remembering 12 jan 2010    
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Mélissa Dunwell Padberg was born in Haiti in 1971 and lived there with her sister, her Haitian mother and American father. Having moved to the United States for college and work experience, Mélissa and her husband, Robin, made the decision to return once again to Haiti and raise their three children in their native home. Mélissa soon became happily caught up in the family business begun by her grandparents and renowned art patrons, Lina and Reindall Assad and continued by her parents and aunt. Their hotel, the Villa Creole, grew to become an illustrious boutique hotel filled with notable artwork by some of Haiti's most talented artists.

Alice Currelly Nkunzimana was born in Canada in 1973, and has lived in Haiti since the age of 6. Her family lived in the Haitian plains for most of her early years and enjoyed an idyllic childhood in the countryside.

Alice earned her Master's of Fine Art in Metal Working studying under world renowned Metalsmith Gary Noffke at the University of Georgia where she met her Rwandan husband Alphonse. Alphonse and Alice and their four daughters chose to make Haiti their home. Operating her own firm, Papyrus Consulting, Alice works extensively with a variety of local government agencies, private sector clients and international organizations.

The tranquil and exuberant Haiti that Alice and Mélissa grew up in has changed drastically, but the beauty, integrity and remarkable joy that have survived in the Haitian character, despite ceaseless tragedies, remain constant.