Hello, I am Sarah! This summer I am fortunate enough to be the MH4H Agriculture Intern. I recently graduated from Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!) with a BS in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Studies. I am living in Haiti for three months before I return back to the US to start a full-time job this fall.

Prior to starting my internship with MH4H I had been on two short-term trips in March of 2017 and May of 2018. This gave me a feel for what MH4H does and what life on campus looked like, but moving down to Haiti for a summer is much different experience than just visiting for a week.

The market is no longer just a place to go to experience the culture, it is my grocery store. Riding on the back of a tap-tap or motorcycle is no longer a fun way to get around, it is my only mode of transportation. Learning Creole is no longer just to say “Hello” and “God bless you” to people I may meet, it is my tool communicate with those I work with.

Day-to-day life in Haiti looks very different from what you do on a short-term trip. When you are here short-term, you do new things every day. You interact with many different people and serve them in many different ways. One day you will lay a cement floor while another you might distribute food or PET carts. Each day is different and you are constantly meeting new people.

As an intern, I work with the same handful of people, almost all MH4H staff, and most of my time is devoted to a small number of projects. And though I might not be meeting new people every day, I am making deeper connections with those I work with.

When working with agronomy projects, sometimes more pieces or different equipment is needed. I have to be creative in looking at what resources we have and what we can get in Haiti.
And if we cannot get the desired part, we have to look at the system and find how we will accomplish the end goal with what we have. Working in Haiti has challenged me as an engineer.

One of the biggest blessings so far of being an intern has been learning creole. It was my desire to be able to speak more with people on my own. I wanted to be able to ask them about their families and about their work. While learning a new language takes time and many, many mistakes, it is so rewarding to slowly start to understand everything going on around me. While I am nowhere close to being fluent, I can pick up simple sentences and usually tell people what I want to tell them. Haitians are eager to practice with me and teach me and are very forgiving when I mess up.

One of the creole phrases I really like is “Ale avèk Jezi” which translates to “Go with Jesus.” Every morning, the staff devotions end with this phrase. To me, it is a great reminder that I can choose to go with Jesus and glorify Him with my work every day. Working with MH4H has shown me how to have Jesus in every aspect of my life. No matter what I do or who I may meet, I choose to go with Jesus.

Also, the cats on campus, Tacocat and Mimi, are a nice bonus.

2 Comments

  1. Jerry Ripperger

    I somehow knew the cats were going to be included. God bless

    Reply
  2. Wendy Liskey

    So proud of you, Sarah! Go with Jesus!

    Reply

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