Palmyra students and his Excellency, Paul Altidor
This year marks the 5th anniversary of our project being posted on GlobalGiving, which brings an opportunity to reflect and celebrate our accomplishments over the past five years. We hope to do just that in the next few posted updates.
To kick off our five-year anniversary on GlobalGiving, we thought a student trip to the GlobalGiving headquarters in Washington, D.C. would be appropriate. While we were at it, we thought a trip to the Embassy of Haiti would also be a great way to celebrate our partnership with two schools in Haiti.
Our Palmyra-Haiti Technology Project applied for a local grant from the Palmyra Area Education Foundation (PAEF) to fund our trip to D.C. After nearly a year’s worth of planning and logistics, we arrived in D.C. on March 14th with ten students representing the many students involved in our project.
Our first stop in D.C. was the Embassy of Haiti. The embassy staff demonstrated “Haitian Hospitality” to it’s fullest. If you ever have the good fortune of visiting Haiti, then you will understand the concept of Haitian Hospitality. The embassy staff could not have been more generous with their time and attention on our visit. Staff gave us a tour of the embassy complete with displays of art, culture, history, and education. We presented the history of our Palmyra-Haiti Technology Project to the embassy staff as well.
In addition, the staff fed us delicious Haitian patties, which our students thoroughly enjoyed. To top off our visit, His Excellency, Paul Altidor, generously spent a significant amount of time visiting with us. We shared a local taste of Central Pennsylvania with ambassador Altidor complete with Seltzer’s Bologna and Hershey products.
Our next stop on our D.C. visit was the offices of GlobalGiving, just a few blocks from the embassy. We jokingly called this a “Reverse Site Visit” because GlobalGiving frequently visits project sites all over the globe to validate what the projects are doing. In this case, we were the project validating what GlobalGiving does. GlobalGiving passed our site visit with flying colors! Our students met in the meeting room and learned about the history and culture of GlobalGiving along with the concept of “Unmarketing”. It was an awesome experience putting names with the faces of people who have been working with our project for the past five years.
Our last stop before leaving D.C. was the Old Post Office Pavilion Tower to take in a breathtaking view of the city before leaving for the Metro and home. All in all, it was a pretty spectacular way to spend a day celebrating five years of bringing help and hope to Haiti.
There is a great opportunity to continue the successes of our project on April 16th, 2014. Microsoft’s Youth Sparks initiative will be matching all donations to our project by 50% that day starting at 12:00:01 PM (noon) EDT. Please consider a contribution to our project on April 16th and please spread the word of the good work being accomplished.
Sharing local treats with the ambassador
Our students enjoying Haitian hospitality!
Learning "unmarketing" with Alexis at GlobalGiving
Being open and never settling
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." : )