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#1793: Re: #1777: How can we help? Bell responds to Corbett

From: madison bell <mbell@goucher.edu>

A footnote to Bob's remark than some people argue that what it costs for 
somebody to go to Haiti to make direct contact with their aid project or 
whatever is a waste because after all what would that sum mean to a Haitian.

1.  My own experience has been that a lot of the time you gotta be there to 
make the thing happen whatever it is.  Remote control won't do it.

2.  Every visitor to Haiti spends in the local economy.  In fact, once they 
get done paying the airline that's where all their cost 
goes.  Economically, the visits of aid workers and volunteers are valuable 
as another alternative form of tourism.   Small stuff, sure, but it's not 
waste.  the more such visitors penetrate out of the way places the more 
they can bring a little trade to people who normally get none.  I think 
this is worth something, especially now when tourism is so stagnant.

3.  Being in the country helps the volunteer understand the culture which 
means that that person's efforts to do something constructive will be more 
likely to succeed.  Also, people who visit tend to get a giant boost in 
their motivation to do something constructive and are likely to spread that 
enthusiasm back home.