Roxana and John Ryan became a little family of two in 2016. They bonded over their shared love for other cultures, amateur animal rehabilitation, and family. Well their little family got a new addition when Bennett was born in early 2018, and they feel incredibly blessed.
John Ryan (also known as John or JR, depending on what period of life you met him in) is a PhD candidate in Integrative Conservation and Anthropology (ICON) at the University of Georgia. He works together with Haitian farmers to better understand the influence of hurricanes and droughts on people’s lives and on their use of natural resources, like trees, soil, and water. He is conducting a year of dissertation field research in the South of Haiti with the support of NSEP's Boren Fellowship (for dissertation study and language training) and UGA's Willson Grant and IIRG (for preliminary study). When not conducting interviews or mapping land use, he is talking to Roxana and Bennett on the phone, looking for endemic bird species, and plotting how to get his kayak into the country to run the local rivers.
Roxana received her Master’s in Ministry from Richmont University in 2016, and she hopes to use her education alongside John Ryan in Haiti at some point in the future. She also loves working as a flight attendant (currently on maternity leave) and helping people to travel the world safely. She finds her niche in working with orphans, helping them transition into productive jobs and forming their own loving families. This passion grew in her while watching her parents run a home for the transition of institutionalized children in Romania when she was a child. She has since worked in Bolivia and travelled to Haiti a few times along the way.
Bennett currently enjoys snuggles with Mommy, getting thrown in the air at way too young of an age by Daddy, irregular sleep patterns, and mobiles with bugs on them. He is an awesome lil dude with awesome stuff to come.