One week down, two classes taught, one sickness contracted and overcome, 85-90 tortuous degrees every day. Those numbers capture the week, though there’s plenty more that could be said.
It was a great relief to realize halfway through my first class that I was not going to fall apart while trying to teach in Creole. I often struggle with syntax or finding the right word, but my students are patient and ask a lot of questions and my instincts for the language are often better than I had expected. The students are active and engaged, and their interest makes the three-hour sessions fly by.
I really do wish it would cool down, though. I ran my hands through my hair today and realized that due to the high humidity, it always stays exactly where my hands have left it. After a while, I suppose being sticky all the time becomes normal, but I find myself continually marveling that I grew up in this. Ninety degrees every day with little to no breeze was not how I remembered Haiti, but I’m trying to think like an ice cube and just melt into my surrounding. If my mind wasn’t protesting so loudly against it, it wouldn’t be so unbearable. After all, the Haitians don’t seem to be having any trouble dealing with it. In fact, they show up to my un-air conditioned class wearing ties. (TIES!)
Since I’d been studying, teaching, or sick for the last six days, I took today off. A young guy in our church came over, and I showed him the ropes of the social media work I do for Rehoboth Ministries. It was really basic stuff — setting up a WordPress blog and connecting it to Facebook, but I could tell he enjoyed it and was excited. Like so many young people here, he was brimming over with excitement and good ideas. He just needs an outlet.
Glimmers of hope are everywhere. A friend exclaimed the other night, “This is a different Haiti than the one you left in 2003!” He was quite literally right — 55% of Haitians fall into the “24 or under” age bracket. Still, there are so many youth and so few jobs that the line separating hope and despair can be a difficult one for our young people to walk. As you have opportunity, please remember them, and us, in your prayers.