, to run generators to power their appliances. The offices of Fonkoze have a whole wall of batteries, (fifty I think Anne said) so they can keep their computers and lights running during business hours. Fonkoze is also behind high walls (painted deep orange and purple) and there’s a man at the front gate with a rifle.


Yeardley Smith and GF: Journal Day 1

May 22, 2009
Yeardley Smith with microfinance client

Yeardley Smith with Fonkoze client

Hi. Yeardley Smith, here; actress, author, and generally good egg. I’m just back from a trip to Haiti with Alex Counts, Prez and CEO of Grameen Foundation, and his colleague, Kate Druschel. I’d say of all the things I’ve done in the past 5 years, (and I’ve been busy), this trip –three days in Haiti—seems to have piqued all my friends’ interest more than anything else.  So…