This past Friday we had parent-teacher conferences. This happens once or twice a semester and, when it does, it goes a bit like this. Students don’t have school. Secondary teachers have three chairs set up them in an area of the chapel, and parents come in throughout the morning and you talk with them. It was my first experience with this and I wasn’t sure what to expect. All in all it went well. I got to see a lot of parents and most of those visits were very pleasant. I got to see some parents I was excited to see but several parents who I hoped would come were not able to make it…
After the morning of conferences we had a couple of things to do, but were done by around 2:00. We took the opportunity this short-day afforded us to visit an organization I had been wanting to see for a while. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, an organization called Child Hope International has a feeding program where they feed anywhere from 100-200 orphans. This starts about 3pm and is about a half-hour walk away so most of us on campus are not able to attend regularly because school ends at 3 and there is the usual clean-up and re-organization at the end of the day. But, with the early work day, we were able to attend on Friday.
When we arrived, we were greeted by dozens and dozens of kids, several of whom climbed up our legs like little squirrels and hugged our necks like we were long lost family members instead of the strangers we were. I had seen this building once before on a walk around, but it was empty. Now it was crawling with children of all ages playing basketball, soccer, jumping around and generally having a great time being kids.
Around 3:30, the children started to congregate around the plastic tables set up in the shade. A man got up and began speaking in Creole. My Creole is not very good at all, but I got a general idea of what was going on. They began with some lively, bouncy songs sung in Creole and continued with a memory verse and went step by step through the verse with certain kids being called out to say a couple lines. The leader then grabbed a small white board and told a story, but I honestly have no idea what story it was or what he was saying. The kids seemed to understand and shouted out responses when questions were asked. He closed in prayer and then the food time began.
A few of the older children were up and in position before the prayer was over. They formed a line and began passing plates loaded with rice, beans, and some sort of meat & vegetable concoction down the line and to the tables where the children were eagerly awaiting their dinner. Large buckets filled with cups of water were brought out from the kitchen and passed out until each child had a plate of food and a cup of water. The children voraciously cleaned their plated and stacked the bowls and cups in the middle of the table for the older children to come by and pick up. This program operated with efficiency that I haven’t seen in Haiti! It was wildly impressive.
After the plates and cups were gathered the children headed back to the court to play or out the gate to return home, while volunteers and older children helped wipe down and put away the tables and clean up the dishes.
A couple of high school students from QCS joined us for this even though they didn’t want the service hours. It was refreshing to see these students so excited to serve on a Friday afternoon. If you want to check out more about this fabulous organization, visit their website at http://www.childhope.org
|This little girl was kissing her face off! Love hurts...|