So, I have been searching for a long time to re-discover the correct location of my children’s original orphanage in Carrefour, Haiti, “Heart of God Ministries, Haiti”.
We have repeatedly found the nearby “Auberge du Quebec” Hotel, which is where we stayed on several trips to Haiti to see our future adoptees and “check things out”.
What my wife and I had lost since those stressful times (adoption is almost always a nerve-wracking experience), was a memory of the exact location (and eventually, even the name!) of that orphanage.
So, here are the steps I took to re-discover this point in time and space.
A map of the “general area” was my starting point. This was easy at first, “Carrefour, Haiti” gains a direct hit, and immediate link to the “geographic center” on Google Maps. Unfortunately, the default view is about 5 square miles of land, and I simply could not find the Auberge du Quebec on that space. I knew it was “near”, though.
So I searched for several variations of “auberge du quebec map”, without successful links. Then it hit me (early in the morning, after a fitful night), search “auberge du quebec carrefour lat long”. Bingo. A forum posting specifying the lat/long of our repeated resting quarters. This happened to be a posting shortly after the Jan 20, 2011 earthquake. If only I could figure out how to publicly post that location with a name…
Now I needed a name to find the orphanage. What was it now? “Something du something”. Bah. I seem to recall the name had something to do with the owner’s name “Heart of God”. Google Translate to the rescue, pick “Haitian Creole” as the target translation (I am personally amazed that Translate can do Haitian Creole)… and “ke bondye”. Ahh… yes, starting to come back to me now.
So next I Google “kè bondye, carrefour, haiti”. First hit : Orphanages recognized by the IBESR. Bingo again! Even though this is a pay-for-paper service, reference-looks are free, which is all I needed. So now I have the “actual” address of “Krèch Kè Bondye–HAITI”.
Now to find it? Google Maps has painfully unmarked maps for Haiti in general. So, Google Web again, and again this was a hunting expedition. I eventually started reading the whole result list for “carrefour, haiti map”. Last on the first page was a linke for MapQuest. Oh, my “old’ favorite, circa 1998, until this newfangled web company named “Google” came around with a tightly integrated mapping system that actually seemed to “just know” what I was searching for.
Well, MapQuest has been doing their homework! Carrefour, Haiti is a completely mapped region, ALL street names marked. And lo, right next to Auberge du Quebec on the MapQuest streets are the first of several “Mahoutiere”. A quick visual search revealed the block-corner that once contained our children’s orphanage.
A final destination
Although my wife and I cannot clearly identify “which” building on that grainy sattelite view was the actual orphanage, we know a location.
And thanks to the internet, the endless and thorough implementation of several public-service webistes, we now have a destination that we *could* return to one day, on a trip to Haiti. Who knows, maybe someone on that block will excuse our poorly worded pidgin-creole, and tell us “Oh YES, Krèch Kè Bondye was *right there*.”
Being an information research practitioner has been made very easy by the likes of Google and MapQuest. What has not been automated is the human intuition. I cannot write in Google Search “The orphanage next to Auberge Quebec in Carrefour, Haiti” and achieve a useful result. (Nor ANY result). This seems to be most a disconnect and deficiency in internet-intellect. There are not enough computers (or interested parties) to have “right at hand” the information required to be indexed and presented as results to the english-language request.
As we can tell, the answer required human-language-translation, cartographic indexing (lat/long), several tangential searches, and several protected-document views.
So this may be a problem for information-processing specialists to tackle. Until then, we need our intuition, and our information researchers to keep doing their jobs, and helping us find the revealing information about the world around us.
Heart of God Ministries (Krèch Kè Bondye-HAITI)
Mahotière 75 #5
Zone Simalo, Carrefour