When we work on a project and call upon the community to join in the work force for a week of intense construction and refurbishing, we never know who will show up. We hire men, women, young, old, mothers, single, Catholic, Protestant, or any other denomination. For that week, our work becomes a unity of effort. The town is mobilized and everyone becomes part of the project.
Haitians are a welcoming people and everyone watches out for our safety and well being. The entire project becomes a sort of “family affair” at the town level. By the time we arrive, the town has known about our arrival for several weeks already and we know it will be successful because we learn as much from the villagers we meet as they learn from us. Learning from each other is as essential as working with each other. There is a mutual desire to improve on the town and its inhabitants.
Salaries become secondary as the group pulls all their resources together. We are all one. Each person contributes their talents with no fear of being diminished. For one week we become the ultimate working machine and as someone once said, it’s a “kombit a grande echelle” where everyone pulls in unison. One of our main goals is to always leave the place in a better state than we found it; the reality is that we are the ones who always leave better people than we came in and the next project is always better because of the experience of the last one.
Come volunteer with us. Whether you travel or just work in the administration, it’s always a life-changing experience.
Great post. It truly is life changing to experience Haiti in this way, far from hotels, running water and electricity but grounded in human existence.