Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bon Vwayaj

Port au Prince from above

It was around this time last year that I went to Haiti for the first time with Thread.  We hadn't officially been incorporated yet, we didn't have a business plan, and we all had day jobs. What a difference a year makes...

It was a nerve racking trip for me, because I was already very committed to the idea of Thread, but had not yet been to the country we were planning to start our business in.  What if I hate it there?! was the thought that kept me up at night leading up to that first trip.

At the end of our first day though, Ian, Thread's founder and CEO asked me what I thought so far.

"I love it! And I'm so happy about that!" I exclaimed.

He laughed and responded, "I knew you would."

I haven't talked much about my experience with Haiti in this space, largely because it's something I feel I am still processing, and because I want to be able to eloquently explain my feelings about the country. Working in Haiti has greatly shifted my perspective on a lot of things; infrastructure, healthcare,  and the role of government just to name a few.

When I get asked the question, "How is it down there?" I don't know quite how to respond.

Things aren't good.  Even though the media attention to Haiti has decreased tremendously since the earthquake in 2010, I think most people have the sense that things aren't good.

It's an easy country to fall in love with though.  And the potential and hope there is palpable.  I'm honored to spend time there.

On Friday I leave for a couple of weeks that will be spent largely in the Central Plateau region of the country.  I am going as a full time employee, of a functioning business, with an intern, to kick off a very exciting project we have been working on for months.

I'm nervous about this trip - but for a whole host of different reasons than last June.  I'm thrilled to be going back to Haiti.

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