love must be sincere.

The school year has begun – smiling faces, eager students, energized teachers, committed staff/administration – buses are rolling – backpacks carry homework and interesting books to read.  So many great things.

And yet…

Life is difficult.  Today as we reflect on the 15th anniversary of 9/11/2001, there are so many things wrong in the world. Fear, anger, sadness, bitterness, anxiety, apathy. People are arrogant, defensive, judging, rude, unkind.  Tragedies occur on a daily basis, impacting students and families and school staff members. At times, it is almost too much to bear. However the sun sets and the sun rises…and classrooms fill with students.

We must bond together in this journey of life – encouraging each other during the struggles and in seeking the highlights – the positive moments. I try to start each day with the reminder to Love God and Love Others. And this year, I intend to take that further as I seek to live out the commands of Romans 12:9-13. Stay strong my friends!

romans12

first day of school pics.

Thank you to all of our supporters!  The 2016-17 school year kicked off today with eager learners.  Many students remain on holiday, and will straggle in throughout the week as they learn that the doors to ANA Primary School have opened once again.

Day 1 2016-17 School Year

The extra funding that came in recently from the 5K will cover expenses incurred to build three additional classrooms where the chicken coop used to stand. School Director Rock Cayo and School Administrator Roselaure checked in with me today via google video hangout. (Sorry for the fuzzy screen shot!)  Wandering through the school, classroom to classroom today was such a treat! Check out the sweet desks in the grade 7 classroom – we are contracting with several teachers to cover all content areas – Mathematics, French, Literature, Biology, English, Geography.  The students are receiving quality instruction. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your support!!!!

Video Hangout

Here are images of the early arrivals for Day 1…

grade 1

Grade 1

grade 2

Grade 2

grade 3

Grade 3

grade 4

Grade 4

grade 5

Grade 5

grade 6

Grade 6

grade 7

Grade 7

We are still in need of nearly 20 student sponsors.  Please consider joining our efforts!  All donations are tax-deductible and you will have the opportunity to keep in touch with your student through annual letters and photos, as well the possibility of joining a team trip to meet your student.  Click here to select a student: http://www.kozefo.org/sponsor

Sponsor a Student

kozefò 5K 2016 by the numbers

5th Annual 5K

What a fantastic day for the 5th Annual Kozefò 5K!  Personally, the greatest one yet – especially since I was able to stroll in around registration time and all of the details had been taken care of by Doreen and her AMAZING team of volunteers.  Yea Team! Mesi Anpil!

And the results are in for the 2016 Kozefò 5K…

total Runners-Walkers registered: 146

total volunteers: 46

students sponsored: 7

money raised: $6,121

SUCCESS!!!

**Highlights this year included t-shirts with a fresh new design, merchandise available [created with student art from ANA Primary School in Port au Prince], prizes for the 1st stroller and the 1st dog, snacks for participants, volunteers from the Branch Out Transition Program, handmade medals for finishers from the 94 students enrolled in our school! Wow.

Thank you all so much for your incredible support!

Registration

Volunteer ExtraordinaireWalkers

Runners on the trailRunnersStrollers

Medal Assistants

little winner

fan of Haiti

Olympic Moment

Kozefò: (v) to speak in a loud voice.

We believe education is the key to developing thinking, creative individuals. As Christians, we are called to care and to speak loud against the injustices in the world. This is the true meaning of Kozefò, people together, hand in hand, speaking in a loud voice to bring about positive change in education, one school at a time.

For more information, check us out at: kozefo.org

wahoo bay beach day.

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.

Grace Village

Grace Village tour

Grace Village Library

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!

Wahoo Bay

Snorkel Boat

Snorkelers

Jet Skiers

dinner

Daniella Anna Vairleene

Daughter Mama

Staff - Interpreters

Beach Group Pic

 

so many stories.

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!

Bradley

Ellen and pal

goats at school

Maggie and Ferlanda

noah's ark fun

soccer balls

Group Pic June 2016

Moto homeHome Visit Ruth

Pizza Amour

Worship Band

worship at the guest house

spektak.

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.

Spektak Ready

Spektak students

Spektak PreShow

Spektak rappers

Spektak Duet

Spektak Recitation

Spektak Dancers

Spektak Skit

Spektak Skit 2

Spektak Fashion Show

Spektak Staff appreciation

Spektak Kozefo Award

Spektak Teachers

Spektak Kislev

Spektak Adriano

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.

Neighborhood Hike

Neighborhood Walk 2

Neighborhood walk girls

Neighborhood Hike Stanley

Neighborhood walk - Ferlanda

Neighborhood Walk -Michaela

Waterfall

Mama Daughter waterfall

Such a very full day – so “spektakular.”

using gifts.

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?

limbo

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!

Laura and yearbooks

yearbooks

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.

grade 6 dancers

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!

sponsor packets

sponsor letters

And what can I say about these amazing group leaders?  They rocked their time with the students! Way to go team!

boys

card playing

grade 2

grade 3 gang

closing singing

grade 5

play dough

circle time