Saturday, October 30, 2010

Update from Haiti

Life here is never boring. I have been constantly busy since the moment I arrived here almost three months ago. Trips to the mountains with Barb, where I have learned about voodoo, and the darkness it. Also getting the school ready and all the books sorted, and organized, and as well as cleaning all the toys in the preschool. Being here has confirmed what I have known, for what seems like forever, is that I want to teach, it’s what I love to do and also I love being in Haiti. It’s where I see my self spending most of my life when the time comes. The time here has gone by quickly and October is almost gone. In the beginning of the month brought Canadian Thanksgiving, which I was able to attend at the Samaritan’s Purse Compound. It was a great dinner that was supplied, with lots of Canadians and Wanna be Canadians in attendance. School is going smoothly though there are some challenges. I have a particular student I am having a hard time with. It doesn’t matter what language I tell him in, it’s like he doesn’t understand what I am trying to tell him ( even when I use an interpreter) Once I had a meeting with the lady that runs the orphanage he is in and learned his background, why he acts the way he does, makes more sense. Though I still struggle with him, as of Thursday he is no longer in my class, allowing me to give more energy and attention to the other students. I have leaned a very valuable lesson when it comes to doing art projects with my class. Don’t just give them pain, tell them what to exactly paint, else you will end up with more paint on the table, floor, chairs and the teacher than on their paper. I remember leaving school that day stating I will NEVER paint with my class again ( though I am already thinking of more constructive ways to paint with them). My class is great, and consists of 10 students, which is split up into 2 groups, thanks to the help of an assistant teacher I have. I have the five more difficult ones, but I love working with them. Normally we do our lessons all together and then split up to do work in their books, which works really well. Now that we are only several weeks till Christmas we have started teaching them songs for Christmas. It cute to listen to them sing away in a manger. On a side note, the kids love Veggie Tale’s and it’s the cutest thing to hear them sing the songs.

As many of you know Haiti was struck with a Cholera outbreak in the past few weeks, and many of you might not know, but the area that was the most impacted was St. Marc, which is where I live. When it happened it was eerie driving to school on the Thursday morning, as people were afraid, and nobody was out and the market dead. That day we were missing many students from school, so we did chapel with the kids, worshiped, and prayed for the country. We also taught them about hygiene and ways to prevent cholera. After we took all the younger kids to the preschool building, and put a movie in  for them as all the staff bleached and cleaned all the buildings. Come Monday we weren’t sure if we would open school or if the government would close all the school, but we stayed open and all the kids were healthy and remembering to wash their hands. The Sunday we went out to the Artibonite, which is the countryside highly affected by it. I wasn’t sure what I was going to see, but was surprised when we got out there. The people were very healthy and taking precautions to stay healthy, by boiling the water and drinking only bottled water. The other day coming home from school there was much activity, though the cholera cases have died down. After having to re-route home from school due to a truck in the was stuck on the road, we saw where Red Cross was setting up the cholera field hospital, followed by the UN with the riot shield telling us we had to turn around, yet again. Once we got on the main, we were told to turn around yet again due to a student protest against the cholera field hospital. Eventually we got home 45 minutes later. Never a dull moment in Haiti.

But all in all everything is going great here. I have 5 weeks till I head home from Christmas, and lots planned in those weeks. Including a Christmas program at school, weekly youth group meetings with a group of girls that I have began to work with, and many visitors from now till I leave.


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