On Christmas morning I had the joy of gifting my parents a bag of Singing Rooster coffee. Being able to connect them to the mountain community of Bois Jolie in such an intimate way was truly wonderful. Together we drink the delicious brews that are the result of so many fantastic partners, devoted friends, and… more →
A few weeks ago I was given the honor of speaking at the Fairbanks Brunch, an annual event that gives summer scholarship recipients an opportunity to meet and thank their donors.
I am frequently amazed by the multi-faceted effects that philanthropy can have. Through the generous donations entrusted to the Haiti Institute in Sewanee, the program has gathered five years of data on the effects of carbon payments on tree survival, had its first coffee harvest, began a partnership with Singing Rooster, and touched the lives of many individuals and communities, mine included. After three years of work with this program, there is not much else I can say to touch on how profound and inspiring my experiences in Haiti have been.
Thank you to all who support us, whether it be through time, money, or encouraging thoughts.
Below, the speeches given by myself, another undergraduate student, and two students in the School of Theology.
In only five days, I will be leaving Haiti, and I am uncertain when I might next return. After spending a portion of my last three summers here, two spring breaks, and a planning trip this past spring, I am ending my sixth visit to this place. While it is possible that I may come… more →
Dotting the fields and gardens of several farmers in the Bois Jolie community are small wooden stakes with yellow and red tags tied to them. They are labeled inconspicuously with a series of letters and numbers, CK-##-#. Below each of these stakes is a seed, and within each seed is an interesting history and an… more →
This past Monday, Maxo and Bosquet, the head agronomists of Zanmi Kafe, convened a meeting between fifteen of the ZK farmers. We met at the home of Jean Nelson, one of the programs most successful farmers, and began to discuss a workshop series on terracing. In the meeting, we discussed several points, including… more →
On Sunday we visited Saut-Deau, a scenic waterfall overlooking the Artibonite Valley of the Central Plateau of Haiti. The waterfall, about 100 feet high and the highest in Haiti, is an important catholic and voodoo pilgrimage site. Several accounts of sightings of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel exist, or in the Voodoo context, of… more →
This year the Sewanee team came to Haiti bearing gifts of a different kind: scientific conclusions. After four years of conducting survival surveys during Spring Break trips, the research team put together a poster for Scholarship Sewanee. The poster included graphs showing the growth and survival rates of different species of coffee and shade trees,… more →
I first visited Haiti as a freshman on an outreach trip through the Office of Civic Engagement, our work was to collect tree survival data for the Zanmi Kafe reforestation project, which aims to use a payment for ecosystem services model to promote long term tree planting and carbon sequestration in order to protect the… more →
The Question Remaining At the end of my summer in Haiti, I am stuck with a question, which I have come to see that many others in the line of agroforestry technology have been stuck with. Why is it not easier? This may seem like a simple-minded question, but it racks at me. The technology… more →
One of the books I was fortunate to read this summer was Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations. As the title suggests, the book followed this historical evolution of agriculture, and in parallel, the rise and fall of the myriad new agrarian societies that popped up all over the globe. The book is exhaustive in details… more →