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, June 9, 2010

Second trip to haiti - this time 4 of us

Hey everybody!

Sorry we haven't been able to update all of you as much as we'd like; things at school have been a bit crazy now with finals, SATs, ACTs, GPAs, and all of that good stuff. We do, however, have some fantastic news: in just a week (!) we will be traveling to Haiti again!

This trip will be a bit different, as we've recruited some other high school students to join the OneLove team. Omri Maor and Drew Eller (both adding to this post - read below), both students at Los Altos High School, will travel to Haiti with us as well as help with raising awareness and fundraising, as we'll be able to reach a broader scope of people within the local community. During the trip we will be working to improve on our computer program that we founded, organizing some fun and unique sports activities at schools, and even spending a few days with a rural Haitian community. Be sure to check out the blog often so that you can stay updated as the trip nears (we'll be leaving on June 16th).

I'd like to give a special shoutout to all of you who have been following and supporting us since our creation. One Love Advocates has come a long way and has helped a great deal of people who truly need help, and it is all in thanks to you. Whether you donated or helped us raise awareness by following us on the blog, on twitter, or on any of the other social networking devices that we use (there are so many!), your generosity and interest has been vital to our success.

One Love.

When I heard about Nittai's trip to Haiti, I immediately knew it was something that I needed to get involved in. Whether it was by donating to his cause, following his blog, or even by eventually getting involved in a trip with him - and I've been able to do all three. As of 1-2 weeks ago, I officially made arrangements and finalized plans to join Nittai and his dad, as well as another friend of ours, Omri, to go to Haiti this coming summer. It is unbelievable that I have finally been able to get on board with this project, and it will undoubtedly be an amazing experience for me. After hearing so much about this trip, I can't help but expect to not only hope to make a difference among the people we are helping, but even more so experience a change in myself.

As great as an opportunity as this is, it took a lot of debating before I could finalize any plans. The aspect of sleeping on the ground and staying in the sweltering heat for a week is not the most appealing part of the trip. As well, my distaste for shots lead me to question whether or not the Tyhphoid and other shots were worth it, but in the end the answer seemed obvious. The pros outweighed the cons by far, and the more I've talked to about it with Nittai, my parents, and my friends, the more I knew this was something I wouldn't ever regret taking part in - even if it does mean dealing with a stiff back or a sore arm later.

I look forward to keeping you all updated on our upcoming trip, and am even more excited about the work and preparation we have to complete as our trip draws nearer.

Much love,

A couple days ago, I met with Nittai, Omer, and Drew to work on finalizing the details of the trip to Haiti. Although Nittai invited me to join him on his return to Haiti shortly after he got back from his first trip, it only really hit me that we were actually going once we started talking about the details.

At the meeting, I was fast-tracked into all of the preparations needed for the trip. Compared with my life at home, I won't be living in comfort. We looked at pictures of the village we would be staying at for the first three nights, and I began to get an idea of what daily life was like there. When I learned that I would be sleeping alone with a host family, and would be helping with clearing wood or working on the farm, I realized I would be experiencing a completely different world. Although I knew the trip would have a powerful effect on me, I did not really visualize how it would do so until the meeting.

I want to make as big of a difference as possible in the lives of the people I encounter in Haiti. Now that I have this unbelievable opportunity, I feel like it’s my responsibility. I know that whatever help I can provide is necessary help to the Haitian people, but I want to give the most I can. Yet as I’ve tried to anticipate how this trip will affect me personally, I realize that it’s impossible to know until I’m there—which just adds to my eagerness before the trip.

With love and excitement,

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