Jean-Marc Hachey

(Ghana, 1982)

For Crossroader Jean Marc Hachey, the Crossroads Experience was liberating, “you to go on and take risks and realize ‘Oh my God, it’s having an interesting life that is the most important thing.’”

When Jean-Marc Hachey travels across Canada and to other countries, delivering seminars about working and living overseas, he often shares stories about his experience in Ghana as a Crossroader in 1982.

He tells these stories because they all reflect fundamental values and concepts that he has learned through being a Crossroader.

So when Hachey tells people that he ate a simple combination of spinach and fermented corn for the first three months of his placement because of food shortages and rampant inflation, he is telling the story of how he came to realize that he could live with a lot less than he was used to in Canada.

“It liberates you to go on and take risks and realize ‘Oh my God, it’s having an interesting life that is the most important thing.’”

When he talks about seeing how students are disciplined during his first day of teaching English at a technical school, he is telling a story about how he learned to suspend his analysis and discover that there are different ways to achieve the same goal.

“It was a really well-run school, but it took me three weeks to realize that,” says Hachey. “Students were learning things and were organized.”

In addition to talking to people who are interested in going overseas, Hachey continues to meet other Crossroaders wherever he goes. He sees how they are sharing the same values through their work.

“They are still out there contributing to building global citizenship and global understanding, no matter what their field of work. It is the fact that they received the basic training or philosophy that Crossroads consistently promotes,” says Hachey. “Those ideas and those values get recycled and are alive today everywhere.”

Among the values that Hachey sees being shared through Crossroads are being open and accepting; being curious and really trying to understand other people and other cultures, as well as your own; and realizing that dignity is not related to a person’s economic wealth.

“Crossroads is worth celebrating for what we do and what we are,” Hachey says. “This organization is a great organization. It’s different today than it was, but those fundamental values are still there.

“I am just so thoroughly proud to be part of that whole system.”


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