I traveled to Haiti (for the first time) with Volunteers for Peace (VFP) in 2014 over Thanksgiving and could not have asked more a more incredible experience. I was a part of a group of four people (2 Canadians and 2 Americans ranging in age from 28 to 50) who volunteered in a small, rural community in the mountains called Desab. VFP organized a video conference so we could all meet before the trip and coordinate our activities/programming that we'd like to offer during the trip. I really appreciated the opportunity to get to know everyone before we arrived in Haiti. Between the four of us we taught English, math, basic aerodynamics, drumming, and yoga. We also helped build a new classroom for the 6th graders. VFP empowered us to teach what we love and because of that we all had a high level of ownership in what we did.
Haiti is such a unique and incredible place. The people are overwhelmingly full of love and kindness. My experience was so amazing because of the wonderful Haitian volunteers involved in the project like Dimitry, Cherly, Fenel, Arthur, and Aben. While they helped quite a bit with translating, they were the real reason we were able to coalesce in the community so well. All of the locals knew, respected, and loved them and because they introduced us to community members and worked along side of us, the locals were very receptive and welcoming.
The friendships that I made from the trip and the things that I learned changed my life. I look forward to going back to Desab every year; to that little village that holds my heart.