The charter cohort of leaders arrived in Seattle this past weekend safe and ready to begin their year! Some had never been to the US before while others had made many trips to sing and dance in events across the country. But all five shared the experience of arriving to host families with whom they will live for the next year while they study in Seattle. Emir said, “Even though I have been to Seattle a couple of times, I have never come to live here, so it is different.”
Wendy, Julissa, Digyana and Emir have met twice before Seattle at the NPH International Leadership Conferences hosted first in Honduras in 2010 and then in Nicaragua in 2011, so it was nice to see some familiar faces when the group got together Sunday for their program orientation and a quick tour of where they would be studying at Seattle Central Community College.
Next it was Jean Francois’ turn to see a familiar face. The Friends Northwest office, with help from some longtime supporters, hosted an event for people to meet another member of our NPH family who was in Seattle, Fr. Rick Frechette. Fr. Rick is the National Director of NPFS in Haiti and has lived and worked there for over 20 years. Fr. Rick talked about the slow recovery process Haiti is going through since the 2010 earthquake and the amazing work NPFS has been able to do because of donors all over the world. Jean Francois had been working with Fr. Rick in the Father Wasson Angels of Light program, a program which provides food and classes to nearly 2,000 children who have been living in tent camps since the earthquake. In attendance were many NPH/NPFS and Friends of the Orphans supporters who will form the participants’ community and support network throughout their year here. All five of the young leaders were introduced at the event and received a warm round of applause.
There is a lot of excitement around the first year of the program here in Seattle with many people working in different capacities to ensure it is a great success.
Stay tuned for updates from the group’s first week of English and leadership classes!