International Unitarian Universalism

Ready for More Invigorating Work in Haiti

By Nicole McConvery

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is partnering with the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) on a joint volunteer trip to Haiti, April 28–May 5, 2012. In the post below, trip communications specialist Nicole McConvery of the UUA writes in anticipation of a week filled with learning and growth. The UUA-UUSC Haiti Volunteer Program is made possible through the contributions of UUA and UUSC donors and a generous grant from the Veatch Program of the UU Congregation at Shelter Rock, in Manhasset, N.Y. It’s been four months since my first visit to Port-au-Prince as a green trip-leader-in-training, and I’m so thrilled to be back with the grounding of a successfully completed trip already under my belt. This time around I’m serving as the delegation’s communications specialist, documenting the experience as photographer, videographer, and blog coordinator for participants, the UUA and UUSC, and those following the trip from home. I’m really looking forward to seeing how things have progressed since the last time I was at the eco-village — and sharing that with all of you! I’m here now on a sunny veranda, reviewing tomorrow’s participant pick-up schedule with my wonderful team: UUSC Haiti Emergency Response Manager Wendy Flick, who has over 10 years of experience in Haiti, and Charles Huschle, former UUSC senior associate for foundations and corporations who served as a trip leader on the youth trip to Haiti last August. We’re excited to welcome our diverse group of 14 Unitarian Universalists from all walks of life and all corners of the United States. They will be joining us for a week of service with members of the Papaye Peasant Movement (MPP), located several hours outside of Port-au-Prince in the Central Plateau. It’s hard work, but it’s invigorating, giving us a chance to step outside of our relatively comfortable lives and make a difference for others. As I’ve been here before, I feel very fortunate to have the unique opportunity to observe a group of first-timers in Haiti; to watch the group bond, evolve, process, and grow, while being a part of it myself, will be a completely different experience for me. I can’t wait.