School started today…wow. Hmm. I have 20+ years of experience in education and I will have to say that today makes my job back home feel like a breeze! 🙂 We had 27 students show up and not one speaks English. Imagine 4 hours of keeping kiddos on task and learning and not being able to communicate…but we did it! There was a lot of repetition, attempts at Creole (Bree often grabbed our dictionary to make a translation on the spot), hand motions and picture clues…we even found a couple of DVDs in the office to show on my lap top-one with the ABC song and another with addition and subtraction facts to music! In an era when we as educators are given minimal opportunities for creativity and specific mandates to stick to the curriculum, Bree and I experienced a day filled with extreme attempts at creativity, with whatever materials we could scrounge up. Our Creole is coming along at the same pace as the kids’ English (which is not saying too much at this point.) They often talk to us with full conversations and we just smile and nod and answer them in English with our own made-up responses…. 🙂
On another high point today, we experienced laundry day in Haiti…again a bit more complicated than sorting and throwing in a machine. We soaked, scrubbed, rinsed and hung to dry. The sweet ladies on staff giggled at our attempts and even got right down into our tub to demonstrate the correct approach. It made me think of GG Agnes and her old bar of soap for laundry. Miss Celien had much more suds in her bucket than we did with our bottle of Tide.
Time to prepare for class tomorrow…the boys are sitting with us now coloring…we begin and end our days with hugs and smiles!