June 3, 2012 by xiren
As most of you have started to realize at our farewell party, our lovely seniors are graduating and leaving Vassar Haiti Project for now. They have all been such a treasure for Vassar Haiti Project, and nothing would have gotten into place if it weren’t for their guidance. Many of them have spoken their thoughts at our farewell party but much much more are to be said, so some of them wrote a few mores for VHP to share with all members.
Even though they may leave VHP a while for now, they are still with us, either in spirit or actually working across the alumni network. Let’s see what they have to say about the four entire years most of them spent with VHP!
- Claire Frohman, Director of Water Initiatives
I’ll keep this short and sweet because looking back over my past four years with the Vassar Haiti Project, that is how the experience seems. I can hardly believe how time has flown, how the project has grown, and the constant influx of incredible individuals who seem to be magically all drown to this organization.
Being a part of this organization has been fundamental in the formation of the person I am today, and the experience I have shared with my fellow VHPers over the course of the past few years will remain forever in my heart.
I know they will be in my heart, and not elsewhere, because during my time abroad in Bologna, Italy my junior year I noticed a physical aching in my chest. It was a void that could not be filled by the beauty of my surroundings or all of the delicious pizza and gelato and strolls in the park that were a part of my daily existence.
What I finally realized I was missing was the incredible energy and love that emanantes from the Vassar Haiti Project both within the confines of the group and outward toward the rest of Vassar, the Poughkeepsie community, Haiti, and really teh world at large. The desire to share, to engage, to question, to change, to build, to assist, to relieve, and to love all bundled up into one body of individuals is not something easily found.
I have cherished my moments as part of this group and I hope that everyone who passes within its warm embrace will do so as well.
Lila and Andrew are gleaming angles who breathe life into hundreds of little shining stars whose glow and warmth play off of each other to create a light that helps brighten this world.
I give my deepest thanks to all who have been a part of this journey with me.
- Laura Livingston, VP for Merchandise
Dear Andrew, Lila, and VHP,
A lifetime could be spent thanking you for all the learning and love that I have received from VHP in the past four years. However, I will not test your patience, even though I know it to be infinite. A short list will have to pretend to suffice, so thank you for introducing me to Chermaitre and Haiti, for trusting me, for questioning me, and for being my Vassar family. I remember that my first VHP activity was stuffing envelopes to inform our mailing list followers about the 2008 hurricane. I was a shy freshman, and when this lady named Lila gave me a hug within ten seconds of being introduced to me, I thought she was crazy. It was a saintly and strategic move on her part because once Lila hugs you and tells you that she will see you at the next event you know that you will be attending that event.
VHP has been both a refuge and a portal for me. It has provided shelter from college-life stress and frustrations and an opportunity to contribute to projects that have such tangible and potential benefits for people in Chermaitre. VHP people have taught me to think practically and to imagine grandly. During every meeting and event I am awed by everyone’s dedication, deliberation, and compulsive enthusiasm. I have been incredibly fortunate to have known and learned from VHP members. This past year has been an adrenaline rush for VHP as we have moved forward on the initiatives, conducted art sales, and been stars of on campus events. Again, the responsibility and leadership that flow from VHP people is inspiring and astounding. I cannot wait to see what develops in VHP and Chermaitre over the next few years.
Love and cheers,
PS. Question of the year: If you were a Haitian handcraft or painting, what would you be?