After College: Poop Can Be Powerful—Ecological Sanitation with SOIL in Haiti

“You wait on a street corner, taking in the lush tropical scenery and the colorful clothing of the locals. It’s hard to believe that only a few months ago you were still in school, frantically trying to finish your reading for the week’s classes and wondering if you’d ever be able to submit your thesis on time. For a brief moment you totally forget the heat and the noise of your current location and you think back to your tranquil, leafy campus. You imagine running into a friend in the tree-lined circle outside your lecture hall or stopping by a professor’s musty office to discuss an upcoming assignment and take a moment to ponder if she really has read every single book on her shelves…

But you snap out of your reverie when your ride pulls up. This is no ordinary bus or streetcar—the shape is that of a familiar pick-up truck, but the exterior is a psychedelic explosion of color and eye-catching designs. You clamber on board to grab your place and prepare yourself for whatever today’s commute may have in store for you. Perhaps a local will coax a smile out of you with a few jokes, or maybe you’ll have to fend off a faux (or serious—it can be hard to tell) marriage proposal, or you might find yourself enthralled by a fellow passenger’s impassioned political speech. No matter what, you know that it will never be boring. Welcome to Haiti, and your daily commute via tap-tap.

If you think that your only options after graduation involve gray cities and soul-sucking commutes to non-descript offices, you definitely need to read about Shannon Smith, Systems Manager at Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL) in Cap-Haitien, Haiti. Shannon took some time to share what it’s like working at an ecological sanitation-focused non-profit, living in a developing country, and learning how challenging and rewarding life after college can be.” –Melissa Suzuno, After College, January 5, 2015. Read the full interview here.




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