Tuesday, July 27, 2010

It is warm in Haiti this week. Even the Haitians are complaining about the heat!
We are now staying at Mathew 25 House. It is a hostel for helpers/volunteers in Haiti. There are people here from various fields and backgrounds. After witnessing so much devastation and apparent lack of progress over the past few days, it is encouraging to experience people using their talents and gifts to help in the restoration of Haiti.
We have handed many more surveys than expected. Most people in Haiti do not understand the purpose, nature, and process of filling out surveys. It is a western concept. Much time is vested in explanation of the process. We have also conducted a number of qualitative interviews and will conduct many more over the next several days. So far, we have learned a great deal from our tours and informative sessions with the locals.
We have also engaged in a very productive service and research plan for a local community in Port-au-Prince. The meeting helped us conceptualize and organize the training needs of several LDS members in the community. We have participated in worship services, includingn a Novena, following which we were able to conduct some interviews and pass out and collect surveys. I have also spent time preparing for training meetings in which I will help committee members here in Port-au-Prince strategize about meeting spiritual and emotional needs of the people. I will also be training members in addressing basic post-traumatic needs. I have also been planning for a tent community meeting of 150 individuals. The meeting is intended to encourage unity and collective efficacy.
I will be conducting a “Fireside Chat” for Latter-day Saint youth. Leaders asked me to address the question: “How can I still have hope for my future?” A humbling request.
Today we will be conducting interviews and engaging in a training meeting. We will also do some touring of outlying communities. Jeane-Phillippe (JP) has proven to be a fabulous translator, avid advocate for the research cause, and a skilled driver---and I assure you driving here takes much finesse!!!
Did I mention that it is hot here?!

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