Friday, January 14, 2011

What a week!

The past week has been a bit of a whirlwind. I arrived in Haiti late on January 5th. I attended a funeral the following morning, and then got to know the team a little bit that afternoon. January 7th and 8th I helped at the clinic. I spent those two days working in the dossier room with Arold and Nalouse, who pull or create the paperwork for all the patients who come to the clinic. Sunday I went to church (an amazing choir from another came to visit) and then went on a tour of Gramothe with the medical team.

Then on Monday school started again. I was so excited to see my students! However, before class I was the "translator" for the fluoride treatments being given to all the students. I went to each classroom, briefly explained what was going to happen, and then helped the team members who were applying the fluoride treatments. I was REALLY nervous about being the translator, but I was able to write something out ahead of time and have it checked by my Creole tutor. He made me read it to him a couple of times before I went to the classrooms, but then I was on my own. I think the students were impressed with my Creole. Two teachers told me I did a good job, and I thought the 7th grade class was going to clap for me!

My classes this week went really well. I had forgotten how little English the 8th grade students know. That had the potential to be a rough class, but they did a great job. I think it also helped that most of my classes were significantly smaller than normal.

Wednesday was a day of mourning for Haiti. Schools and businesses were closed. There were very few people on the streets in my neighborhood. However, most churches had special services to commemorate the one year anniversary of the earthquake. I was disappointed to find very few articles online about Haiti and the anniversary of the earthquake. What I did find didn't really say much. It's frustrating to talk about reconstruction and rebuilding of lives. On one hand there are still piles and piles of rubble that haven't been touched. There are thousands of people still living in tents. But there are also stories of hope and redemption to be heard. There are people who are changing lives and sharing the love of Jesus with others, but their stories are rarely told. Instead the media focuses on the rubble, the tents, cholera, and the election riots.

I spent most of Wednesday hanging out with Arold. In the evening I went to the guest house to spend time with the medical team. They had their debriefing meeting, and they let me sit in on it. I enjoyed hearing what they had to say about the week they spent in the clinic. About 10 of them were here last year during the earthquake, so it was interesting to hear what they had to say about being here a year later.

Thursday was my first "normal" day in Haiti since I've been back. I said goodbye to the team in the morning, and then walked up the mountain to school. It felt so good (and a little like torture) to walk up the mountain again. It had been at least three weeks since I'd made the walk up. I taught my high school class, and then canceled my after school class with the kids from Laboule because my head was pounding. Instead I walked home with them and then spent the evening relaxing.

Today I spent the whole day at the guest house. First I worked on lesson plans for my classes for the next couple of weeks. Then I created a Word document for something Willem wants to do. I also attempted to hook up a new printer, but I failed at that task. We didn't have all the cables we needed, so I couldn't get it to work.

It's been good to be back in Haiti. I really enjoyed being in the States with my family and friends over the holidays, but I'm thankful I'm in Haiti again. I feel like I was made for this specific job. I don't know how my skills and talents could be used any better than they right now. This is where I belong.

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