Thursday, April 10, 2014

Haiti 2.0

My "year in Haiti" blog just kind of... stopped.

Though my focus on Haiti has done anything but. So here's a quick update:

I'm currently in a Master's degree program at George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, focusing on development and gender equality. That just means I'm taking classes on economics, political theory, democracy development, brief writing, United Nations policies, why "gender" doesn't just mean "women" ... lots of really cool things! And whenever there is a "choose your own topic" assignment - well, you guessed it. I choose Haiti.

All of my classes are at night. During the day a few times a week, I intern at the Quixote Center. It's a great non-profit that supports reforestation work in Gros-Morne. I write blog posts on Food Aid Reform and try to keep regular communication with our partners in Haiti. In January we went to Haiti to check-in on the projects.
Marcel leading my boss, his wife, and the crew, showing us their ravine work.
It's the type of development work that is actually a give and take - a true partnership. Sometimes that's hard to find in the big "development industry" that USAID generates.

For summer, I had an internship offer from a non-profit in Udaipur, India, but of course... Haiti pulled me back. I'm off to Mirebalais to intern with Fonkoze. Fonkoze is Haiti's largest microfinance institute, and I'll be living and working with 12 Haitian case managers on the "Pathway to a Better Life" program, hiking through mountains to document the progress of women in, what Fonkoze calls, "ultra poverty."

Some people think I'm a little out of it for not choosing a new (and seriously gorgeous and chai-tea-filled) experience in India. My wanderlust is definitely aching. But for now, I'm excited to be heading back to Haiti, for ten weeks of what I'm terming "Haiti 2.0."

What did you miss last summer?

Only 300 crazy kids at summer camp! Here are some pictures of how I finished up my year in Haiti:
Camp theme: "Annou Ekstraodine" or "Let's Be Extraordinary"
Olympics Day
Meet Rosener
Haitian and American counselors
Talent Show

Arts and Crafts
Cooking for 300+ every day

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