Among the first things I did this morning was poke around Facebook to see if there was any info about a friend who is working in Haiti.  One of my son’s high school teachers, the amazing Ms. Bowman, has taken a year’s leave of absence to volunteer with a boarding school in Port-au-Prince, and I was relieved to learn that both she and her students are safe following the earthquake.

Even without that concern for someone I know personally, it’s hard not to think about the people of Haiti.  The Boston area has the country’s third-largest population of Haitian-Americans, behind only Miami and New York, and many live in Somerville/Cambridge.  Haitian-Americans comprise the largest ethnic/national group at my son’s high school and my daughter’s middle school, and are a significant presence at her more poly-national high school.  There are currently two Haitian-Americans in the Massachusetts House of Representatives, increasing their visibility in public life.

I can’t remember a Fletcher student who came directly from Haiti, but we have often had students with Haitian roots.  And, of course, so many of our students and alumni have worked there — providing the support that this fragile country needs to re-build itself.

In the coming weeks, I envision many conversations with the Haitian-Americans I know or meet, asking about their families back home.  I’ll also be thinking about the Fletcher applicants and alumni who are working there under incredibly difficult circumstances.  I hope you’ll take a minute to think of them, too.  If any readers have special insights on Haiti, or are living there now, please offer your perspective with a comment on the blog.

 

One Response to Thinking of Haiti

  1. I heard from a reader by email today. Her brother-in-law is a Navy helicopter pilot, about to ship out to Haiti for a humanitarian mission that may last three months. The family is proud of his work, but concerned.

    Many people will soon be heading directly into the trouble spot to provide help. Thank you to all these people who support Haiti’s recovery.

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