It's been quite a journey to get to this point, and in all honesty there are times when we question God's timing in relation to being here in Haiti. We have such a huge task ahead of us: teaching at a brand new school with teachers and students who don't speak our language. There are times we doubt God's timing and wonder if we truly are ready for this task ahead of us. But it's in those times of doubting that this line from a book seems to suddenly come to mind: You may not FEEL ready for what is ahead of you, but God KNOWS you are ready because He has placed it in front of you. So we rest in that and try to take one day at a time.
Here's a little snapshot of what school looks like for us here. There are two Haitian teachers that will be teaching preschool. Kristen and a Haitian teacher (who also happens to be the mother at our orphanage) are teaching Junior Kindergarten. Cassie and another Haitian teacher are teaching Senior Kindergarten. Each morning students will be fed breakfast at the school at 7:30. School will officially start at 8:00. We have two hours of class and then the school feeds the students "lunch" as well at 10:00. They get a short recess and then we have about an hour and a half of classes before school officially gets out at 12:30. That may seem early, but all schools in Haiti get out early because they don't have all the fluff and fillers that we're used to. Monday to Wednesday the Haitian teachers teach in French, and we co-teach with them as much as we can. Thursday and Friday, we teach in English (which isn't entirely accurate; it's more like a funny mix of English, French and Creole, and by the time we get home from school we can't speak proper English anymore).
We want to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who covered us with so much prayer during our first week. It honestly worked wonders on our behalf. Our first day went about as well as could be expected. We had a lot of cry-ers and pee-ers and runners, but they all looked stinkin' adorable in their little uniforms. By Friday, the kids could pretty much remember our names, pronounce simple English words like hello, please and thank you, and were starting to figure out the routines of the school.
It's also worth a mention that it is ridiculous how much love these kids pour out on us, considering we only had four days of school last week (Wednesday was a rain day). They latch onto us like we're going to run away at any moment, and smile with so much joy shining out of their little dark eyes that we want to take them all home. It's kind of humbling at the same time. They fill us up with so much love, yet at the same time they are starving for love and attention themselves. I think sometimes we get so caught up in curriculum and planning and pedagogy that we forget that pure Jesus-love can sometimes make the biggest difference of all.
Week one is done, and week two is upon us. It's so true that the beginning of anything is always the hardest, and this year as a whole is probably going to be one of the most challenging of our lives. In spite of that, neither one of us would trade places with any of you. Haiti and its kids are weaving their way into the deep, deep places of our hearts.
Here are just a couple pictures of the school and classrooms.
This is our little school office.
This is our primary hallway with nine classrooms.
Senior Kindergarten class.
Front of a classroom.
Our little cafeteria where the kiddos eat breakfast and lunch.
Toy shelves in each class.
Sending love from Haiti!