Rain, rain, go away

Haiti Volunteer Journal - Karin Rumpza:

Rain, rain, go away

Bon swa!  I have no idea how to spell that.


Many things are happening here in the Port-au-Prince area.  Our medical team is off trying to find supplies, our construction team has been busy building a kitchen and making structural improvements, and our teaching team has just completed it’s 3rd day of school.  I apologize for the typing errors but I only have 10 minutes on this computer and the keyboard is from 1922. 


Being a part of this teaching team has really taught me a lot about the Haitian culture.  The school day start out with a prayer and a song.  From then on, Bible verses and poems are recited until memorized.  I have a feeling not many of the children can read.  Unlike other schools I have seen in Africa, the main focus here is learning verbally.  The only time they write is when they are called to the chalkboard.  The teachers at our school are very good with the children.  They re- direct them gently and seem to hold their attention most of the time.  When things get a little crazy, they break it up with a song. 


The first day of school, Monday, there were about 35 kids.  Today we were down to about 12 with a few more stragglers coming in.  The socio economics in the area differ vastly.  As most schools are still closed, children from the area are coming to Shalom for the time being.  Some of the kids are dressed in uniforms with matching socks and shoes.  They seem to know how to read.  Other come in the same clothes and seem behind the others, but all know how to belt out a tune!  The Haitian culture is one filled with dancing and singing.  It’s great!  They love to make fun of the “blancos” trying to dance. 


Tonight, we are having a meeting to try to establish more projects.  Hopefully we will be teaming up with an orphanage soon.  There are many around but it’s very hard to tell if the children are true orphans or just kids whose parents send them off for the day to receive aid.



Written and contributed by Karin Rumpza (via Global Volunteer Network)