"Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive...then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Howard Thurman

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Global Effort

One of the things that strikes me most about working in Haiti is how much of the global community is represented here. The best example is the fact that there are 46 different Red Cross chapters. I guess I'd never really thought about how many countries do humanitarian work all over the world everyday.  For instance, in the American Refugee Committee office here we have approximately 20 Ex pat staff (meaning people from countries outside the country you are working in) and 200+ Haitian nationals.  Of the 20 Ex pats there are 5 of us from the U.S.  The others come from France, England, Vietnam, India, Australia, Nepal, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Benin. 

It has provided some great cultural learning and some interesting invitations.  Last week a small group of us were invited to join our co-worker from Nepal (Nagendra) at a UN medal ceremony honoring the peace keeping mission, also from Nepal.  We were the only civilians and sat among the troops from Sri Lanka, Korea, China, India, Japan, Canada, Argentina, Peru, France, Brasil and more.  Interestingly, Nepal supplies the 5th largest world wide contingent of peace keeping troops to the UN.  The awards were a very high United Nations honor and were presented by the head of the UN in Haiti, Nigel Fisher.  

After the ceremony, the troops performed some traditional Nepalese dances and then we enjoyed some amazing food.  It was a very fun evening and Nagendra was a very generous host.  He regaled us with his stories about his treks to Everest base camp and how he helped to  build a suspension bridge nearby.  We forgot our camera so you'll have to squint to see what we saw through the Blackberry photos posted below. 

No comments:

Post a Comment