This is my first time to return in three years to the Haiti EcoVillage School. Such a blessing to recognize many faces…. And to be recognized in return! Chris and Jeanine have done a wonderful job leading our group. It is so nice to relax and be a strong support person, and to share this beautiful school in person with David. Today I accompanied Jeanine and Robert as a photographer while they presented letters and photos from Lilburn Elementary to each classroom. But my favorite part of the day was returning to the Kindergarten classroom at the end of the day, for them to sing “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” in French, and we taught them the song in English. I want to teach them the Hokie Pokie—but it is not on our official “to do” list. We will see!
We met with the sewing group in the afternoon, and worked through a list of questions that will enable us to talk with Chavannes and our Haiti EcoVillage Partnership Steering committee about a potential investment in completing their training and funding a pilot program. We know that in order for parents to pay tuition for school they will need to find other sources of income outside of farming, and many women who have children in the school have completed initial training but the funding from the original organization has run out. They need additional training to produce high quality products.
Highway 3, the road that goes right by the EcoVillages, is being paved, and it has been a big unknown in our travel back and forth from the MPP compound to the school. When it is blocked, our commute time increases by 40 minutes, which was especially challenging when we encountered that yesterday, at 6pm.
Other highlights for me today were: having a big group of children crowding around me while a young girl read aloud the Haiti EcoVillage Book in Kreyol; singing the song with the kindergartners; hanging out with children, showing them photos and videos from the day, in EcoVillage One, after our meeting with the sewing group, and before our drivers came to pick us up; and watching David entertain the children with his “tricks”, like doing a head stand and walking on his hands. Last night a highlight was our devotional and centering time, with Bailey leading us, and talking around candlelight about our day and our concerns about various issues with MPP and the school. I love the quote from Wendell Berry “the baffled mind is not employed”. We are baffled by the problems we want to help solve, but at least our minds are definitely employed!!!!
And tonight it rained! Precious big fat raindrops! We are praying for more rain so the planting season can begin!