Yesterday, I signed up for my third volunteer trip to Port O Prince, Haiti. I love going to Haiti. I am sometimes not really sure that I accomplish all that much, but I still love it.
It’s good to visit a place that is a complete contrast to home. In Haiti, I work all day, clumsily doing basic labor, building playgrounds, schools or medical clinics, but it’s great. There is always a very obvious goal for the week and very quickly, I feel my multitasking tendencies slipping away, replaced with a singular purpose. At the end of the day your body feels alive, like you’ve used it, and you are sure of your contribution to a very tangible goal. Your dinner has never tasted so good, and you sleep like a rock (except when there’s roosters).
Above all, it’s great to be in a place where family and community are so obviously important. People have very
little but they somehow find a way to be happy together. These Haitian life lessons are the best part of the trip for me. I return home to my hot water and warm bed and I am thankful for these comforts. I am also thankful that I was born in a place that provides me with options. But I always return with a clear understanding of just how essential my friends and family are to my life, and I am thankful for how much better they make my days.
So in February, I will return to a place that is stunningly beautiful despite the dust, pot holes, and burning tires. I will try to keep up with my Haitian work crew, as we mix cement and move wheel barrels of sand in an attempt to rebuild some small part of the country’s broken foundations. While every drop in the bucket helps, deep down I know that using some of the advantages I was given growing up in North America is the real way to help this country. The most important thing that I can do to make an impact in Haiti is to rally my troops and help raise funds for meaningful projects that will help change lives. Team Tassy is an organization with the same mentality, and an effective source.
In 2011, on the first Long View trip to Haiti, we were introduced to Team Tassy at our shared guest house in Port O Prince. Team Tassy is a small, not-for-profit organization that takes a different approach from most others. Ian and Vivian, of Team Tassy, have the chief concern of creating a solid foundation for individuals in Port O Prince, so that they can achieve dignified independence. This means providing health care, education, and jobs, but it also means throwing away timelines and concentrating on results rather than process. They are an organization that epitomizes the “teach a man to fish” ideology and I can personally say the results are incredibly impressive.
On July 26th, Long View will join Team Tassy to throw a giant water balloon fight in Denver. All proceeds will go to Team Tassy to benefit those in Haiti. This should be an incredible event for the company! It gives us a chance to get involved with our community and really showcase one of our most understated selling points as an organization: we have fun. I hope that on the 26th you can attend this event, and I hope that you can take a minute to think about our neighbors in Haiti, who you will be supporting.
Join us for some fun in the sun. Get your tickets now! http://greatamericanwaterballoonfight.org/denver/