#4 Profile

December 3, 2017 | | Leave a Comment

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Haiti, a third-world country which shares a mainland with the Dominican Republic, was ravaged by a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. On that fateful day in 2010, a worldwide movement focused on aiding the impoverished country was started. People from all over the world came together to help. This movement is what attracted Joe Genoways to come to Haiti and help 5 years after that tragic day.

Genoways is 21 years old and is a senior biology major at Morningside college. He first went to Haiti on a mission trip with his church for a week. He instantly fell in love with the island and its inhabitants. The beautiful warm water and palm trees would make anyone question the fact that it is a third world country. This first trip was just a taste of what was to come in 2017 for Genoways. The following year he went back for the whole summer to help out as the activities director at an orphanage.

Working at Tytoo Gardens orphanage for a whole summer, Genoways started to see why Haiti was such a rough place to live. Haiti is a country heavily affected by gang activity and clean water shortage. Although living in Haiti comes with several difficulties, Genoways goes on to say “Haiti is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to, and the people I have met there were incredible. One day I hope I can adopt out of Haiti and bring them back to the states with me”.

Spending a whole summer away from home can be hard on anyone, though luckily he had the help of his mother to get him through it. The apple doesn’t fall to far from the tree when it comes to Joe Genoways’s aspirations to someday be a doctor. Throughout the last 20 years his mother has worked in the medical field as a surgical nurse. Through his mother’s profession, he fell in love with the ideals of healthcare at an early age. During his stay in Haiti, his mother went to visit him for a week and also loved it. She said that “as a nurse she has a moral obligation to help those in need, regardless of their nationality”.

Aside from Genoways’s mother coming to visit him, he also had a lifelong friend traveling with him to Haiti. Hannah Vanderloo visited two years ago and has gone ever since. She also fell in love with the island and the process of helping the less fortunate. Vanderloo goes on to say “What me and Joe do is very special. It doesn’t take too much effort to make a difference in the world, you just need to know where to start.”

On the outside Joe Genoways looks like just a big jock, standing at 6’5” 250lbs. Many people would not know what he has done to make a difference in the lives of so many. Haiti gave him the opportunity to go somewhere he thought he would never go to truly make a difference. He will tell anyone to visit Haiti and see what an amazing place it really is. Genoways said it best when he stated that “going to a place like Haiti changes you, whether you are ready for it or not.”


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