Will your Haiti experience bear fruit? 2017 reflections

Questions addressed to students- 2017 Outreach Trip

Did you grow in a way that will positively affect your life or the lives of others as a result of this experience? 

Absolutely. I can’t quite verbalize how because I think this has been experience that I will constantly be reflecting on and learning new things from as I continue in my academic journey and beyond. I believe I have become more aware of social injustices and what my role is in that and the measures which I feel are appropriate to take to counter these problems.

I learned so much from the experience, especially about farming in a country like Haiti. It made me happy seeing a long-term project in a community that has a lot of involvement from the locals.

What did you learn about yourself, others, organizations, or Sewanee during your outreach experience?

I learned that it’s so much better to have a group of people who are involved in various things on campus from one another because they all bring different perspectives and ideas for solutions to the group. I believe this sharing of ideas is a huge aspect of these outreach trips and are vital the success of them.

I learned how to engage in long-term service work and to humble myself to be a part of something larger and longer than four year-long projects at Sewanee. I learned how invested I am in others and always trying to be aware of how I impact others at both an individual and collective level. I learned the flaws in how lots of NGOs are set up, and I learned how vastly different all cultures are and how their functionalities are heavily predicated on their historical contexts (of infrastructure, economics, environment, etc.)

The Sewanee in Haiti program is a hidden jewel that not enough people know about. I learned to deal with life on a day to day basis instead of worrying about the future like I normally do. Even not knowing what time it was did not bother me.

I had been on an outreach trip before but this surpassed my first experience in a number of ways. I did not realize how a long relationship can make a lasting impact on a community. I saw this on my last outreach trip as well but this one was different because you were going to the same people’s homes every time you were there and learning about their families and what they needed. Also, I did not expect to become so incredibly close to the group of Sewanee students. It was amazing how we formed a small community that made each of us feel loved and supported. I have loved how even since we have been back at Sewanee, we have continued to nurture the relationships we made in Haiti. This trip also made me realize once again how much I want to pursue my future career in environmental justice and keep working abroad.

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