Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Day 56: Responsibilities & Dancing

Day 56 eh? Closing in on two months it seems. Strange to think about. It doesn't feel like that. In some ways it feels like I've been here longer, given my comfort level now, and in other ways it feels like half that time. But the results of two months are making themselves felt - Paddy, Lauren, Will & Leah (all of the full-time biosand water filter team members) have returned to their respective countries (US & England) and that leaves me as the sole full-time biosand team leader, a role which I'm really going to enjoy. Project management isn't something I have tons of experience in, but as all things here in Haiti, the full-immersion, crash-course style of learning leaves me exhilarated for the speed at which I can learn, exhausted (but in a good way) and thankful for the fact that I even have the chance to do this to begin with. A big thank you to Hands On Disaster Response for that, as it isn't normal. From what others have told me, very few organizations will embrace with open arms people who have no relevant experience nor even much travel experience. That's what Hands On does day in, day out. Who knows how many people, who may never otherwise have had the opportunity to put their toe in the pool that is relief work, have since committed themselves to it in one way or another. That's an incredible thing. If even 2% of the world's population committed themselves to doing what they can to improve the lives of other people, this place would be a helluva lot better of.

So yes, responsibilities. And dancing. Lots of dancing. The folks here at base have, for the most part, some damn good taste in music. And, while yesterday I may have lost my iPod & portable speakers (say it ain't so!) up until the point they dissapeared, I made sure wherever my team might find themselves working, they'll have music. It makes everything better. Take this little piece of loveliness for example (be patient, 3:08 is worth it):

Try not to dance to that. I dare you. Isn't going to happen.

So yes, all good over here. I'm getting behind on the writing, but that is a side-effect of taking on a larger role here. Downtime is harder to find (which is fine with me - I came here to work) and when I do have it, sometimes writing is too tiring a proposition to take up. I'm thinking the mornings are going to be when I write. I love waking at about 5:30, the sun creeping just over the mountains, and the base quiet. So then, until the morning...


  1. Hey Quinn! Finally remembered to check out your blog. Thought I would say hi and give you an update on your favorite fashionista. She's currently walking around with a towel tied on her head like a head scarf because she wants to be "like the girls in church". Sigh. On a wonderful note, we got her adoption finalized last week and are waiting for a passport. Hopefully get that this week, and if so we'll be trying to fly out next week to Canada for an extended break. Loved reading through your posts and catching up on what you've been doing.

    And just a special treat for you... when someone asks you how you're doing in Creole, try saying, "M'ap boule" :) (I'm on fire = life is great) I bet they'll laugh.


  2. Hello Quinn,

    My name is Ben Wiselogle, and I'm the development intern at All Hands Volunteers (formerly Hands On Disaster Response).

    Great post you had, and we absolutely love the fact that you're mentioning us in your writings. As you may have heard, we've changed our name to All Hands Volunteers and are no longer using
    What we're hoping you'll assist us with is to change a couple of links on your page, just to help us with redirecting people to where we actually are now. Also, it'll keep your post up to date.
    The links are:

    Here's the pages we found that were still linking to our old site.

    Thanks so much for your help on this, and if you have any questions at all, just shoot me an email at

    Sincerely and Gratefully,

    Ben Wiselogle
    All Hands Volunteers
    Development Intern