I’m back home now which, for me, means stuffing my face with greasy American food and reflecting on my time spent abroad (and yes, the first stop we made after leaving the Atlanta airport was McDonald’s). I can’t help but compare this trip to Haiti with our last trip this past May. There were so many new faces on our team and in the group of students we taught. We taught similar content but we were more prepared in the classroom for sure.
When you are teaching the same group of people 8 hours a day for 4 days (3 full days and two half days) you have to do everything you can to keep people energized and excited about the content. This meant very few lectures and many more interactive activities (see my other blog post to read about one of those activities). I can definitely say that this approach was successful but, like any good program, we will continue to adapt and change as the needs of our students change.
Bama HERD will continue on, making week long trips to Haiti twice a year during December and May. There will be many new and old faces that make the return trips; however, I know that I will not be able to go again this May. I will still continue to fulfill my behind the scenes duties in Tuscaloosa by attending meetings, maintaining group communication, and organizing all of the logistics for upcoming trips. It will give me a tremendous amount of joy being able to see more students embark on this life changing experience.