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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.

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Nutrition Center Kids in Cap Haitien

Today we had  the luxury of sleeping in until 7:45. The preschool kids were coming at nine o'clock and we had to prepare for them to come. It was going to be a very busy morning.

When we finished our breakfast (mango, watermelon, pineapple etc.) we had to prepare for the 44 kids that were coming from the nutrition center. We had three blow up pools that we had to blow up and gather up some water toys and soccer balls.  Once we were done that we set them up under the big almond tree in the front yard of where we are staying. It was a nice big shaded area that was perfect for swimming pools to be.

After we were done that it was time for another big problem. The water. We had a hose to put the water in but the hose was too short to bring over to where we were. It was almost 9 am and we still needed this problem fixed. We were all in panic mode as we could hear an engine coming up the driveway. Then when we thought that it was hopeless, a man came over and brought extension hoses. Our problem was fixed as we could see two trucks came rolling up the hill of the driveway. They were all singing a song that was in the native language Creole. The trucks were filled with kids too! They looked all happy that they were here and they were waving to us too.


Once they parked they started singing again! This time it was a welcoming song which they were singing to all of us. When they were done they all piled out of the car. I thought that they were headed to the swimming pools but realized that they were all putting out their hands to shake mine. Again these are three to four year old kids! I don't think I was that polite when I was their age! Then once I shook forty or so tiny hands they headed to the first floor balcony of our guest house. They started running around kicking soccer balls around as if it was their home. We stopped in shock but then started to join in. They were very fun and enjoyable. There was also this one girl that kept holding my hand and going where-ever I went.

Once I did have a free hand I started playing with the kids. They really loved when I would pick them up and spin them around in a circle. Although it was fun for them I was getting a little dizzy so I needed a break. Once I sat down I still couldn't get away from these kids. They started playing with my hair and taking my hat. I thought it was hilarious that they thought there was something that was wrong with my teeth because I have braces. When I heard a bell ring all the kids headed over to their teacher. Immediately they started singing again! What was with this group and singing songs? When they were done it was time for their lunch break. We thought it was hilarious that one kid didn't like the onions in his spaghetti that he picked them out, looked around to see if anyone was watching and then put them behind his back so no one could see them!

 When the kids were done their nutrition break, which took over half an hour for them, they started singing another song! Now I was starting to get really interested in why they sang these songs all the time. When the teacher was still singing I noticed that she picked up a child. She started walking over to the pool and dropped the kid in the water! Then all the kids dove into the inflatable pools and splashed around. It looked to be cooling them off well! One of our teachers, Jen, noticed that by the time they jumped into the water they were just as excited. After about 30 minutes, the bell rang again and all the kids got out and dried off. Some kids didn't want to get out and kept jumping back in!

 Then, it was time for the kids to leave. It was almost sad seeing the kids pile into the trucks again and take off past the gate. It was great to be with them.

Right now we are preparing for a walk downtown and also we are going to be doing a game tonight which I am excited for.

1 comment:

bachwords said...

Finally getting caught up on all your posts! It's been pretty cute reading about your service-learning trip to Haiti through the eyes of a 13 year boy, kudos to CJ! Although he probably doesn't like that I think it's cute! :) Safe travels back to Canada...