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Lessons Learned: Be Present in the Moment

An account of the trip gathered from students comments. Campbell Masters of Public Health students returned to the US following two fruitful weeks in Haiti. They made a great impact in Zorange.

Over the past two years, Dr. Tillman and his students have designed and implemented an electronic record that works without internet. There have been many obstacles but the program is up and running and has been spread to maternal health as well.

A new project that they took on was the digitalization of records at Unifiee. This was a incredible bonus for the school. Report cards, student transcripts and employee records for the past 10 yearsnow can be accessed electronically and printed as professional documents. Students really enjoyed the collaboration and coming together with the staff on these projects.

While not toiling away at these projects students shared some of their thoughts about their first visit to Haiti. Southern US and southern Haiti hospitality have some similarities. The welcoming openness of the community really touched a number of students. From the beginning of the trip holding on to an American need for control to the end when the rainy season took control and some walked out to Bainet while our jeep “the beast” was pushed thru the river by the community.

Students observed how much people depend on each other in Zorange. They saw strength in many ways. The difficult walk or ride out gave a different view of the challenges and self sufficiency that you have to develop to face those challenges of living in rural Haiti. It was a lesson in being present in the moment.
Playing basketball and soccer in the rain showed how similar we are, although the Haitians could play barefoot! A visit to Achele Antoine’s family home with a treat of sugar cane and coconuts was a highlight of the trip.

Many of the students are plotting for return trips as they felt they had scratched the surface of a something they wanted to be involved in. We will enjoy having them back and are thankful for Campbell’s continued service in Zorange!