It's definitely been way too long since we've written an update, and we really do feel bad! Time in Haiti just marches to the beat of its own drum, and even with good intentions of writing at minimum once a month, it still doesn't seem to happen and we don't quite understand why.
We've been back in Haiti since the end of July and life has been moving at break-neck speed. Jesus knew we desperately needed a break after the burnout of last school year though. We spent the month of July back in Canada. For the first little while we froze in the air-conditioning and wore winter clothes inside, and ate as much pizza and ice-cream as possible. Life was busier being back in Canada than we anticipated, what with visiting with family, and road trips to see friends- not to mention planning what to pack and bring back to Haiti for the next six months until we go back to Canada for Christmas.
Our first three weeks back were filled with three back-to-back short-term teams, and as soon as they left we were in immediate school planning mode. We've added to our Mission Haiti family as well- Gerald is our new Grade 1 teacher (who's here with his wife Lexi) and Peyton, who is our Preschool English teacher and co-English teacher in Pre-Kindergarten. We could not be more thankful for them and the blessing they have been to us and to our school so far.
We've officially started week two of our school year here in Haiti! We have a brand new Preschool class (who are deathly afraid of the "white" teachers). The other classes have simply moved up. The difference between this year and last year has been night and day, and much of it has to do with the fact that 75% of our students this year have already been immersed in our school culture for a year- they understand our rules and expectations, and how our school is different from their previous Haitian schools. We also have all of the Haitian teachers with us again this year that worked with us last year as well, so it's been a continuation of the relationships we've already built. There's only one new Haitian teacher that was hired to teach the French in Grade 1. We've changed up our schedule a little bit this year too. Last year we had our all-French days Monday to Wednesday, and all-English on Thursday and Friday. This year French is Monday and Tuesday, English is Wednesday and Thursday, and Fridays are half-French and half-English.
What's also super super exciting for us is that we have both already tucked a year under our belts with these kiddos- we've seen their growth and progression, and have spent day in and day out with them. They've also had a year of English exposure, we're so interested to see how much more they grow this year- not just academically, but spiritually character-wise as well.
In other news, we're eagerly anticipating a drop in temperature and humidity. It's been brutally hot for the start of school, and we have fans in our classrooms, but it's not the most fun thing in the world to have sweat drip into your eyes (or on the students!) as you're trying to teach. So nasty. Us four missionary teachers have gotten into the habit of heading down to the basketball court by the ocean to lesson plan- there's usually a glorious breeze, and staring at the ocean helps with inspiration (or so we have convinced ourselves). We'll be sure to send an update about our classes soon!
Happy new school year to everyone!