Haiti, New York and new things

It’s been a while since I last updated, and a lot has happened and changed in the life of Lauren.

First, I travelled to Haiti back in April/beginning of May to cover a story for The Boston Globe. We were in a little town called Kenscoff, up on a mountain, near the city of Petion-Ville. It was my first time visiting the country and it was an amazing experience. And I had the opportunity to travel with veteran Globe photographer Suzanne Kreiter to shoot this story, and while the story was difficult and emotional, I think we both learned a lot from working with each other.

A truck travels up the mountain in Petion-Ville on the way to Kenscoff

Check out the video story I produced below. These kids have been through a lot in their little lives, and they are still full of joy and excitement, although life is often punctuated with utter boredom, lack of a suitable education and not enough interaction with caring adults. But watch the story, and you’ll see what the future might hold for the kids.

I feel content with how the story turned out. Shooting it posed a lot of challenges, mostly because — as is typical with places like Haiti — the story wasn’t exactly what we thought it would be when we got there. But I think we made it work. It doesn’t have a tidy storyline, but I think it successfully sets you down into their lives and makes you see their situation in a personal way.

Country side and farm land seen from a vista off the road up to Kenscoff

Haiti is a tough place to exist in. The daily things we tend to take for granted — running water, electricity and waste management — are either nonexistent (which is the case for most people) or unreliable for those lucky few with access to such luxuries. It really offers some perspective on these constant debates we have about taxes and big government here in the U.S. Go to a place like Haiti, and you’ll better understand the impact of your tax dollars, the safety nets we have in place, and the role of government when you return home.

Okay, off my soapbox…

The other major thing that’s happened is that I left my position at The Boston Globe at the end of May for a post at the Open Society Foundations. It’s nonprofit that advocates for human rights around the globe. My job is to produce and commission multimedia projects and films that tell the story of issues we are working in and work that our programs are doing all over the world. I’m excited to take on this challenge and see what happens.

So that also means that I’ve moved from Boston to New York. I was born here, lived here for 9 months of my life, and now I’ve returned 26 years later. I love New York, I have people that I love in New York, and I’m excited to see what I can do here.

The view of Manhattan from a rooftop on Wall Street

That’s all the updates for now. I’ll be posting new work soon, hopefully, so check back!