Yesterday I maybe went a little crazy! I got a puppy, a Haitian puppy! I have decided to name her Moringa, which means I really need to follow through on a post about Moringa trees! She receives this name not just because of the trees, but in memory of the incredible day I had going to visit said trees. Every time I say her name I smile, not just because she is such a character. She is a little overwhelmed here, with planes flying over head… but she is fitting in well.
Thought I’d share parts of a paper written by by Andrea Atkinson, Urgent Service Director at Elevate Destinations. Their trip to Haiti won a Nat Geo Tour of a Lifetime Award in 2011 so below is a little about how they did it.
Is it time for everyone to open Haiti up as a destination? Probably not. But are there ways to do it effectively? Yes, see below as an example.
Effective Volunteer Travel Creating Relationships for Meaningful Service in Haiti & The Gulf
Volunteering and service abroad have become very popular for individuals and groups. Developing a volunteer program that both benefits a community as well as positively impacts volunteers is not as easy as just sending a group of people into a “community in need”. In order for one to two week stints of work to be effective and create meaningful change, it is important for…
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Red wine for Breakfast
The bread has mold
one to many days old
not that it matters but the Nutella is gone
its all right I am know longer fond
the lone apple is soft, I will feed to the pig
who has just finished consuming the rest of the figs
the cupboards are bare
filled with ants and air
so this morning to break my fast
I will have grapes of the fermented variety
though not so much I forgo my sobriety!
Back in April when I was working as a sales director for Maple Creek Landworks, selling a specialized concrete product, called Stonemakers, I found myself needing boots. Now I can be a bit of a diva, and I didn’t want regular work boots. The boots had to be good-looking, comfortable, sturdy, and get concrete on them and come clean again.
So I went to Farmway a store in Bradford, Vermont that has everything from Art work to aspirin (okay maybe not aspirin but certainly aged cheese), they are an incredible store and if you ever find your self in Vermont it is a must see store! If you stop in ask to see Paul and tell him Rebecca in Haiti sent you and she says HI.
Wow, I digress!
So I bought Keen hiking boots and have been extremely happy with them! They have been in concrete and come clean, I have hiked in them with no blisters, and they remain good-looking. So in June when it was time to buy more shoes to take with me to Haiti, back to Farmway and Keen I went. I purchased two more pair, a lighter weight and non water proof hiking boot and a sandal. I could not be happier. The night I was kidnapped and walking and walking and walking I was thankful it was my Keens they had me put on! I worked on a concrete slab last Friday, once again wearing my Keens. My NB sneakers have not seen the light since I got here, and wont unless I start running again, although I might try running in my Keens first!
I know this sounds like a commercial, it isn’t supposed to. Haiti is so hard on shoes, it is the perfect proving ground for a shoes durability! So consider this a testament to the Keen shoe not a commercial.
But wouldn’t it be cool if Keen donated boots to all my construction guys?!
www.vermontgear.com the website for Farmway
Have you ever felt that your braids were to tight? Well mine are literally!
Yesterday, for three hours I sat beside Route 1 National, just outside of Arcahaie, having my hair braided with extensions. It is not a new thing for my to get the braids in, but the person doing it was new. Man, does she braid tight! My forehead is pulled to the point of pain! Was it worth it? Absolutely!
I spent three hours living part of the life of many Haitian woman in the provinces. I sat not 20 feet from an insanely busy road, surrounded by multiple women of several generations all doing each others hair. We talked, laughed, and ate. We all closed our eyes to the dust when a big truck would fly past, we would all look up when someone stopped at the little road side store, and we as though a chorus would say bonswa to people as they stopped by. We spoke of childbirth, people acting crazy and life in general. Oh and how we did laugh!
The fun continued when I returned to the job site and to my guys. My guys being what I collectively call the Haitian construction workers that I have the pleasure of working with. Right down to the last one of them stopped short when they saw my hair in braids. It was very amusing! We have had a trying week at work, my guys and I, I feel like I have earned all of their respect for not only being a caring and conscientious “boss”, but all so an extremely hard worker. It was nice to see them smiling and laughing. In fact at the end of the day my guys gave me a bouquet of flowers.