I'm Nittai Malchin, a senior at Palo Alto High School in CA and the founder of One Love Advocates. Our mission is to do whatever possible to improve access to education in communities that are struggling with destructive or endemic problems. My immediate focus is helping kids in Haiti gain access to educational opportunities. I recently traveled to Haiti, and I will be documenting my trip on this site. There are 4 sections (see navigation above) to my mini site: (1) my blog where i document my activities, impressions and thoughts from Haiti (2) About One Love where you can read more about the initiative (3) Support One Love where you can learn how to get involved, donate or help (4) contact info. And on the right sidebar you will find more info such as links to other sites, feeds, photos, videos, and ways to contact me or share One Love with others. Also, check out the cool toolbar on the bottom of your screen to see our videos, photos, and Facebook page, for translations, and more. Thank you for visiting and feel free to share your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Maintaining High Spirits Through Song

Hey everybody sorry about the delay with the post... Things have been pretty crazy at school and stuff (with AP Tests, SATs, finals coming up, etc...) so it's been a bit tough to find time. Anyhow, here's a video of a local choir singing to us at John Engle's house. They came on our second day in Haiti (Sunday) after going to church. Alex led a practice lesson with them for about half an hour before the actual "concert" that they put on for us.

They sang us several different songs, mostly in Creole, and performed a couple different dances as well. This song, titled "Mwen se Ayiti" (I am Haiti), was the first of 4 or 5 songs that they sang for us (we'll upload them within the next few weeks). The children were all kind and gentle, and played around with us for a while after their songs/dances. They have one special trick using a Bongo drum that no matter how many times I tried, I couldn't do it. Right after hitting the drum, they would slide one of their fingers across the surface and create this unique sound. My troubles proved to be a great source of laughter for them =). It was an awesome window into their culture as we were able to witness and experience some of their traditional songs and dances: among the only things that they were able to maintain following the earthquake.

As you all know, countless people lost everything: family, friends, houses, possessions, and more. However, the earthquake was unable to take the Haitian culture away from its people. These songs and dances that we witnessed were among the many instances throughout our trip that we observed the perseverance and resilience of the Haitian people. Despite their intense hardship, they kept their song, and in turn, kept their high spirits.

They love their country, and as said in another one of their songs, "even though the earth shook and the mountains split, we still stand in hope, Haiti hasn't perished".