This is going to be a huge event for BoanResponds and the Haitians who are coming. As a learning and cultural exchange event, it is definitely the biggest thing we have attempted. (it dwarfs food packing events in scope, work, and impact).
While we did not get everyone here due to VISA issues (will try earlier next year), we have a good group of 14(maybe 13--just heard today one may not be coming) Haitians who will be coming to SBU for almost 3 weeks.
The program/schedule is below. As you will see, the idea is to learn while doing. And we will be doing a great deal! Indeed, sleep is one thing we may not have much of!
We have classes (economics, finance, Environmental Science, Marketing, leadership, and political science), Seminars (Educational goals, science packs (TBD), International Law, Childhood nutrition, irrigation usage, water filters, a talk on Francis, and a few others WE HOPE), Fun trips (Niagara Falls, Allegany State Park, Chautauqua Lake), learning trips (Olean Wholesale, Park and Shop, Napoleon Engineering, SolePoxy, and Canticle Farms),BonaResponds work days (Bonagany Bonagany, Warming House, a car wash for HaitiScholarships, a wheelchair ramp, painting, trail work at minimum), and fun/fitness activities (Soccer, Yoga, hiking). Oh and if the weather allows, we hope to view the lunar eclipse too smile emoticon
In any downtime, we hope to be picking up some Creole too! (You will soon start to see flyers around campus with come Creole words that may be useful). Please make our friends feel welcome and say hi!
You can get involved and come to most of the activities as you can (trips are problematic as we still need drivers--so get approval before planning on jumping in the van for Niagara Falls). And if anyone (or any group) wants to help pay for a dinner etc, we'd love to do so! If nothing else you should plan on coming to the welcomes (7:00 pm on Thursday, 11:30 on Friday, the event at the Olean Public Library, and the October 8th "party and wrap up" in Francis Hall's San Damiano room. (but please come to other events too!)
Still also trying to get some school visits scheduled and would love a solar power seminar, but they are not definite yet.
Two issues (the main one is a lack of drivers) and also we have fewer people than we had expected, so breaking up to go to various schools is more of a problem. But we do hope to get to some local schools.
A huge thank you to the SBU Events planning, Housing, and all of the volunteers who have agreed to teach, host, and lead the students and overall make this great event possible.
Much of the material will be available online for those who could not get VISAs as well as the many who could not afford to come, so we also need people to record and video events.