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

How we got here: Haiti’s Presidential Elections

  After political dissonance and weak infrastructure led to the dissolution of Haiti’s Parliament in early 2015, focus turned towards the nation’s upcoming Presidential Elections to see if the government could right itself. The first round of voting went off peacefully in October, but was plagued by numerous outcries of fraud and corruption from activists … More How we got here: Haiti’s Presidential Elections

Working in a Developing Nation: Lessons in Flexibility and Disappointment

It has been said: “When you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” But sometimes all the planning and preparation in the world is not enough. All plans need a framework within which to run, not just a game plan, but an established norm. There are occurrences and reactions, infrastructure and nuances of daily life … More Working in a Developing Nation: Lessons in Flexibility and Disappointment

One Haitian Christmas Tradition To Light Up Your Holiday

With the holidays just around the corner, I sometimes find it to be a meaningful and rewarding exercise to break free of the “American Christmas” culture to explore holiday traditions from countries around the world. Don’t get me wrong, my tree has been up for 3 weeks and I love sitting by the colorful lights … More One Haitian Christmas Tradition To Light Up Your Holiday

That’s a joke, right?

I can’t wait till I can understand sarcasm in Creole. There are many measures of language comprehension… function, connection, humor… When learning a new language, our first victories come in the form of greetings and simple questions. As our skills build, we find accomplishment in getting ideas across, buying items independently, getting directions AND actually … More That’s a joke, right?

All we can do…

“It is better to do a good small thing many times over than to wait your whole life for the best big thing that may never come.” What happens when your work abroad was incredible and life-changing, and allowed you deep multi-national friendships that you know you’ll keep for life, and affirmed your commitment to your organization…and was … More All we can do…

How Traveling to Haiti Helped Me See What Needs to Be Done at Home.

Building off of the question Morgan asked – Where does my time matter? My experiences in Haiti have inspired me to take a closer look at my role in my own community here at home.  Many of the problems I saw overseas, and that overwhelming sense that you’ll never be able to remedy all of the … More How Traveling to Haiti Helped Me See What Needs to Be Done at Home.

The Charcoal Lady

by ASLAN RENTZ NOAKES originally posted on SEPTEMBER 9, 2015 Shared with Permission, All Photos Copyright Empower Haiti Together Original Title: The Charcoal Lady Roche nan dlo pa konnen doule rouche nan soley. A rock in the water does not know the pain of a rock in the sun. – Haitian Proverb In Fond Parisien, a rural village in … More The Charcoal Lady

What language are we speaking in again? Trials of a second-language learner

How many languages do you speak?? It’s so interesting to hear how people answer this question; I honestly never know what to respond.  Three?  One?  Two and three quarters?  Where is the bar we’re setting…. One of the things I loved most about my time in Haiti was the opportunity to not only be immersed … More What language are we speaking in again? Trials of a second-language learner