Author Archive for Chris Hornsby

Reflecting on Three Summers

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 →

Reforesting with Chokogou

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 →

First Farmer Workshop

    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 →

Rituals at Saut-Deau

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 →

Sharing Data

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 →

Gratitude

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

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 →

The Stories Soil Tell

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 →

How Smart are Haitian Farmers?

Although many lack formal education, most of the farmers I have met are a proud reminder that our world has plenty of brilliant people with minimal education, and highly educated half-wits. In this reflection, I would just like to share some of the surprising, pleasing, and humorous anecdotes and information I have received while doing… more →

The Estime Empire

What is the “story” of Haiti? In part, this is the story I have come to hear, to look for, and to learn from. I have written about my own “stories”, as they shape my reality, but there are bigger stories too, that whole cultures and nations tell themselves. One of these is the official… more →