Haiti Part 4- The French Caribbean

Ladies and Gentleman, I’ve saved the best of Haiti for last. Again, with an unfortunate, yet sartorial flair for the colonial, I bring you my last and favorite combo. We walked around all day, and I felt like something out of Monaco. I’ve never been to Monaco, so I don’t know if the people are really glitzy or kitschy, but you know the scene in To Catch a Thief when Cary Grant has to escape the police and drives to some resort? That was me. Eventually, he and Grace end up in Monaco with their big plan to catch the “cat.” 


Slinking along like the “cat”…



The scarves in this movie are so good…. almost as good as the cameos. See what Cary Grant is wearing? It almost looks like my strewn room.IMG_8046

Tres francais, n’est pas?

Hat: local gem
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: Estate Sale
Blazer: Talbots
Shirt: French Connection (ebay)
Purse: vintage Givenchy (ebay)
Pants: The Row (also seen here and here)
Shoes: Clarks


Haiti Part 3, A Real Life Bakery

After spending the morning at a NPH’s Pediatric Hospital, we were very excited by the prospect of a serendipitous visit to NPH’s bakery. Now let me tell you, during our stay, we ate some fantastic Haitian food. Everything was tasty and the meat was succulent. Honestly, I can’t complain, except on the pretext of being a spoiled Southern brat. Our cooks knew how to salt anything put in front of them (we were told that the average Haitian consumes 8 pounds of salt per year, while the average American consumes only 4). What they didn’t do so much was lather things in sugar and lard. By the end of the week I was ready to brave the questionable unpasteurized ice cream, if it meant gorging myself on a snack composing half the weeks sugar content (of which I had hithero been deprived). When I heard the word “bakery,” I immediately began salivating at the thought of scones, danishes, tarts, cookies, crumbles, you-name-it!

DSC_0022Thus, when we arrived to survey only the empty pavilion in the above picture, I was sincerely hoping that there had been some misdirection. Unfortunately, it was the translation which had been misdirected, and we were visiting a Brick bakery.DSC_0037



Not exactly the mixer I expected.

While it was not as expected, I still managed to grab a few pictures of my outfit!


Cardigan: H&M
Top: GAP
Khakis: Zara
Loafers: Antiquing (Estate Sale)
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
Locket: Native American store in Athens, GA
Scarf: Antiquing in Southbend


Haiti Part 2, Roughing with Pastels


I think it’s becoming too obvious, so I might as well out with it. When in the Caribbean, I have slyly drawn upon some colonial fashion. I know, I know it’s spitting in the eye of what I stand for, but there’s something about those fresh, cool billowy fabrics that seems so appealing when you’re standing in 98 degree heat. That being said, I left my pith helmet at home (along with my monocle), but today’s outfit definitely pays homage to a French lady standing on her veranda somewhere.


Marj (my roommate) and I sharing tea at Catholic Relief Services

We went to visit Catholic Relief Services, and went on-site to see the new Haitian hospital they are building. After the earthquake, the original was only left with two buildings of the entire complex standing. Again, it was really too bad no one knew anything about engineering. I had mixed feelings about the project. On the one hand, the design was really impressive. It allowed the hospital to expand and theoretically provide services that were inaccessible before the earthquake. On the other hand, expanding the hospital to the planned magnitude significantly increased costs. The representative from CRS admitted they didn’t know where they would get the money to keep it running. Hurricane money has trickled up significantly in the last 5 years, ever careening into the next natural disaster. While state-of-the-art facilities are a blessing, I wonder if perhaps the people wouldn’t be better off with something sustainable… Is that too practical? On the other hand, maybe “if you build it, they will come.” It’s a bit of an experiment which only time will solve.

DSC_0086DSC_0091 2On the whole, it was exciting to see all the programs CRS has going in Haiti. Little did I know when I chose Notre Dame, that within a year I would be posing as a poster child for any Catholic organization, much less a worldwide nonprofit!


Shirt: Vintage (estate sale)
Pants: Zara (bought off Poshmark for a song)
Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
Scarf: Talbots
Earrings: Gift
Bag: Givenchy (by way of Ebay)
Watch: Target
Shoes: Bass



A quick ode to these shoes. I would recommend that any ardent traveller get an equivalent. These babies have gone with me from Amsterdam to the Azores, Ireland to India, and now Haiti. Because they are leather they are super comfortable. I prefer them to tennis shoes (which only serve to remind me how nauseously American I am). They are good for climbing rocks or hunting tigers (hunting as in trying to spot). In my opinion, they are a more fashionable, durable alternative to Keds with the added advantage that the dirtier they get, the better they look.

Chronicles from Haiti, Part 1: Blazin’ Travels (and E2E)

Most of the time we were in Haiti was spent racing from one NGO to the next. Given our program, most of the NGOs we spoke with were partners or close to Notre Dame. These ranged from bigger outfits like NPH and CRS (more to come!) to smaller much more localized efforts. One of the most intriguing people that we talked to, in my opinion, was Dustin from E2E (Engineering to Empower). With the goal of providing affordable long-term housing opportunities for Haitians, E2E has designed a structurally sound, cost-effective home which can whether both hurricanes and earthquakes.


As you can see, right now they are hard at work building the first model, testing their prints. We got to go on-site and see some of the differences and additions to infrastructure. Unfortunately, none of us had the remotest background in engineering, so a lot went over our heads. To check out the sight (and walk through the Leogane city center) I wore this (in attempts to keep cool). The linen didn’t breath quite as well as I’d hoped, so I might save it for somewhere a bit cooler. The top of the head bun, however, converted me. It’s the perfect way to look fashion conscious, while realistically sweating up a storm.



Blazer: Zara (S/S: 2013)
V-Neck: Marni
Khakis: Zara
Shoes: Clarks (British line)
Necklace: Primark (1 pound!)
Glasses: Disney



Work Site Color Palette

I paired the blazer with a few other things to show how it can be dressed up or down with accessories:

IMG_6961IMG_6957 IMG_6960