Friday, February 24, 2017

Get ready, we're going to Haiti!

Breathe in, breathe out. Relax your body. Center yourself.

Thank you for that, it is a Haiti ABST 2017 tradition before all of our meetings, to center ourselves to fully focus on our discussions and acts at hand.

Bonjou. Kijan ou ye? I’m ecstatic, I’m going to Haiti!

ABST Haiti 2017 includes five dedicated students wishing to learn and immerse themselves into a different culture. So far, the team has met on Thursday for mostly every week to discuss a variety of topics all relating back to the essential purpose of preparing for our trip. Our meetings have included presentations on what exactly we are aiming to do, who we will be working with, and what impact is this trip centered around. Partnering with Just Haiti, our team has dived into researching and discussing the process behind Fair Trade and how exactly it’s worthwhile to truly be committed to this initiative.

To help our understanding of Haiti and the environment we are venturing into, our discussion for a meeting was centered around the history of Haiti. We went through the past and talked about points in history which we thought were significant and/or shocking to see happen. A discussion that remained lively in particular was the issue of so many countries and people giving aid, but the aid not benefitting and reaching the point it was intended to reach.

In our discussions, we have talked through how Fair Trade enables the farmers themselves to possess the power to make fair decisions and ensure they are receiving their rightful dues. Also, in our discussions we have been learning Creole courtesy of Melia. We are in the process of learning the basic terms to ensure there can be some level of interaction between us and the local community in which we hope to immerse ourselves into.

Alongside our discussions, we have undergone some fundraising initiatives by selling Fair Trade products at Gannon. On top of the Fair Trade sale, that was aided by Sara Nesbitt, we undertook the initiative to sell some of the Fair Trade coffee at the Wellness Fair.

Looking forward, our group shows excitement and wonder at what is to come. In the next week, we plan on Skyping the program coordinator, Kim, attending the send-off dinner for all ABST’s to join our fellow classmates as we prepare for our journeys, and make our final purchases to fit into our carry-on for a week in Haiti. Thank you for reading and supporting our journey, and we appreciate all the thoughts and prayers!

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