We had a quick chat with Diamond and Christian to talk about their life and experiences in Haiti so far.
Christian is from Colorado by way of Texas, and she graduated from University of Colorado Boulder in 2016. She arrived in Haiti in August 2017 and is enjoying these final months of the school year.
Diamond arrived in in 2016 after graduating from Florida Institute of Technology. She has been an intern for nearly two years now and will be staying on for a third!
So, what work do you do for BRITE?
Christian (CP): I take photos of the events, students, and the school grounds. I also teach fifth and sixth grade, and art classes for 1st-6th grade.
Diamond (DC): I am the Financial Administrative Assistant, so essentially I help with updating financial logs, balancing revenue and expenses, dispersing funds and helping to maintain the integrity of our financial operations. I also teach 1st-3rd graders.
What attracted you to this internship specifically?
CP: I was attracted by the idea of being able to come to a place that is completely different from what I’ve known for my entire life. I was also looking for an opportunity to grow spiritually, to be focused on God and work on my own character. I can be very focused on myself at times and what is going on in my own world, but I really wanted to take myself out of that and give myself to others in ways that I haven’t in the past.
What do you love most about living in Haiti?
DC: Between the food and the landscape, I can’t decide! I love nature, the beach, the mountains, the flowers. The stars at night and being able to see the night sky. And the food is so good I will never get tired of it!
CP: My favorite things I guess would be just the random weird things that happen on a daily basis, things that you wouldn’t see in America, like goats hanging out at a gas station in the middle of the night.
What have you learned through the challenges?
DC: Personally I have learned a lot of perseverance. Working with kids is hard, they are not always easy or teachable, and they are also ESOL students. But I want them to learn and grow. I have also learned that It’s not about me. I have given in more ways than I imagined. Regardless of how I may be feeling, there is always something I can give. Also being able to serve and adjust to the way of life, the bucket showers and the lack of electricity. You can’t go looking for excuses because things still need to get done.
What would you say to future interns?
CP: You’re gonna wanna stay! There will be times that are difficult, but Haiti itself is such a beautiful country and the people you surround yourself with make it the experience of a lifetime. The relationships I’ve made and the places I’ve gotten to explore have given me a heart for Haiti.
DC: Be ready to give all you got. Enjoy Haiti for what it is, and be open to seeing the beauty through the struggle. Don’t give up. Be patient with yourself, because everything does not come naturally or easily. Continue to push through the difficult times, and have fun!