Editor’s Note: Caroline Metz ’18 was selected, along with Taren Duffy ’18 and Bianca Arteaga ’18, to visit St. Andre’s, Trianon, Haiti, in February.  Below are Caroline’s reflections on the trip.

Over the break I had the privilege of traveling to Haiti. I found myself in a foreign country and out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know what to expect but I knew for sure that I was going to remember this experience forever.

One thing I specifically remember about Haiti is the hope, love, and happiness in every person I met. One time, when we were sitting in church, the girls behind us started braiding our hair. I remember turning around and seeing how happy they were just sitting there listening to the sermon and braiding our hair. Despite the fact that those girls had barely anything, they were still happy. I began to realize that when you have nothing left, and you want to hold onto something, you hold onto hope and happiness because no one and nothing can take that away from you. That is exactly what the Haitian people refuse to give up, their hope. They have had their houses destroyed by hurricanes and their lives ruined through economic trouble, but in the end, they still have hope that there will be a better future.

Growing up in an amazing place like America has blinded me from the outside World. I have never been able to truly understand what it means to be in a 3rd world country. Now I do. Now I know what it is like to be deprived of the things the U.S people consider necessary like food on our tables and warm water. Haiti has given me a thankfulness for the things I have — a stable home, a loving family, and the amazing opportunity to go to a school like Saint Mark’s. Before traveling to Haiti, I was proud to be a Saint Mark’s student knowing that I was gaining an outstanding education while developing myself spiritually and socially. Now I am even prouder to be at Saint Mark’s student knowing that my contribution is helping people in need.

In the end, the only difference between us and the Haitian people is where we were born. We were fortunate to be born in a stable country while the people in Haiti are struggling to provide enough food for their families. I will no longer complain about having to wake up early for school knowing that I am fortunate enough to even be able to go to school. Nor will I complain about having to eat my vegetables knowing that the people in Haiti are starving. I will never forget the people I met in Hait -i- Gary, Jemson, Werly, and even a dog named shieny. I am also thankful for who made this trip possible –Mrs. Beeks, Ms. Vinnedge, and my mom. Haiti has changed my view of the world and I am so thankful to have had that experience.