(from Wednesday)

Getting up early in the morning, repainting John Engle’s daughter, Layla’s, nails after she lost almost all the color after only one week, driving through the city for hours while trying to not show up to class too late with computers in hand.

And class went great! Bill, Benaja and I tried our best to do as little as possible. It’s entirely possible that we were lazy and that’s the reason. But we also wanted to see the mentors do what they do best all by themselves. We were thoroughly impressed with their work and everything went really well.

At our mentor meeting, we elected Magela to lead the group that Lionel was once leader for. We instituted a strict absence policy, where after three absences mentors would not be paid for the days that they missed- the only thing we deemed fair. There were a couple of concerns about the older kids (maybe 15 years old or so) who had little interest in the Etoys program. We told them that it was their job to be flexible and to try to make the program fit for people, but if they absolutely couldn’t, that there were kids lined up outside who wanted to participate, and if the older students were missing class, the mentors need to take those computers away and give them to students who actually want them.

We also reviewed the next two weeks- a storytelling session- using a document that Bill/Benaja/I wrote up and translated the other night, which consists of a basic outline of how the storytelling unit could go, and a bit more explanation about it. I think the mentors appreciated it and feel comfortable leading the unit now.

We’ve also been in touch with Randy from the Education Team, who has sent us the ten math units ready for translation! We’re very excited to have them and Benaja is already working hard to get them translated. We explained roughly to the mentors what the math unit would be like and they are excited to get that started too.

It was a teary afternoon around Darbonne. There are so many things I am going to miss here. It’s funny how that can happen so quickly. The mentors were all making fun of me, calling me “Ayisien” or Haitian because I’ve picked up the language relatively quickly. “You don’t even need Benaja anymore!” they laughed. That’s not true, but it’s certainly cute to think.

Lots of kisses and hugs goodbye, a few pictures together and a beautiful song that some of the girls sang about Haiti and then it was all over. The kids were gone, the chairs were brought back into the library, the juice and crackers were eaten up and the magic was over.

It has been such an honor working with the Darbonne mentors. They are so full of life, of determination, of power. We know that the program is going to succeed with flying colors here. It is already so strong. We can’t wait to see what these mentors make of themselves both in this pilot and in the future. They are shining examples of how a program should go, and we are so grateful to have each and every one of them working on our side.

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