Tomorrow marks a week of me being in Haiti. It honestly feels like so much longer, which makes me really happy. I don’t want to feel my time here fly by. I want to be able to cherish every moment that I can, seeking to understand the reason for God’s doing. While FaceTiming my family last night, my parents reminded me that I need to be journaling. Of course, I knew this, but they reminded me that I should be journaling about the little things. I often procrastinate journaling because I wait for something really big to happen that is worth writing about. But I overlook all of the little moments during my days that bring so much love and joy to my life.
So to give you a bit of background of what I have been doing for the past week, I am interning here at Haiti Partners. I live in a beautiful house with a beautiful family who takes such good care of me. Every day, I am at the school, Children’s Academy and Center for Learning (ADECA) from about 7am to 6pm (with a little break in between when the children leave after school and the English class starts in the afternoon). At school, I have a schedule of when I go around from class to class (five classes total) reading the kids a book in French, so they get practice and can learn some new vocabulary.
LITTLE THING: Today, when I was reading the book to the 4-year-olds class, I saw a little boy in the audience that I normally see in the other 4-year-olds class, Woodolph. (There are two classes for the 4-year-olds since it is such a big group.) I thought, “Weird. I thought he was in the other class. Maybe I was wrong and mistook him for his twin brother Ralph or something.” Then I finished the book in that class and moved right on to the other 4-year-old classroom. Sure enough, I saw Woodolph sitting in that audience too, with his brother this time. Turns out he wanted to sit in on both readings and was able to sneak past me back into his original class without me seeing. I immediately cracked up when I saw him in my second audience and then explained to the teachers how sneaky he was and we all had a good laugh. It was too cute.
Then, whenever I have free time, I often go sit in on the first grade (6-year-olds) classroom. Lisa, the wonderful, wise woman who has spent the majority of the past year volunteering here and teaching English at ADECA, is basically my mentor. She is teaching me so much about the culture and Haitian Creole, how to teach these children in the best, most engaging way possible, and so much more. I am so grateful for having her to walk me through everything at the school. Anyways, Lisa advised me that I should visit all of the classes on my first couple of days and feel them out to see which class I would want to stick with. As much as I want to be with every class because all of the children are so stinking cute, I need to choose one to pour into fully, instead of stretching myself too thin. On my first day, I knew that I was being called to be with the first graders. This crew has been together for the past three years, since they were the first class at ADECA, so they are like brothers and sisters. They know exactly how to rub each other the wrong way, but I have also caught them showing an immense amount of compassion towards one another. Getting to slowly spend more one-on-one time with these kids this week has been such a blessing. They are all so bright but take a little bit of encouragement to do what they are told. They are definitely the most energetic and maybe the most difficult class at the school, so the more sets of eyes in there, the better. There is also one boy in particular that I really want to pour into during these next seven months, Edsyon. Edyson has special needs, but the cool thing is that there are not really diagnoses here. There is no label on Edyson, but the children know that his brain just works differently and most of them are really sweet with him. I really want to give him my attention because he is so precious and his laugh is just about the sweetest thing I have ever heard. He needs to know how important he is even if he learns a lot slower than the other children. He only knows how to say a few words, so he has so much growing room.
LITTLE THING: Today, we worked on writing Edyson’s name on a piece of paper. Starting out with the letter “E” was hard for him because straight lines are not his forte; he is more of an “O” kind of guy. So since the letter “d” has kind of an “o” on the bottom, we worked on that one. And sure enough, he successfully copied the “d” in his name! He lit up knowing that he did something right and it was so fun to just make him feel so good about learning 1/6th of the letters in his name. It was a big accomplishment!
The image of this little one staring up at me with those eyes and smiling despite having cried all morning was a wonderful start to my day.