(from Saturday)

It’s Saturday and we’ve just gotten back from the longest walk ever. It’s made me completely forget what we did yesterday. We had a good class, did a lot of painting and I think the kids really enjoyed it. The mentors are really starting to find their ground in class and it’s great to see. After asking the kids what they did yesterday, trying to “review”, the question backfired and I decided that the white girl needed to stop talking and we needed to let the teachers take over.

So today we gathered around in our usual circle. Lionel led a prayer for all of the students (something we’ve been doing at the request of the mentors) and then Sobnier took attendance. After that, I asked Sobnier (in Creole!) to talk to the students about what we discussed yesterday.

Because we’ve been having a couple of issues with kids not charging their computers, and because we don’t want to take advantage of the wonderful man that works at the school library (and whose daughter is a part of the program), Marie Flor and Elizabeth, who live near the school, volunteered to go to the school everyday at 11am to plug in computers and make sure that they’re being charged. Any students that took their computers home the night before, if they don’t have electricity at home, must bring their computers to the school before 11am so that they can be charged in time for class. Students that come to class with little charge will be able to use their computers until they run out of charge, and then they’ll have to share with a friend (they will not receive a replacement computer). Students who come to class without any charge at all in their computer will be able to share with a friend but cannot bring their computer home that following night, so it can be charged.

I think it’s a good rule and we all worked on it together, as a group. After Sobnier explained to the students, I simply said “ann commace klas” or “let’s begin class” and everyone knew what to do. I think things have gone so much more smoothly not talking the kids ears off (and in English!) and just letting the teachers do their job. I am very pleased with how class is going (and I’m in it now, writing this, so I’ll have to keep you posted about how it goes).

Today we went to go visit Naomi Finance’s house. We knew that she lived far away but we also knew that she lived near some cool caves so it was like a little field trip. Excuse my French, but HOLY HELL does she live far away! We drove on motorcycles for about 20 minutes, then hiked for at least 1.5 hours before we reached her house. We crossed streams, plains, went up and down mountains…it was incredible. When we finally arrived, totally out of breath, sweating like pigs, needing a rest, we said to Naomi, “HOW DO YOU DO THIS EVERYDAY???” It’s a two-hour commute that would drive any normal person crazy, and she does it without complaint.

The cave near her is beautiful, though. She lives right next to the epicenter of the earthquake, so walking to the caves you see the exact spot where the Earth broke apart. It’s a long, deep, crackly line that follows along a low field, past trees and through small rivulets. It couldn’t be more than six inches in width. Yet it caused so much pain.

The cave is where a native queen hid from the white people colonizing Haiti (don’t ask me any more details; I’m terrible at them). The caves there are outrageously beautiful, and a vase of flowers have been set at the front like an altar. The story goes that she was invited to a big event, and when she attended it, she was captured by the white people, tied to a carriage and dragged until she died. What a way to go.

We’re using the internet tomorrow and showing the group leaders how we want them to share news about class. Each mentor is assigned to one day per week to answer five questions about. Then they give these answers to the group leader who sends the email once per week. Should work out. Wish us luck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *