Friday, May 23, 2014

Voluntourism, Poverty Tourism, Mission Trips, Oh My!

Simply by reading this post and the linked articles, you will have contributed one of the best things you could contribute to the mission here with the Episcopal Church in Cange, Haiti. Please read it.

This post is a collection of articles that discuss the positives and negatives of volunteer trips, the issues of voluntourism, and some suggestions on how to improve on this phenomenon.

The issues these articles address lead me to question the sincerity of human good will, the limits of commitment, and virtue of selfishness. It is my hope that by sharing these articles, I will push you as I am being pushed to consider the broader context in which we live, work, travel and volunteer--not only in places abroad, but in our own neighborhoods and towns.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Visual Treat (rethinkHAITI)

Since bandwith is somewhat limited here (Internet is VERY expensive in Haiti), I haven't been able to share videos of where I am living and working. But, I have come across four great short pieces on Haiti that make my heart sing. Seriously. When I watch these videos, I can't help but smile. You're in for a treat with all four of these.

First is a video put together by The Episcopal Church featuring the work of my fellow Haitian missionaries Kyle Evans, Dan Tootle, Julie Burd and Ashley Bingaman. This was done during a meeting in Port-au-Prince last Novemeber. Kyle and Dan do the talking, while Julie and Ashley can be seen at work in the footage. CLICK HERE FOR AWESOME EPISCOPAL HAITI MISSION VIDEO

Second is a piece done by Bridges to Prosperity, an organization that, among many things, builds bridges around Haiti to areas that are otherwise inaccessable during the rainy season due to river levels. This aerial video features places very close to where I live in the Central Plateau. Drone technology can be used for good...

(My apologies that this is just a Facebook link. The creators have only released it publically through Facebook.)

Third is Haiti Happy! Yes, another video made featuring Pharrell's song "Happy." I've heard people may be tired of this song in the States, but I don't hear it very much down here. So, even if you're tired of the song, watch this video for some AWESOME shots of Haiti and great footage capturing the many Haitian personalities that you'll run into when visiting this amazing country.
Finally, here's a neat clip teaching you seven Haitian hand gestures. Non-verbal communication is important anywhere--some places are more colorful with it than others.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pastyme Benefit Concert

Do you love music? Do you love dinner? Of course you do. So get a ticket to the Pastyme Benefit Concert at Trinity Episcopal Church in Asheville, NC, on May 18th at 5:00pm. The wonderful folks of Pastyme (an awesome group of singers) will be performing to send Trinity youth to the Episcopal Youth Event in Philadelphia in July AND to support myself in my second year with the Young Adult Service Corps and fellow Trinity young adult Megan Cox in her service for the Episcopal Service Corps.

Order your tickets here:
We would all greatly appreciate your support--and you'll have your ear drums massaged with beautiful music and tummies satisfied with scrumptious food.

Here's a map to Trinity: