haiti Christmas kite, haitian Christmas traditions, haiti noel
Photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker

Gather the materials listed below and follow the 5 easy steps to assemble the kite.

Step 1
Materials you’ll need: Sticks gathered from the coconut palm, and cleaned, or some other type of thin straight, lightweight stick. The length of these will determine the width of the kite.
Step 2
Lightweight, but strong, string — 15 to 60 feet long — to tie the sticks together and fly the kite.
Step 3
Lightweight plastic, such as a dry cleaner’s bag, to use as the cover. A slightly heavier-weight plastic can be used for the decorative edging.
Materials: Starfruit or glue
An unripe starfruit, a fruit that provides a milk that can be used as glue, or a fast tacky grab glue like Wilhold.
Step 5
Directions to assemble: Cross the sticks and tie them together at the center with a piece of the string.
Step 6
Tie a piece of the string to the end of each of the sticks. On one segment, tighten the string to add shape to the structure. The string will also provide an anchor for the edges of the cover.
Step 7
Apply the glue to the sticks and string to adhere them to the plastic cover.
Step 8
Tie string to the ends of each of the sticks , pulling slightly to add shape to the structure. The string will also provide an anchor for the edges of the cover when glued.

Step 9
Add decorative edges. At the ends of the two sticks that were tightened, tie a segment of string that is long enough so that its midpoint reaches to the kite center. To that midpoint, tie the end of the remainder of string and ensure that its length is without tangles.
Step 10
Hold the kite and the end of the string with your back to the wind. Quickly, holding the end of the string, let the kite go while backing up, away from the kite. With a bit of luck, your kite will catch the wind and fly. Enjoy!

J.O. Haselhoef is the author of “Give & Take: Doing Our Damnedest NOT to be Another Charity in Haiti.” She co-founded "Yonn Ede Lot" (One Helping Another), a nonprofit that partnered with volunteer groups in La Montagne ("Lamontay"), Haiti from 2007-2013. She is a 2022 Fellow for the Columbia School of Journalism's Age Boom Academy. She writes and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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