Stephanie Fong, Zachary Fazio, Landis Masnor, and Renee Meschi are Shimer students participating in the Shimer Summer Internship Program. They regularly post updates about their internship experiences.
This post is from Landis Masnor who is interning with CLM, an NGO dedicated to eradicating extreme poverty in central Haiti.
I recently travelled to a CLM base in a town called Kada located in Tit Montay. I spent about 5 days there entering data (400 files) from CLM’s poverty scorecard, Kat Evalyasyon, into a program on my computer. CLM uses the poverty scorecard to illustrate a household's poverty prior to working with CLM. Kat Evalyasyon asks questions about the condition of the members house, what their toilet situation is like, where their income/ food comes from, and how many profitable animals they own. This information is initially used to ensure that candidates qualify for CLM, that they’re the poorest of the poor. The data can be used secondarily as a way to quantitatively measure how members’ financial and food security has strengthened.
Attempting to cut down extra weight added by my laptop and imagining a week of Kreyol data entry as less than photogenic, I decided to leave my camera in Sodo. Huge mistake. I may as well have ridden that donkey into the promised land.
I found a partially constructed school, a tin roof with benches and a desk, under which I worked throughout the week. My office space had no walls and it looked out on to a broad green hill, thick with tall grass and limestone outcroppings. Restricted by daylight, I began work early and could often watch the moon sink into the ridge of the peak. To my left was a view of the entire mountain valley, the plain, and the river I crossed to get there. Last summer I was doing data entry also, but inside of an air conditioned cubicle for a gulf coast oil company. Data entry is never fun but my week in Kada had a special blend of peaceful contemplation, familiar computer-screen boredom, and utter enchantment.
The rain came every afternoon as the temperature began to cool. I enjoyed working in the rain with the tin roof over my head. Afterwards the water vapor from the valley rolls up the mountain and over the peak.
During the morning return trip I walked into a cloud.
I will post photos (taken with my camera and laptop) here when I have the bandwidth to do so.