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08/07/2014

Goodbye Haiti

Last year around this time, I was assigned as Administrative and Finance Officer in JEN Haiti. First time I came to the office, there were over 20 staffs working here and I hoped that I can remember everyone’s name really fast. As most of the local staff only spoke Creole or French, and since I did not speak any French or Creole, I felt unease in communicating with everyone.

After a year has passed, now I am more or less comfortable in communicating with local staff with my broken Creole and I learned a great deal of how Haitian way works. My morning starts with greeting with everyone by shaking their hands. For me, you shake hands when you meet someone for the first time, and it took me a while to get used to the way our staff does greeting. My work involved bookkeeping and administrative tasks to make sure that the fund is used correctly and operation runs smoothly. Coordinating with donor for project proposal and changes are also important part of my work.
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As I had a place in Port-au-Prince, I commuted every day from Port-au-Prince to Leogane and this was a real time killer and exhausted me at the beginning. However, I was able to take this opportunity to learn some Creole with the driver every day and it encouraged me to speak more Creole. As this was the first time living in least developing country and working in a WASH sector, everything was so new to me. I learned the problem Haitian people face with water and what Haitian government is trying to do to overcome the situation. We see that the construction of the kiosks and reservoir, along with hygiene promotion can improve Haitian people’s lives.

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Nevertheless, it is time for me to say goodbye to Haiti. From October, I will be moving to another country for new start, but I will not forget the smile and laughter of Haitian people. Despite their tough life, people are very kind and sociable. I hope Haiti will develop further for future generation to come. Thank you for those who have supported me during my stay in Haiti. Orevwa Ayiti!

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JEN Haiti Office staff
Shiho Wada

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August 7, 2014 in Haiti |