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Idealistic volunteers

makalaforster's picture

My junior year of high school I became a volunteer member of an organization called Helping Hands Noramise (HHN), which was founded after the earthquake in 2010 that devastated most of Haiti. HHN was founded by a Haitian woman who was living in my community at the time, named Rosedanie. She put together a group of 10 volunteers, half were students from the high school, to fundraise and collect donations (money, school supplies, art supplies, medical supplies) that we then proceeded to bring as offerings to the people of a city in northern Haiti, called Limbé. With our multitude of suitcases and bursting with enthusiasm to provide our assistance, our good intentions were quickly curtailed when we landed in Limbé.

Irrelevantly Mistaken

swetha's picture

I was visiting my hometown of Milwaukee, WI for a family friend's wedding the summer after I graduated from high school. This wasn't the first or second or even the tenth time I'd been back since we left. I knew my family friends, I knew the area, I knew that suburban Milwaukee was extremely white. As an Indian American who grew up in the Midwest surrounded by white people, I had to reconcile my differences with "those Americans," as my dad likes to call white people, by emphasizing the Midwestern friendliness and hospitality.