I really can't believe it has already been three years since the 2010 Haiti Earthquake. Like many other French translators and interpreters, I have a story. It was a dark and stormy night (well, snowy). Yes, it was snowing and I had a deadline that was quickly approaching for a major ongoing, never-ending project. And, I was certain I was going to lose power with all that slushy, heavy, icy, snow-like precipitation we tend to get here in Washington, DC. My deadline was Jan. 13 9 AM EST and I needed to get this done. Before I lost power, Internet, etc. indefinitely. My ongoing, never-ending project was for the UNCDF (UN Capital Development Fund). Essentially, this was the final Executive Summary for a development project in Northeast Haiti to reduce rural poverty in a sustainable manner by improving local governance and increasing production, while respecting the environment: typical UN development project managing natural resources and empowering local authorities to reach Millennium Development Goals.
Great, finished and just in time. I headed to the kitchen to prepare enough food to last me through the storm and hit the evening news. It had happened. The earthquake. I think we have all been in these situations, crushed by circumstances beyond our control. This was the epitome of #forcemajeur. All this hard work, time, investment, funding that had been raised for a significant relief project and development had been completely obliterated by some tectonic plates that just had to move in a place that just can never seem to get a break.
Well, these things seem to have a silver lining in the end. I was having one of those dinner conversations where my friends were telling me that, well, all translators would be replaced by computers. You, know, that conversation that comes round again and again. And, this brought to mind Mission 4636.
If you don't know about it, watch the video. This is inspiration. It's translation...