About Me

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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Safely in Cap-Haitien (minus our BlackBerries and most of our luggage)

We had excellent flights today with every flight on time. We arrived in Port au Prince at 1:30. Unfortunately, the BlackBerries that Rob McBride (from BlackBerry) brought with him for our training were taken from him as we went through Haiti Customs. Fortunately, we have some contacts working on getting those back so we can use them for our training. It was fascinating to watch the "negotiation" go on over a 2 hour period before we gracefully exited so that we didn't miss our last flight of the day up to Cap-Haitien.

However, when we got off the little plane that I normally take to Cap-Haitien, we realized that none of our luggage made it on the plane! Likely the plane was going to be a little heavy with all our luggage so they probably decided just to leave the luggage off (without telling us of course). So tonight we are enjoying being in Cap-Haitien but with some stinky clothes.

None of that really matters in the grand scheme of our time here. Tonight we met with Thelus Wilson, a key contact in Cap-Haitien, and mapped out the next three days. Over the next two days, we will be meeting with a university president (Dr. Fenol Metellus of the Public University of the North at Cap-Haitien), a dean from a faculty of education (Regina Assumpta), the director of the Ministry of Education for the north (Justin Metelus), and others as we work through some practical ways in which our partnerships "make sense" for both Wilfrid Laurier University and the partnering organizations. I am really excited about some of the areas we have discussed, particularly the potential of developing an open-learning website for Haitian teachers and leaders (see an earlier blog post about this). It's all about sustainable capacity-building and this will be a key part of that focus.

Saturday is going to be an exciting day as we host three training sessions on how technology can be used in responsible (and responsive to Haiti) ways. Rob, Jhonel Morvan (from Ontario Ministry of Education and WLU), and I will be leading these sessions. I am really excited about two grad students from University of Florida joining us for this training with a team of teachers they have been working with in the north. There will be school leaders coming from as far away as Pignon (about 2 hours away).

So with about two hours of sleep over the past 48 hours I am now heading to bed, tired but with building excitement for the next few days in Cap-Haitien. Obviously luggage isn't all that important after all!

1 comment:

Judy Halpern said...

Good to hear that you are able to "roll with the punches"! With the attitude that you have Steve, all will work out - one way or another :)! Good luck to you and your dynamic team, stay flexible and have fun!