March 3, 2011

Report from Haiti: ‘There is positive happening here’

Young girl from Jacmel, Haiti
A young girl from Jacmel, Haiti.

Sloane Berrent‘What is the one thing we can take back from Haiti with us to tell people?”

That was the question I asked people while in Haiti over the weekend. For there is a lot going on. A lot of sadness. A lot of frustration. A lot of violence. Struggles to reconstruct, rebuild, take a country that was already the poorest in the Western Hemisphere and have it come back better than before.

“Tell the good. There is positive happening here. The (traditional) media only tells the stories of hardship but there are a lot of positive stories coming out of Haiti too.”

And indeed there is. Smiles and laughter. People helping each other. Community leaders stepping up. International aid organizations committed to helping in the reconstructions. Houses are being built. Schools are in session. A presidential election is right around the corner.

So that’s what I want to do. I want to honor the wishes of the people I met in Haiti during my trip last weekend. I want to tell stories that haven’t been told 100 times. It’s important for us – us in the privileged developed country – to remember that in the aftermath of a natural disaster most other countries don’t have the option to clean up like we do. Continue reading

February 24, 2011

Heading to Haiti for a first-hand look at life there now


Heart of Haiti.

 

‘Be open to the possibility that something amazing can happen around any corner’

Sloane BerrentIhave exciting news … and a bit of a story to tell you.

First, I’m headed to Haiti! I’m leaving early this Friday for four days. I’m really excited to be part of a small blogger team going to the capital of Port-au-Prince to meet with local artisans who are a part of Fair Winds Trading and capture Haiti in a post-earthquake environment.

How did this come to be? Last year, while living in New Orleans, I was asked by the amazing folks at Everywhere to help organize an event for the Pathway to Peace event. This was some time in December 2009. Pathway to Peace is an initiative by Macy’s to support women artisans in Rwanda. I clearly remember Tamara from Everywhere telling me, “We can’t pay you to help with this event, but it’s such an amazing campaign, and I know you’ll love it. We’ll find another way to make this work and work with you in the future.”

Lesson 1: Sometimes you do things for money. Sometimes you do things because you believe in them. Sometimes you ask for something in return. Sometimes you do something simply for gratitude. Know the difference between these scenarios, but make sure at some point in your life you do one of each. Continue reading