(from last Saturday)

I’m sitting in the treehouse for the last time. My luggage is in the truck that will bring us to the beach airstrip where our tiny plane will fly us to Port-Au-Prince. We have two extra passengers, Benaja and Joseph, so whether all of us and our luggage will fit is a open question. We may need two flights.

Looking around this panoramic view of Lagonav at the mountains and the mainland in the distance, I’m feeling exhausted and exhilarated. There’s a real sense that something big has started. The mentors met once last time in the round house center circle yesterday afternoon. We talked about future plans and concerns. One question that came up was “Will pilots always be tied to a school led by a white person.” I replied, “Absolutely not. The first principle of this project is ‘Haitians helping Haitians’ and while I prefer to work with people that I know, I now know all of you. Email your ideas for new locations and we will work with you to start new pilots.” I ended by assuring them that we will always be available through chat and email and phone for their questions and ideas.

So now ends this chapter, at least for me. The pilot here is just beginning. In the hands of such capable people as Robert and the other Matenwa mentors, I am confident of continued success. The kids start storytelling next week, as they have one Etoys lesson left. The mainland pilots will begin anew with the ten Etoys lessons. The Petite Riviere mentors are looking forward to teaching the other five mentors immediately. Seems like Bill, Beth, and Benaja will have an easier time in coming weeks given the very capable group we have gotten to know here in the Matènwa round house.

Saying goodbye to Shoodlie, Sophia, and Lorrie was difficult. They made me a handful of paper cranes. Bill taught them how to make them. They also made drawings for us last night. So now off to the mainland, where I will fly home. Bill, Beth, and Benaja will spend two nights at John’s house, then a week in Darbonne, the epicenter.

Goodbye Matènwa. What a respite to spend twelve days in Matènwa to experience the Haiti I knew thirty years ago, free of crime and clear destruction.

Now for something harder.

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