Friday, February 5, 2010

The Cast

For awhile now I've been meaning to introduce you to the people swirling through my life right now. Without further ado, I present: QUISQUEYA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL: THE CAST
We begin with Coby. Coby is from Holland and teaches our littlest Quisqueya Eagles in PreK through 1st grade. Her husband runs the Reformed Mission down the street from our old apartment. They are the cutest little muffins:)
Next is Sandra. Sandra teaches 2nd through 4th graders. Sandra's daughter Victoria is still here, but her high-school-age son Sebastien went to the states to pursue his hopes of playing college basketball. Lots of families are having to make tough choices for their kids- sometimes even different choices for different siblings.
Here's Carol, our 5th and 6th grade teacher. Carol's home is where the CSI church meets, and they're the ones who invited us over to watch the Cowboys playoff win the weekend before the quake. She is so lovely! Her mission may move them to Croix-de-Bouquet soon, because their clinic and orphanage are out there.
Now to the older kids. Our 7th-11th grade math teacher is Tony K (or, just say "Tony" and make a "beard" gesture- you can see why this is an easy way to distinguish our two Tonys on staff). Tony's from Florida, but also lived in Canada, and just decided to start growing that beard one day. Now Ben calls him Gimli and asks to braid it frequently. He has a cat named Peter, after his favorite characters from Ender's Game and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
Introducing our Bible Department! This is Denny, a fellow Dallas native who teaches 7th-11th grade Bible. Denny's wife was injured in the quake, so she and his kids are now back in Dallas recuperating. Denny's a big soccer guy.
Here's our History Department, the handsome Ben. The kids are now obsessed with Chickenfoot, the domino game his family loves playing at holidays.
Then there's me, the English Dept for 7th-11th graders. I teach in two sections- junior high attends class in a converted former weight room, high school attends class in my apartment living room. Here you see the reading assignments and SAT daily vocab words for the high schoolers two days ago. I particularly enjoyed reading the biographies of Peter the Great, Malcolm X, and Julius Caesar this week with the sophomores.
 Then there's our principal, Tony (non-bearded Tony). Tony's in charge of the day-to-day school business. He's also a proud Canadian.
Then, up in the command center, we have Sean! Ben and I have so enjoyed hanging out with Sean. His wife and 5 kids are in the states. Pray that their house is ok (looks ok but is pending engineer inspection) and that the adoption of their youngest daughter Bethaina will finish smoothly so they can all be together as a family again soon. Sean is a go-go-go person, getting all of our tech needs working 24/7 and making us laugh, too.
Ted is our fearless leader for the command center. He's the guy in charge of Quisqueya's coordination and relief efforts. Ted grew up in Haiti, but had just returned to work at Quisqueya when we did, in December. He came here to be the plant manager and wound up running a relief center!
Director Steve! We stayed with Steve, Ruth, Suzanna and Sebastian for our first week here and enjoyed them so much. Steve's had double duty, managing the overall campus as a school, Army center, medical relief center, and Haitian camp-out, in addition to caring for his wife and kids, who have enrolled in school in Kentucky. All that plus budgets, human resources, transfer students, media, fundraising, etc etc. Oh and did I mention he's hosting people at his house- both foreign doctors and about 15 now-homeless Haitian relatives of his maid, Odanie? Quite a full plate. Pray for Steve's leadership and strength!
Els, our Dutchwoman! Els has been serving constantly, managing alumni relations, millions of emails, incoming medical mission teams, and a million other things. She's the one who handled the middle-of-the-night on-campus birth of little Thalina in our music classroom last week. Her birthday was last week, and her one request was that the Army let her ride in a helicopter. Well, she got a late birthday present....
There was a need for someone to ride in a helicopter for a medicine delivery, and Els was the one for the job! Life dream fulfilled!
Then, of course, there are my students:) Rami, Kevin, Fabian, Krystelle, Virg-loty, Marlee.... they are such fun. There are certainly advantages to being a very small school, and the main one is relationships with students. I don't have to manage them like I would with a classroom of 30- I can really teach.
Pizza and card games during snack time. Maika is quite the card shark.
Littlest ones memorizing their verse.
Just another day at Quisqueya in Port-au-Prince!



  1. This might be my most favorite post yet!! I love getting to know the people that you live with. I love a little glimpse into your school. I also love recognizing your handwriting on the board. :) Thanks for always keeping us updated with all the little details. Love you!!

  2. Oh, those are vocabulary words! I was worried they were notes to yourself on your teaching... (abrasive? surely not!) :^) :^)

  3. I substitute teach middle & high school here in WA. I'm so envious of your class since I see kids 30+ at a time with most classes lasting less than an hour. Getting to know your kids personally, Wow! Did you have to pick such a hard way to get that opportunity? God's blessings on all your endeavors.

  4. Loved this post! I feel like I met "the family". Thanks for sharing these pics with us.

    I saw the laundry hanging in that last pic and feel sorry for whoever's job that is! How does the school handle all the laundry for so many people right now?

    So glad you're feeling better Katie.



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