another unexpected task

I have always suspected it, but now I am sure of it: God has an undeniable sense of humor. Furthermore, he has been up there laughing at me for my entire visit to Haiti.

This is the only explanation I can think of for the fact that, on this trip, I have been forced to sample the two professions that have always been of the least interest to me. One of these, as you know, is nursing, which I spent three weeks doing in Limbe. To my surprise, I came out of the situation unscathed and (much as I hate to admit it) probably better for having had the experience.

So as if being a nurse wasn't enough, for good measure, it seems, I have had the opportunity to try out my other black-listed profession: Teaching. Not just any teaching, mind you--but teaching kindergarten children!
Today, Mom was scheduled to teach calebasse art to young children at the school at which her friend, Caroline, is administrator. As I mentioned before, I had anticipated my role in this endeavor to be minimal, or at least behind-the-scenes. I stayed up late last night helping her prepare, then planned to accompany her to document the lesson. These contributions seemed quite sufficient to me, but I guess someone else thought differently.
Last night I helped Mom put together these kits for making calebasse ornaments.

This morning Mom woke up with a raging migrane headache that made all light as if blinding to her eyes...

..So it fell to me to show 27 kindergarten students how to make figurine ornaments out of calebasse shards, wire, and beads. And, hey, I survived! Unlike the kids at the cholera treatment center, these did not burst into tears at the sight of me simply because I'm a blanc.

I won't say that I particularly enjoyed or hated the experience itself. I am definitely not a naturally-gifted, charasmatic teacher. But I had lots of help and it was nice to see the kids enjoying themselves and doing something different.
From what Caroline says, she and the teachers are going out of their way to make Christmas festive this season because, just like everyone else in Haiti, the kids have had a hard year.
While the kids at this school are not especially destitute, some of them did have to live in tents after the earthquake. Others' families were divided up to live with various members of their extended family after the earthquake rendered their homes uninhabitable.

So, I guess it just goes to show that if we are open, we can contribute a little joy to the world--sometimes in ways we never would have imagined.


  1. Ah! These look like the kids had a really fun time doing them.

  2. Hm, never would have pictured you making christmas ornaments with small children. Looks like fun! Heard you were maybe going to be in colorado in January?