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Haiti Trip A ‘Life-Altering’ Experience For Bodley Students, Teachers

FULTON – While a traditional world history course is a staple in every high school, some G. Ray Bodley High School students recently took their studies one step further with a visit to Haiti.

G. Ray Bodley High School teacher Cathy Cronk (left) joins students Liliana Rivera, Jennah Lamb, Katie Salmonsen, Kennedie Coyne, Kaitlin Kinney and Kendra Tryniski for a photo prior to delivering a presentation about their recent humanitarian efforts in Haiti.
G. Ray Bodley High School teacher Cathy Cronk (left) joins students Liliana Rivera, Jennah Lamb, Katie Salmonsen, Kennedie Coyne, Kaitlin Kinney and Kendra Tryniski for a photo prior to delivering a presentation about their recent humanitarian efforts in Haiti.

The poverty, pollution and economic distress they read about in their history books played out in real life.

Accompanied by four teachers, students Kennedie Coyne, Kaitlin Kinney, Katie Salmonsen, Liliana Rivera, Jennah Lamb and Kendra Tryniski witnessed the poverty first-hand as they walked through the country’s capital city, Port-au-Prince, and other outlying areas.

“There were no sewer systems and no electricity in much of the region,” Kinney said. “When they wash their clothes it takes 15 minutes to scrub each piece of clothing by hand. It is completely different than what we’re used to here with washing machines and dryers.”

Although the experience was a cultural shock for the Fulton students, they also noted that it was a fantastic humanitarian opportunity as well.

They installed water filters, worked on a coffee farm, donated supplies and worked with Haitian children.

“We were helping them build up their community and we were also learning so much from them,” Coyne said of the experience. “This trip has changed our lives.”