Yesterday was a great day to head up the coast for a little fun in the sun on this tropical island!
We made a quick pit stop in Titanyen at Grace Village [supported by Healing Haiti] – a beautiful space for meeting the needs of children and the people of the community. Our board member Steve had been on previous trips with their organization and hooked us up with a tour. What a perfect opportunity to partner with another team that has a Minnesota-Haiti connection – we will return again once their restaurant is up and running! The vision of a building project for us at Kozefò was deeply enhanced seeing their space and wise planning in design with intention. Today we will visit the ANA land with director Rock for a little more dreaming and visioning.
And then the beach….ahhhhh! Such a great way to support tourism in Haiti, as well as a time to relax and connect with one another. Several staff and interpreters were able to join us to for a very special time together. Big thanks to the donor that provided this opportunity for including them! Take a peek at the fun that we had…and consider spending your next vacation in Haiti at Wahoo Bay Beach Resort!
There are just too many stories to tell today, so I am going to skip the details, hit the highlights and support with images that give you just a very small glimpse into the adventures of today…
- staff meeting – filled with accountability, humility, gratitude, inspiration
- activities with students – FUN all around
- soccer balls for ALL!
- home visits
- Pizza Amour
- worship at Eucalyptus Village guest house
What a day. Bon Nwit!
The year-end school program – the Spektak – was spectacular! [Despite the delayed DJ – and a 5-hour long adventure.] The students looked amazing in their matching “Sunday Best” attire…there were recitations, skits, dancing, singing and a fashion show. Our team even provided the American national anthem to follow the singing of the Haitian National anthem. Student performances had clearly been rehearsed and rehearsed and rehearsed – as pieces were memorized and spoken articulately, songs were sang with gusto and dancers danced in sync with one another. Parents waited SO VERY patiently through the technical difficulties and were filled with pride as they watched their children perform. Many sponsors had the opportunity to meet the parents-grandparents-cousins of their student – so fun.
Following the Spektak – we headed out on another adventure – hiking an hour up the hill from the school to reach a waterfall. As one team member commented tonight, the waterfall just happened to be a bonus, as the walk itself was so great. We were able to wander through the neighborhood, greeting folks we passed, as students joined in along the way.
Such a very full day – so “spektakular.”
There is something quite sweet when adventures unfold and it is clear to see that people are using their talents and gifts. There were so many incredible glimpses of that today, as the hours flew by at ANA Primary School!
The ever popular French singing tech guy also does the limbo – who knew?
The creative, dedicated graphic designer rolled out the first ever School Yearbook with great joy this morning. They were clearly a huge hit with both staff and students!
The confident, independent director’s assistant joined the teachers on an outing in Croix des Bouquet to get the grade 6 dancers dresses fitted by the seamstress.
The efficient, organized, savvy planners provided sponsor packets [letters-sunglasses-photo-book] for every single student. And what a fun highlight for me to spend time sharing that sponsor moment with my girlie Lasseur Ruth!
And what can I say about these amazing group leaders? They rocked their time with the students! Way to go team!
Our team jumped into action yesterday with the students – in fact there was so much going on that I am certain that there were things that I missed. We shared music and games and arts and crafts. Kids were active throughout the school! There were interviews/photos of 20+ new students for the fall – as parents and children waited for hours for their turn. New and current students were measured for their uniforms. Teacher training occurred in the tech classroom – working through wifi difficulties, yet feeling encouraged by the staff and student access to learning online. The cooks prepared a great lunch of rice and meat sauce, and then we were off to visit Apparent Project – Papillion Enterprise to support their work.
Watching our teenagers jump into this fully with their big hearts was a blast! So many sweet reunions and new connections occurred. Back at it again today!
Travel plans flowed well today, with only one lost duffle bag. We have connected with our LA girls and have started to make some sweet connections-these beautiful young ladies had spent their early years at the ANA orphanage and will be joining our team for the week!
Our team of 27 (mostly teens) is prepped and ready for a morning flight to Port au Prince, Haiti. Several of the travelers participated in a time of prayer and send-off at Woodbury Community Church this morning – this is the first international trip for the WCC Youth Group.
Plans for our week mainly include encouragement and support for the students and staff at ANA Primary School. There will be fun and games, arts and crafts, singing and dancing…plenty of hugs and many cheek kisses! We are also hoping for some home visits and conversations with families. And the highlight will be sharing in the year-end Spektak with the students as they showcase their talents to celebrate the school year – songs, skits, dances and recitations. Stay tuned for highlights from the week!
As Kozefò works to support this one primary school, there are many, many organizations doing great work in Haiti. In fact, I am aware of many non-profits that have Minnesota connections. Just today, our local Sunday paper featured a story about NFL players /Minnesota Vikings that have a connection with Haiti. The Pioneer Press reported, Vikings duo share Haitian bond, mission of hope in their homeland.
image screenshot from the Pioneer Press – 6.19.16
And then you have these fantastic MN folks [Jeff Gacek, Tony Sanneh, Troy & Tara Livesay, Callie Himsl] doing great things in their own little corner on the island nation of Haiti…
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” ~ Mother Teresa
And so we do our part…to share a little love…some fun and games…financial support…educational guidance. THANK YOU to all of our Kozefò sponsors that have assisted in educating 94 students this year! We could not do this work without you. Check back this week to read more about our adventures.