In exactly a weeks time our plane will be touching down in the city of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Isabelle Kim and myself, Joe Elliott, will be spending the next 6 months as interns with, International Sustainable Communities Assistance (ISCA), and will be partnering with a local organization, Les Soeurs Notre Dame du Sacre Coeur, working in the communities of Terrier Rouge and Grand Bassin.in the beautiful country of Haiti.
The goals of our project is to empower these communitiesy through improved food security and increaseding family income. Although in most cases when someone asks me what I am going to do in Haiti I am quick to say that we are going to build chicken coops. In reality, the construction of chicken coops and provision of doing small business and marketing education are the only vehicles we are using to achieve the goals stated above.
Another question that I often get asked is: What sort of experience do you have that will help you achieve these goals? Once again, I usually answer by talking about my extensive agricultural/farming background, having degrees in both Environmental and Sustainability Studies as well as in Biology and my overall passion for helping people. I am grateful for the opportunities that life has presented and the experiences that have come out of it. Above and beyond all the experience I may or may not have, I believe that my skills as a good communicator are the most essential to achieving this project’s goals. Being able to listen to the needs and desires of the community members and work with them to make sure they are met is by far the most important aspect of this internship for me.
The next 6 months will be filled with lots of highs and lows and everything in between, a transformative experience that will bring into question every aspect of my life. The question I ask myself at this point is how this will shape my future and me. Well i guess only the future will tell.
Writing to you from Charlottetown, Prince-Edward-Island, I send out my best wishes and love to all. Next time you hear from me I will be in the warm and nurturing care of the Haitian countryside.