Electricians Without Borders was on its fourth trip to Milot, Haiti in June 2012. Accustomed to the life of a volunteer in Milot all of the electricians worked hard all day in the sun and ended their day on the volunteer porch drinking cold Prestiges (Haitian beer) chatting with other volunteers from other trades.
On this particular trip there was a graduate student (me) spending the summer in Milot teaching English to the hospital's nurses. I had only been there a week or so before the electricians showed up and was happy to have some new people to talk to, especially those that could install ceiling fans on the porch and liked drinking beer!
All of the electricians, Jeff, Jim, Bill, and Justin welcomed me into their evening social group. They kept mentioning that another electrician (Jeff's son) was detouring through the Dominican Republic and still on the way, it was Jeff's son Ian. I learned a lot about Ian before his arrival including the fact that we shared the same birthday which was just days away.
When Ian arrived we had an instant connection. We hung out every day after work (our first date was a cock fight in town) and ate all of our meals together...and of course celebrated our joint birthdays with a barbecue.
After just two weeks the electricians were gone and I still had a month and a half left before returning to the U.S.
Ian and I emailed daily until I returned to New Jersey when we switched to phone calls. Less than a week after getting home I was on a plane to California to see Ian...and the other electricians of course. For almost a year Ian and I took turns travelling back and forth between California and New Jersey until a year later when I moved to California.
Months later Ian joined me on a trip to London that I had to take for school. He insisted that we turn it into a mini UK adventure that included bus rides through England, a brief stint in Scotland, and a road trip though Ireland, where he proposed on our birthday!
Just days past a year later, on June 28, we got married in Barbados!
Since then we've continued to travel at every chance we get including trips with Electricians Without Borders!