Off to Haiti: the goal

In Miami!
Despite my strong urges to explore this new and infamous, pulsing city, I’m lying low because we take the 5:20 am shuttle tomorrow to the airport to fly into Port-au-Prince!

I just met Lisa and Tim, two of the three YouTube video bloggers, aka “vloggers” – so get used to this word, I will probably use it a lot – I am traveling with. They are going to be fun, I am quite excited.

Here are their YouTube channels, so you can see them, what they do::

Hank Green of the VLOGBROTHERS
LISA NOVA
TIMOTHY DELAGHETTO

Right now I couldn’t tell you much more else about them, how they got into this, etc, but I have tons of questions and am looking forward to getting to know them.

WHAT IS GOING ON??
I think it was in December, Water.org was chosen to be a charity partner for a YouTube event called Project4Awesome. My boss, Mike, went and met these vloggers, among others, and got the idea that I’m helping put in full motion now.

March 22 is World Water Day! And as you can imagine, we have a lot of robust activities planned, online and offline. In line with these things, Mike wanted to take a few of these prolific and well-followed vloggers to some of the communities in Haiti where we are about to begin projects. Perhaps they could do some videos, introduce their audiences to us, the issues, and have a call to action to engage a bit…

So here we are, in the idea :) They are all pretty pumped, and I am honored to go alongside. The vloggers will release some of their videos on YouTube, March 22, for World Water Day. And the call to action will be inviting people to follow the progress of that specific community with that respective vlogger, here: my.Water.org.

I will be capturing photos and video and info/stories for Water.org as well. And another huge bonus, is my good friend and co-worker Laura will be there, guiding us, essentially. She is the Water.org Haiti Programs Manager, is fluent in Creole, and has lived a total of 2.5 years in Haiti. She hasn’t been with Water.org for quite a year, but has already made lots of trips down and worked closely with our certified local parter, Haiti Outreach.

TOMORROW!
Laura will meet us at the airport in Port-au-Prince, and then we will take a small six person plane to Pignon where our projects are. Rge (Roe-zhay), from Haiti Outreach, will meet us, take us to the guest house where we will be staying, and to visit a community in the afternoon. Our projects here are all rural, so it won’t be the scenes you’ve seen on CNN the past year.

Pignon - up north in red - that's where we'll be.

my.Water.org
This tool is something we’ve been working on, refining, making better, etc, over the past 16 months ish. Right now, only communities in Haiti can be featured. Our local partner updates it every week, and we use Google Translate to do a rough translation of the Creole. BUT, in the future, we plan on featuring projects and communities from around the globe. I am really excited about this tool because it allows anyone to 1) see what all goes into implementing a sustainable and holistic water and sanitation project, 2) allows people to feel more connected to our work, and 3) see their support/money at work, in action. It hooks up to Facebook and Twitter, and sends you an update once or twice a month into your email inbox, of the community’s progress that you chose to follow. (Feel free to follow a community for yourself! I’d love your feedback.)

AND NOW…
We are supposed to have internet access this week, so I am going to try to blog a few times with photos, etc. I brought this tiny netbook computer from work and it’s kind of slow and weird, so we’ll see how it works out ;p

On that note, I wanted to put up a photo from Haiti, but I need to hit the hay. Here are 25 photos from Water.org’s most recent trip.

Goodnight! Thanks for all the well wishes…happy to be taking this trip with you. Stay tuned…

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