From Gregory, 1-6-14
Yesterday evening, it was announced that we would need to wake up at 4 a.m. to prepare to leave the Parish early enough to take the two hour ride out in the mountains for a church service. The ‘church’ was made of dried leaves, logs and bed sheets. The ‘pews’ were made of wooden planks and there were home-made tables set up to make the altar and other essential areas. On the way, we’d passed people walking along the road carrying water on their heads, riding donkeys or mopeds going about their daily chores. Pere Noe mentioned that some people walk for hours a day just to bring back water for the family. All of this aside, the people who lived there made us feel incredibly welcomed. Despite language deficiencies (neither of the three of us speaks Creole), we were individually greeted with open, sincere smiles. After the service, we were graciously fed by our hosts. The hospitality they offered was deeply heartfelt and shall be forever cherished.
Later this evening, after the 2 hour ride back we had the opportunity to meet Evens, the head teacher, Jean Baptiste and Alberic. We took some time to go over the plan for tomorrow. It was a little hard because approximately 70% of the meeting was held in Creole. Pere Noe was able to freely switch between French, Creole & English. It was clear and not surprising the Creole was the preferred language. During a few side conversations, we were somewhat able to hear the teachers speak some English. For now, the plan is to observe Evens’ English class at 7a.m. tomorrow morning. This will be day one for us and we could all just feel the excitement.
Update from Marie:
- Teaching evening English classes every evening Monday-Friday to the community.
- Working with the English teachers on teacher training and professional development.
- Working with the 1st-6th grade teachers on using the XO computers in their classes and during an after school program.
- Setting up a computer lab with the Dell laptops for the older students (Per Noe is in the process of getting the room prepared so it looks like it will definitely happen).
Sora Edwards [UnleashKids] is handling the XO training as she speaks creole and the teachers she is working with have low English proficiency.