I am a bonafide true believer of what you give of yourself, helps discover new chapters of your own life. The more you dive into investing in others you find yourself ever so clearer. When I heard former Seaford High student Ketsia Aurelia was traveling to Haiti and needed support, there was a no brainer to help support her. I was able to briefly inquire on the details of her plans and this is what we discussed in how she would work with Mission of Hope –
A – I will be working with the medical mobile clinics and providing free healthcare to those in villages who can’t afford it.
Q – How long will you be there and where?
A- For 9 weeks, June 6-August 12. I will be staying in Titanyen, a town outside of the capital of Port Au Prince.
Q – How did you hear about this opportunity?
A – I heard about it through searching for it. I wanted to go back to the country where my parents were from, serve and go help out. I just looked up Haiti Mission Trips and Mission of Hope Haiti is the first linked that popped up, so I looked into it pretty hard, though about it for a while and eventually decided to apply there!
Q – Did you pick that area or was this a choice by a group you are going with? What are the most immediate needs there right now and why Haiti and not Nepal or another area in need?
A- No, I didnt choose there but MOH (Mission of Hope) has a campus there and that’s where they do a lot of their work, they have a hospital, orphange, and a school there, along with a church.
The immediate needs there in Haiti are probably jobs. There aren’t enough jobs available and because of that, it’s one of the poorest countries. People are struggling to find jobs, pay their bills, bring their children to school, or even have food to eat. People are still recovering from the earthquake there in 2010 and MOH have helped built about 400 homes for people that were moved into tents because their house has collapsed, so MOH is helping out all around.
Q- How does going to Haitia align with a philosophy you see as you begin work exiting college?
A-Well, it will definitely help me as a nurse because working in the medical clinics. I will be hands-on and touching medical supplies, interacting with patients and overall it will make me more aware of the conditions of people that cannot afford healthcare, and how small things can help save their lives. I will definitely be more appreciative of what of I have and because of it, I may be more of an activist for healthcare for those that really need it and can’t afford it.
Q- So in the future – do you plan on returning to the states as a career and visit Haiti on trips periodically to assist? Where do you see yourself wanting to be in 15 years regarding your status in your profession?
A- Well right now, I definitely want to go back to the United States and work, and will definitely want to take trips back here and there to volunteer. I am not sure if I would want to go back to Haiti and work more long term there, but it is not a far-fetched idea because I am sure after this experience I would not want to leave! So in 15 years, I want to be as a working nurse, but not sure to where I will be!
Q- Have you carried anything you acquired in high school or in college with you that will help you with this experience? Some experiences may or may not at all, just curious…
Do you feel studying at the University of Delaware was the right choice for you, and what do you feel has been the highlight for studying in your field at U of D?
A – Well in college I learned that people are very different then me, that people come from various backgrounds and have different persepectives on things especially financially and it made me even more aware of how huge that gap is here in the U.S. and how it is in Haiti. I will probably get to see the poorest of the poor there while also getting to see the well privedlged and the tourists there.
I feel like studying at UD was a great choice. The nursing program is great there, it taught me to get out of my box and it also challenged me a lot academically. It motivated me more and help me explore more of this country.
Q- What advice would you have to individuals interested in the nursing professions and thinking about entering the field? Also, how will they know if this is the profession for them based on what you have learned?
A – The advice I would give is to work and study hard. Practice the skills as much as you can and do not be afraid to ask questions. We don’t have all the answers. Nursing is very difficult but also rewarding. If you find a joy in helping people and find it in the end how rewarding it is, you know its the profession for you. At the end of the day If it brings a smile to your face, it is for you. There will be tough times, but all nursing students get through it if you are motivated enough.
Q- What fears do you have about travelling to Haiti? Have you been there or old enough to remember anything about Haiti? What are your expectations of Haiti during this trip? – What do you feel most nervous about this trip?
A- I have never been on an airplane so I am afraid of that! I have never been to Haiti, so this will be my first time experiencing my families’ home, and the culture to the fullest. I am most nervous about communicating in the language. I can fully undertand creole and can get by in speaking it, but I am not fluent in it. That is my insecurity and I feel because of that I will not be able to fully express myself to other Haitians. I feel that may be a roadblock or struggle while I am there.
To follow the progress and updates that Ketsia has been experiencing since her arrival in Haiti, you can check out her blog at this address: