Sunday, September 14, 2014

Back to the Carolinas

Wow, it has been quite a ride since I last made a post on here at the end of July. I had a crazy push for setting up projects and connections in Haiti to function for my six or so weeks back in the States, then I had to prepare to actually leave for a while. This required some mental fortitude, lots of time for reflection, and patience. Then I actually flew back to Asheville on August 21st.
Metal art
I am so grateful to have spent just over a full year in Cange, Haiti, working under the Young Adult Service Corps in relationship with the Diocese of Upper South Carolina and many others who work in and around Cange. What an amazing year of growing confidence, new relationships, a richer faith, and a different outlook on day-to-day life. God's love is so alive and vibrant in this world.

Gourd bowl
Since I've been back, I've already jumped into church visits, and I head to the University of the South tomorrow. But I've spent time with family and friends too, watching the UGA-Clemson game with Clemson friends and going to the beach with my aunt, uncle and cousin. I even got up to Wilmington, NC, to see my grandparents there for lunch. What a wonderful treat to get to see so many amazing people I have been missing, yet have supported me so sincerely and significantly during my time with YASC.

Which brings me to my next topic of this somewhat unorganized post: second year fundraising. Thanks to so many wonderful financial donors and the help of my home parish Trinity Episcopal Church in Asheville, NC, I have met my second year fundraising goal for YASC. Mesi anpil, thank you very much. Worthy of a name drop in no particular order are the clergy and staff of Trinity--Scott, Carol, Peggy, Ken, Debbie, Dillon, Sharon, Glenn, and Beth--thank you so much! I am grateful for those who contributed financially and for all who show support through your words, actions, thoughts and prayers.
Metal art
So what lies ahead in year 2?

I'll be spending my time split between Haiti and Columbia (note this is the city in South Carolina, not the South American country, Colombia :-) ). As a part of that, I'll be shifting my responsibilities just a bit. As other organizations take over upcoming phases of projects I've been a part of in Haiti, this opens up time for me to travel around the southeast to visit churches, universities, organizations and people to generate more interest and involvement in the general work in Cange in which EDUSC is involved.
Banana bark greeting card, "Neg Mawon" design
The Cange Marketplace is moving into the land purchasing and construction phase, which will be handled by Clemson Engineers for Developing Countries and students and graduates of the CFFL vocational school in Corporant, Haiti. This is a wonderfully exciting step in this project. I'll continue to be involved as we develop the operational business plan with the Market Committee of Cange.
Hand-turned wood bowl
Zanmi Pwason Chapoteau, the fish project in Chapoteau, is still only in the planning phase with Zanmi Agrikol/Partners in Agriculture. Supporting partners are finishing up structures for reporting and management while seeking final financial support for what will be a primary economic development project for the community of Chapoteau. I look forward to getting these steps out of the way efficiently and effectively, so implementation can begin.
Metal art
Sant Art the art center of Cange is in a particular state of uncertainty. Unfortunately, the director Ms. Jackie Williams, had to return to the U.S. with a medical emergency back in July. She likely will not return before January, and this comes at a crossroads for Sant Art, which is in need of new structures. I pray for her speedy and full recovery. We're pushing forward, seeking new contracts and developing new designs of beautiful hand-crafted art by the staff in Cange. For the short term, orders can be made by emailing me.
Gourd bowl
Episcopal Relations I will take on a bigger role here, working here and there to facilitate the relationship between the Episcopal parish in Cange and all other Episcopal partners like EDUSC, Church of the Incarnation in Highlands, NC, St. Timothy's in Virginia, and the Diocese of Haiti. Work here will also involve other religious and secular organizations like universities, CEDC, and other denominations.

This work will consist of in person visits to vestries, youth groups, churches and events. I'll be visiting universities seeking additional partnerships for Cange in the models set forth by Clemson University, Sewanee, and Centenary College. I'll also be creating reports on communities near Cange and under the Episcopal parish network there. There are many U.S. churches that support these communities, but they are not necessarily organized. These reports will include local perspectives and visions as well as the perspectives and visions from all partners and will serve as a tool for everyone to move forward together.
Hand-woven rugs, in progress
There are a handful of other activities I'm involved in to a lesser degree and some that simply haven't developed much yet, but have the potential to at some point over the course of the next year. I'm very excited for what is to come.
Crocheted bracelet
I will continue to update this blog, hopefully on a more regular basis, throughout my second year. I really do appreciate this as a form of communication to you all, and welcome conversation and questions at any time. It's always wonderful to hear from you.

Map mande ke Bondye beni ou

**The photographs in this blog are samples of the new art being produced at Sant Art in Cange. Thanks to CEDC intern Kristen Oehrig for the pics!**

No comments:

Post a Comment