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Architect Team in Haiti

We had a lot of things to accomplish on our June volunteer trip. One of the great things that we were able to do was have 9 members of the architect team join us to learn about Haiti, the culture, the people, and the land so that they can design the best school and village as possible for us. Six students from the University of Utah, two professors, and a member of Common Studio were able to visit Haiti with us. They were so wonderful! We could not have been more impressed with them. One student, Chris Clemmons shared few of his thoughts about the experience:

> What were your initial impressions of Haiti?

I could not believe the infrastructure, the way of life, everything we saw on the way from the airport. That initial drive set the tone for

the entire trip, giving a good feel for the everyday lives of the majority of Haitians.

> What was your favorite part of the trip?

Of course visiting the children was the most fun and exciting aspect of the trip. However, every time we went “outside the walls”, I became very intrigued by what we saw. It was very important for us to see an array of people, landscape and living situations to truly understand the

conditions in Haiti.

> In what ways did going to Haiti change your feelings towards the project?

It has made it much more difficult in a sense; much more of a real project. My mind bounces around thinking about: existing structures, innovative possibilities, what kids really want/need, how to utilize our design to influence the area in an extremely positive way, not just good enough.

> What things were most valuable for you as an architect? For you personally?

Seeing materials, their implementation and life cycle. Living conditions and obtaining a foundation to trace their origins and solutions.

Architect team, Haitian university students, and villagers on the land.

Children from Ti Savanne aka Future HR students!

A mother carries her son along because he has no shoes and the land is very thorny.

Children following us around on the land.

Soccer in Ti Savanne

Villagers in front of construction sign.

A mother and a future HR student (hopefully!)

Architect team meets with the surveyor, who is pleasantly surprised to have people who actually “speak his language” regarding the land.

Architect Team was able to learn a lot from our very smart and capable surveyor.

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