We’re getting ready to pack up to leave Port-au-Prince. Our minds are racing about as fast as the sewing machines here at INDEPCO. New design ideas and ways to tweak existing ideas are flowing between us and the sewers. Our final hours are spent going over designs, talking to the sewers working on our garments and making an important business connection with Aida Garoute, Hans Garoute’s daughter. Aida will help us with quality management while we are back in Toronto. We are sad to leave, the week has gone by just way too quickly we feel like we have gotten into a groove and everything is going smoothly.
We have certainly come across some challenges which have been so informative for the project development. We are learning what materials are more easily acquired from the Pepe market, and what should maybe be avoided as they are too hard to come by and difficult to work with. For example blazers, long sleeve shirts, jeans and t-shirts are plentiful. But sweatshirts much more difficult-obviously as it is late November and it is scrumptiously sweltering hot out.
Hans has informed us that workers work an eight hour work day Monday to Saturday at the INDEPCO facilities. Workers are free to take breaks and are paid $40 US a day, a far cry from the $4-5 ad ay in other garment factories in Haiti. We have had financial meetings, meeting regarding shipping, marketing and everything in between . We are slowly becoming experts at it all.
Though we leave with heavy hearts, we cannot wait to return home to further develop designs with Mayan, to begin the marketing process and to put together our documentary.