With Tuesday’s news that the Haitian election council would be finally announcing its decision yesterday, we were all a bit on edge. Everyone thought that they’d follow the OAS recommendation (along with Hillary Clinton’s in-country nudge), but nothing was truly certain except:  if Celestin was included in the runoff, the streets would not be safe for days, just like in December.

In the morning, we went to the Ministry of Education to meet with a high ranking official to talk about our efforts and how we might integrate them in the public schools.  The meeting went very, very well.  We were asked all the right questions, many of them.   The man and woman we spoke with were clearly advocates of child-centered exploratory teaching, which was wonderful to hear.  They were also quite familiar with the difficulties of encouraging existing teachers to adopt new ways, particularly with regards to technology.  The meeting ended with a handshake to work together in some manner, either with a public school pilot, courseware coordination, or a presentation to an edtech panel in the Spring.

The long meeting made us late for our preclass with the trainers.  We raced across town, wolfed down some food, and managed to arrange chairs and assign groups just as the children and trainee mentors were arriving. Two of the groups were missing though.  After a bit, we got a call from Acacia, who stayed home out of worry for pre-anouncement protesting.   There was word of “manifestations” around the capital. No word from CSCS though.

Walking around the classroom, I was pretty amazed at how well it was going.  Each mentor was working with one child, showing things on the child’s laptop, encouraging ideas.  The trainers were helping their indivdual groups.  Everyone was engaged, with occasional smiles of accomplishment by both children and  mentors.

One of the hardest things for me to do this time around is NOTHING.  Aside from the occasional group announcement or tone setting remark, I’ve  pretty much let the trainers run things on their own.  They’re doing wonderfully.

Halfway through class, one of the Cité Soleil mentors rushed in to tell me that he was very sorry to not be able to make it:  his two year old daughter had been shot and was now in the hospital.  I immediately said, “Of course, of course, go be with your daughter.”  We decided to cancel the mentor class and reschedule for Saturday.  The Cité Soleil mentor was very glad to learn that he would not miss anything.

After class, we decided to go to the Visa Lodge to hang by the pool.  Since we couldn’t find a ride, we walked the twenty or so minutes through Port-au-Prince streets.  It was hot, but the walk was fun.  Beth was trying her Creole on the trainers.  I added the occassional French as well.

At the gate of the Visa Lodge, I noticed the armed guards for the first time.  Two men with big shotguns, sitting idly as we walked in.  I felt safer knowing they were there, given the unncertainty approaching.  We sat by the pool and talked of many things.  Five o’clock came and went without an election council announcement.  Beth and I debricked some laptops then had dinner.  Still no announcement. At midnight I finally stopped reading Twitter and went to sleep.

As I write this, the news is good:  Manigat & Martelly in the runoff on March 20th.  No Celestin.

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