About Me

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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Meetings at Canadian embassy in Port au Prince and with the government

This morning, we flew from Cap-Haitien to Port au Prince for a day of meetings... and what a day it was!

The early morning highlight was going to the Cap airport with Justin and watching him "work the crowd!" The guy is a master. Everywhere we went in Cap, he seemed to know people. At the airport he was hugging people, shaking hands, kissing babies (OK, maybe not babies). He is a key guy in our future work in Cap.

After arriving in PAP, a former M.Ed. student of mine (Odeus Georges Odney) picked us up and took us to our meetings. We started at the Canadian Embassy, meeting with three people responsible for higher education, governance, and CIDA's work in Haiti. We had an excellent meeting with them discussing various aspects of education in Haiti. They were very appreciative of the work I have done in Haiti (I had sent them a brief before leaving Canada) and highly encouraged us to continue with the partnership-building and research networks.

From the embassy, we traveled to the Haitian Prime Minister's office where his advisor (Dr. Berg Hyacinthe) met us. I had been connected with Dr. Berg by a colleague I have worked with in the U.S. This gentleman would put Justin to shame with his schedule! He has a Ph.D. in cyber terrorism and informatics from  Florida State U. He was a prof in France before returning to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. He is now the key advisor to the government on issues such as education. He also is head of research at the state university of Haiti. Oh yes, he's also a lawyer. I would guess he is no older than 40. Wow.

We spent two hours with Dr. Berg and received lots of input and encouragement regarding the work we are planning in the north. He also gave us great counsel regarding the new state university that has been built in Haiti and encouraged us to pursue a partnership with it.

We returned to our hotel around 5 and I spent the next hour with Odney who is hoping to apply for a PhD at University of Ottawa. We enjoyed a celebratory dinner at the Visa Lodge for an excellent 3rd day of networking and partnership-formation!

We have one more meeting tomorrow morning with Save the Children before we fly back to Toronto.

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