Meet Brian Scott, our Mirebalais Hospital site supervisor. Brian is originally from South Africa, but has lived in the US for a number of years. Since joining the team in June, he has been instrumental in the progress that has been made. Having never traveled to Haiti before, Brian has grown to love and appreciate the country. Below are some of his thoughts.
How did you become involved with Partners In Health?
I knew very little about PIH prior to this project, but became involved through Jim Ansara, who is heading up the construction of Mirebalais Hospital. We’d worked together before.
What does the role of Site Supervisor entail? What is a normal day like for you?
My job entails the management of the schedules, logistics, personnel, and materials on site. For better or worse there is no such thing as a normal day, each day on site is completely different. It brings with it its own challenges and issues.
You were a Field Engineer for a large company in the US prior to working with PIH. What are the differences between working a project like this in the US and Haiti?
The first difference is the language barrier. Communication is extremely important in construction, being able to effective communicate what needs to be achieved to those who be performing the job, is essential. I’ve had to learn Creole as quickly as possible.
The second major difference is that in the US you are primarily in charge of delegating tasks to sub-contractors and managing the order of operations. In Haiti my team does most everything, so we take a much more hands on approach.
What is your favorite aspect of working on this project?
As challenging as a project like this can be, it is even more rewarding. You also get to watch the daily progression of the job, which serves as a constant reminder of the results of your work. Also, seeing the growth of individuals on the jobsite as they acquire new skills and learn new trades is rewarding.
Has this project inspired you?
When I first joined the project team, I was more interested in the construction aspect of the hospital than anything else. I didn’t see myself coming down to Haiti to make a difference. But during my first week here in Haiti, Dr. David Walton took us on a tour of one of PIH’s first hospitals here in Haiti and I got to experience the difference that these hospitals and doctors make in the lives of Haitians all around the country. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to help the patients myself but if I could use my skills to help build the hospital as well and quickly as possible I would be making a small difference.
Do you have any thoughts for people that are considering volunteering on the hospital?
I absolutely suggest doing it. It’s a life changing experience that puts things into perspective. You learn to appreciate what we have in the US and take advantage of it all daily.
The Construction Team is very thankful to have Brian working with us. If you are interested in volunteering or speaking with Brian about volunteering please contact our Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.