Some times I feel the only things that are consistent in Haiti are these: when you walk down the street it smells like urine, and things are always changing. This blog is not about the former, but the latter.
Things have been changing for us at QCS. Last week the US Military drastically reduced the number of troops operating from our school. Only the positive effects of this have been felt so far. One of the negatives, that they will stop paying for our diesel, is on my mind, but that is another blog for another time.
One benefit of their withdrawal has been the return of our soccer field, which our kids have loved as Katie has documented. And, as of yesterday, we got some classrooms back. Oh happy day.
On Saturday I walked through the high school building. It had been scrubbed clean! Even the classrooms that we so hastily stripped for our armed guests to use were somewhat put back together. But the building had an eerie feel to it, like there were ghosts of 2 months ago lingering. The lockers had been returned, but the bulletin board still proclaimed "Happy New Year!" and the schedule for Spirit Week that was supposed to start on January 18.
I walked into room 36, which we affectionately call our classroom, although I have learned not to hold any material thing too dearly in the last two months since I have seen how quickly they can be crushed, or taken away, or re-purposed. The desks were back in rows. A teachers' desk had been placed into a corner. The 9th grade English class' "About Me" collages were still on the wall. Katie's handwriting was still on the board. I think that was the most emotional and spooky feature. We have not set foot in that room for over two months and some parts of it were just as we left it- specifically, Katie's very distinct hand writing proclaiming the work that needed to be done for the week of January 11th.
So things change, again. We no longer hold high school classes in our living room. Every class has their own space. No more "one room school house" with all of elementary meeting in our school chapel. All of the teachers are happy to have the space and "normalcy" that comes with having their own room. However, the kids are not as enthusiastic. A few said that they liked how we had been doing things. I wonder why? I thought they would enjoy being back in a familiar building, seeing that things were again changing- but this time they would see things moving from chaos to order. From brokenness to restoration. At the very least, they would see they have lockers again.
Maybe that is expecting too much insight from teenagers. Maybe the school makes them think about the friends who have left Haiti, maybe it reminds them of how their lives were disrupted. Maybe they don't think about any of these things at all.