“We Won’t Return the Same as When We Left”

In September, Sarah Carlson ’07 and Kobelah Bennah ’08 sent this update: “This past April, we left our Big Law jobs in Manhattan, got married and moved into a tent in Haiti. The organization we joined allowed us to work with our hands, making water filters, building schools and clearing rubble alongside a mostly Haitian team. We’ve met heroes and made lifelong friends. Many of the internationals arrived with only a backpack of essentials and a desire to help. Most of the Haitians were there with only a desire to help.

“One example of Haitian compassion that we’ll never forget occurred one morning when a Haitian woman saw Sarah struggling to wash her clothes by hand. It was over 90 degrees, muggy, and it was the lady’s lunch break. With a smile and a kind word, she bent down to help and teach Sarah during her entire break. She refused remuneration, preferring to hand scrub the clothes in a soapy bucket, intermittently peppered with falling sweat. As another Haitian friend put it, she just wanted to help us because we came to help her; it’s the Haitian way.

“This and many other experiences have been transformational; we won’t return the same as when we left. Instead, we’ll start our new lives together in Atlanta with a new perspective and drive to do good.”

From Atlanta, Bennah and others plan to establish a social justice organization in the new year, and Carlson will “discern to become an Episcopal priest.”