Drawn and Driven: My Haiti Adventure by Rod Ellis Genre: Non Fiction Adventure

He was 61 years old. He had a secure position as a tenured associate
professor at a major university. He had a bustling mental health
practice. His home was loaded with equity. He drove and rode his
dream vehicles, a Jeep Wrangler and a Victory Cross Country
motorcycle. His son was set for college. Life was good. He could work
for a few more years, then retire comfortably in his secluded country
home.
One day everything changed. Sitting in a crowded bus jammed between
stalled vehicles in a classic Port-au-Prince traffic jam, Rod Ellis
decided to chuck it all. Surrounded by the blare of horns and the
cries of street vendors, he resolved to close his practice, resign
his university position, and move to Haiti.
What possessed him to do such a thing? How could he leave behind
everything familiar for a world he knew only a little? Haiti is the
poorest nation in the western hemisphere. There would be no air
conditioning or running water. He would drive a 20-year-old vehicle.
He would reside in an unfinished house, at the mercy of tropical
winds and weather. Light-skinned, he would live in a world of almost
exclusively dark-skinned people. Whatever was he thinking? Drawn and
Driven: My Haiti Adventure tells the tale. In it, Ellis describes his
physical, emotional, and spiritual journey into a country he had
visited only a handful of times. He talks about preparing for the
move, the people he interacted with after arrival, and the challenges
he has faced trying to help the wonderful people of this struggling
country. From cultural conflicts to renegade priests to building his
own off-the-grid house to the development of a vocational school,
Ellis weaves the tale of his great, ongoing adventure: Drawn and
Driven.
Rod Ellis retired from The University of Tennessee College of Social Work
at the end of December 2016. He had served there for 17 years, as
Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, Acting Associate Dean, and
Coordinator of International Programs. During his time at UT, Rod
published 6 books as writer, co-writer, or editor, as well as several
articles in professional and academic journals. These were published
under his full name and credentials, Rodney A. Ellis, PhD, MSW, MA.
For about two years prior to his retirement Rod had been making regular
visits to Haiti with the American Haitian Foundation. Upon
retirement, he moved to Petite Riviere de Nippes, Haiti where he has
helped start churches, repair roads, start small businesses, and
provide funding for students. He is currently director of a school
that teaches conversational English and several vocational programs.
He has also maintained a blog on his Facebook page since before his
arrival in Haiti.
Rod is a member of Crossroads Community Church in Baxter, TN, where the
folks prayed over him before his departure and continue to pray for
him as he works in Haiti. Even today, Crossroads Community Church is
still “holding the ropes.”

 

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