Lessons learned in Haiti

fallon piece on earthquakePaul Fallon, an American architect from Boston, tells his story about being pulled into the rebuilding of Haiti – literally by his involvement in the planning and construction of an orphanage. This orphanage was built in part as a remembrance to a friend’s daughter who perished in the 2010 Earthquake while doing aide work with her University.   

We can identify with the author’s sentiment, especially as it relates to the Institute’s own project work in Haiti. It is challenging to counter impressions of being an outsider, while gaining acceptance that your work benefits the community that you are working with and for. An excerpt from Fallon’s piece, provides context for the ‘draw’ to such work:

[quote]Now, as this earthquake pushes Haiti into the world’s consciousness, I begin to understand what others already know: how deep the country dwells in my psyche, how quick I am to regurgitate my adventures there, how my ordered and rational mind grapples to extract sense from that irrational yet beguiling place. [/quote]

Read Paul Fallon’s full piece from the Boston Globe here. The essay is from his memoir just released today

Port-au-Prince a few days after the 2010 Earthquake. Photo Credit: Getty Images

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