Just got off Skype with Benaja and the mentors at the Cité Soleil Community School (CSCS). It’s amazing to find, time and again, that often the schools that come from the most modest means are the ones that are have an unstoppable passion for these classes.

The mentors at CSCS have tried to make the 25 laptops they have available to ALL grades (1-6), as the children have been begging mentors so much to let them participate. Though it’s not exactly the plan to let *everyone* participate in a pilot (it’s important we have multiple mentors in each class as well as the perceived ownership of one laptop by each child, even if it’s too unsafe for the child to be actually taking the laptop home), I admire the mentors’ desire to spread the learning. It’s a compliment, really– it shows that they want to make something big work, even with little means. It’s hard to be annoyed or even frustrated in the face of so much enthusiasm.

We asked Benaja if the kids were enjoying their laptops. The last time we had seen them, they were being handed out to the students for the first time. I remember guiding the kids through using the touchpad to direct the cursor, and showing them how to take pictures. Many of these students had never seen a computer before, let alone touched one. They had no idea how to even begin using it.

Today, Benaja tells us that “the computers are the best things at the school for them.” What he says afterwards makes me laugh, then somewhat somber.

“When they are using the computers, they don’t even want to eat their food,” he says.

I know how sharp the pangs of hunger are for children in many areas of Haiti, and particularly in Cité Soleil. I think about the times they moan that they can’t learn anymore without eating something; that they have lost their attention and focus to the roaring of their own stomachs. “Tell them to eat!!!” I respond, lightly (sort of). Benaja laughs.

But my next thought is more peaceful. If the hunger roars can be quieted for an hour, we are one step closer. If the children are so engaged that they have forgotten how hard their lives are, let that be a blessing.

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