Open Ears is following a group of Sonova team members as they head to Haiti with the Hear The World Foundation. Haley B. Kurzawa is a Hearing Instrument Specialist at Connect Hearing USA. She is originally from Chicago and moved to Austin, Texas last year.
Hearing the rooster crow was such an unusual sound for a Chicago girl. I woke up to the beautiful sunshine, feeling surprisingly rested after a long day of travel. I was very eager to start the day with my awesome team.
“Breakfast is at 8 AM. Be ready to leave for Cite Soleil after eating,” said Cathy Jones.
I prepared for a day of many detours and potentially unplanned activities. I got excited for the busy day ahead. We planned to visit a school in Cite Soleil, the skilled artisans of the Metal Works community, and the non-profit Apparent Project.
We were all excited to get to see the Port-au-Prince that’s not shown on mainstream news. We piled into two vans and headed on our way.
“The roads in Haiti have potholes just as big as Chicago,” I excitedly exclaimed. I realized driving in Haiti wasn’t like driving in the USA. There are huge pot holes, lack of asphalt, no visible lanes, no traffic lights, and lots of pedestrians. People either walk, ride motorcycles, or take “tap-tap” which are colorful trucks. Think of vibrant Uber rides. Continue reading “Hear Haiti: a vibrant start”
On this late Saturday evening driving to LAX, I wonder to myself, “Am I ready for this trip?”
I visualize the things that I am supposed to pack for the Hear the World volunteering mission trip to Haiti. I look at my crumpled checklist while having this bad feeling that I’ve forgotten something. I hate being unprepared. Did I miss something from the emails sent to me by Hear Haiti leader, Cathy Jones? I hope not.
My mind wanders as the freeway lights pass overhead. I’ve read so many news articles about what’s gone wrong in the country. A 7.0 magnitude earthquake. Thousands dead and millions displaced. Political instability. Zika virus. Haiti in crisis.
What can a group of American and Canadian volunteers do to help the people of Haiti? It seems too gigantic of a task. Continue reading “Hear Haiti: Bienvenue en Haiti”
In this Open Ears segment we’ll be following a group of Sonova team members as they head to Haiti with the Hear The World Foundation. Michael Lumunsad, a Strategic Marketer who works at Advanced Bionics, will be reporting from Haiti.
I, probably like many of you, still remember when a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Haiti more than six years ago. The January 12, 2010 catastrophe killed more than two hundred thousand people and displaced millions more. In those six years, a lot of foreign aid and relief efforts have been poured into the island to help rebuild the devastated Caribbean country, including the Hear the World Foundation, which started HEAR HAITI in 2013.
On Sunday, I’ll be joining 11 other Sonova Group employees on the fourth Hear the World volunteering trip to Leveque, Haiti. Our team will be providing patient care, hearing aid fitting, and caregiver education to many deaf children and adults living in Leveque, especially those children orphaned by the 2010 tragedy.
I will lead the documentation efforts during the trip, including sharing our experiences on social media. Others will have jobs covering administration and organization tasks, diagnostics, fitting, auditory verbal therapy, and communications.
Everyone on the team is excited to volunteer in Haiti and give back to the community in need.
Ever since I’ve returned home from my trip to Haiti with our Hear the World Foundation, seemingly everyone I’ve come into contact with has asked me the inevitable question, “How was Haiti?” My answer to this question has always been some variation of “I can’t possibly put it into words,” yet here I am again trying to put my entire Haitian experience into words.
If I get nothing else across about my Haitian excursion, I want everyone to understand that it was a profound experience in so many ways and has changed my life. I’d like to think that I’m self-aware enough to realize exactly all the ways in which this experience enriched me, but I’d be giving myself entirely too much credit if I thought that I had realized everything there is to realize.
Continue reading “The Road to Fulfillment Leads Through Haiti”