Friday, May 4, 2012

Dye mon, gen mon.

Apparently I'm starting a blog! Hooray! The things I'm about to get to do are just too exciting and special to not chronicle. I'm one week away from my college graduation, and I still have some work to finish before I'm officially DONE, but all I can think about is my quickly-approaching trip to Haiti this summer...

So first, a quick background: Haverford has this awesome thing called the CPGC (Center for Peace and Global Citizenship) that funds social-justice-oriented student and faculty trips all over the country and the world. I am fortunate enough to be doing what they call a "Senior Bridge", a 10 week international internship of some kind that begins to link my academic studies and interests with my grown-up, real-world life and future career. My project, in a nutshell, is to spend 10 weeks at this awesome maternity clinic called Olive Tree Projects in Jacmel, Haiti; I'll be doing some combination of volunteering in the clinic, helping with admin duties, teaching some community health education classes, and lending a hand wherever I'm needed!

Ever since my freshman year in college, I've been getting really into global/public health. It all started with my freshman writing seminar, Writing in Public Health, taught by Judy Owen (easily one of Haverford's most glorious professors!). We read Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains, and the tales of Paul Farmer and Partners in Health had me hooked instantly and forever. Paul Farmer quickly became one of my idols (my "hero", perhaps?), and I've been on the road to try to exemplify the work he does... basically, I just want to be him.

If you haven't guessed it by now, that's where the blog's title comes from, in part. I was looking up Haitian proverbs and found "Dye mon, gen mon", which means "Beyond the mountains, more mountains" - it's probably where Tracy Kidder's book title came from, now that I think about it. It's described as "a proverb of both patience and the recognition of how difficult life in Haiti is", which made it even more apropos for this blog. It seems appropriate because (a) it's a Haitian proverb, and this is the beginning of my learning about their culture and traditions; (b) in a way, it's a Haitian translation of the title of my own personal bible; and (c) it captures a glimpse of the struggles that Haitians deal with on a daily basis, which brings it back to global health and social justice.

Before I close my first post (!), here are a few quotes from Mountains Beyond Mountains / Paul Farmer that I came across while looking for inspiration for a blog title:

"Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world."
"I can't sleep. There's always somebody not getting treatment."
"That's when I feel most alive, when I'm helping people."
"Equity is the only acceptable goal."

"We're all human beings."

P.S. I'm not sure that I'll be posting here a whole lot over the course of the next 2 months, since I won't be to Haiti until July 22. So if it seems like the blog dies down between now and then, expect it to pick back up again in mid or late July! :) Thanks for reading!

P.P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!!! Love you forever!! xoxo

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