BlazeSports – Haiti Cultural Exchange Experience

The Haitian Journey in the US Begins  

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 From the moment this group arrived at the airport this has been a trip of firsts for each one of the group” – Danielle Pierre-Charles, BlazeSports’ in-country coordinator in Haiti who is leading the group of Haitian youth.

Friday night (May 24) the Haitian cultural exchange program participants and emerging sport leaders arrived at the Atlanta Hartsfield- Jackson International Airport to begin a 10 day sport and cultural exchange program. The exchange is part of a grant funded through  US Department of State – SportsUnited.  The group spent their first weekend in Georgia, visiting many of Atlanta’s attractions and historical sites, and learning about the opportunities that life in the US offers.

  Here are just a few highlights from the weekend of May 24-27…

  • KSU student-led tour of Kennesaw State University (KSU) facilities followed by fun, recreationKSU toural activities led by Haitian sport leaders on the KSU green.  Fun is a universal language!  Dr. Sherrill Hayes, Director of the Conflict Management Masters Program at KSU, facilitated a training on program evaluation for emerging sport leaders

 

  • The Atlanta Dream, the city’s WNBA team, played host to the exchange visitors on Saturday night, including meeting some of the players post game on the court. 
Atlanta Dream

“I have watched basketball games a few times on television in Haiti, but I never imagined the feeling and emotions I got tonight. Being here in person is a moment in life I will never forget” – one of the Haitian children

  • Coming face-to-face with the penguins at the Georgia Aquarium.   The group was in awe standing next to the enormous tank of the beluga whale swimming by.
  • Learning about US Memorial Day while at the historic Stone Mountain Park.  The group enjoyed various attractions, a picnic lunch and the beautiful view atop the mountain.

The group is now headed for Camp Dream at the Roosevelt Warm Springs Institute for Rehabilitation in Warm Springs, Georgia where they will spend 5-days getting to know 40 of their peers with and without disabilities.  Let the fun begin!  

 

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