A new look at Haiti: When a Volunteer turns into a Visitor

I once had a professor tell me that Americans in particular are really good at getting a job done (referring specifically to projects overseas.)

While a hard-work ethic can be a great thing, the single-mindedness of the “getting the job done” mentality can easily take over our experiences in Haiti (Which is exactly the point my professor was getting around to making.)

By all means, you should do your very best to accomplish what you set out to do – all the while enjoying your host’s company and fostering community partnership – but if Haiti is a place that has really captured your heart and imagination, maybe the one week service trips aren’t enough.

Have you imagined visiting your partner community as part of your next vacation?  Some of our learners have been fortunate enough to join friends from their community for special occasions such as weddings, religious holidays, and festivals; all to see their relationships genuinely deepen.

Whether you’re connected to a particular community in the country or not, we could all use the chance to broaden our narrative around Haiti; seeing the best of the country means we can give a more complete picture to our friends upon our return home (as well as invest in Haiti in new and important ways!).

What really got me going on all of this has been 6 weeks worth of Paul Clammer’s most recent Haiti trip documented on social media. Haiti: The Bradt Travel Guide has been monopolizing my newsfeed lately, and truthfully, I couldn’t be happier. His amazing photos document the sights from La Citadelle Laferrière (in the North of Haiti) to Jacmel in the south – Ayiti m sonje ou!

As he prepares to publish an updated edition of Haiti: The Bradt Travel Guide, it’s clear he’s impressed by how far Haiti’s come since his last visit, while simultaneously pleased by the beauty of the large expanses of uninterrupted, uncommercialized territory.

I wanted to share just a few of his posts below, in the hope that you’ll check out some more. (And maybe even plan to spend spring break in Jacmel?)

Petèt m ap kwaze avè w la.

 

(All images courtesy of Haiti: The Bradt Travel Guide Facebook Page)

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What have you been most surprised by during your most recent visits to Haiti?  Comment and share below!

 

Written by: Erin Nguyen on March 16, 2016

 

 

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