Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Woogina

When Katie's mom was here in September we went on a special trip to the TeacHaiti School of Hope that Saturday. Susan was going to be offering advice on financial planning for a few of the teachers that we work with at QCS so we had to make an early morning visit and then get back home.

Most of the parents would be at the TeacHaiti School of Hope without their kids, just to pick up some school supplies and receive information from Miquette. However, one family was there for something special; one little girl would be meeting her sponsor.

Katie's parents are sponsoring a student and Miquette had arranged for the little girl and Susan to meet on this Saturday. She told the parents to make sure and bring their daughter so she could meet the woman who was making school possible for her.

We had to get up uncomfortably early. Saturdays are special to me because I try and catch up on my sleep deficit from the week. but it was surely worth it. When we walked out of our gate, Miquette's brother Dan was waiting for us with his Tap-tap and an employee of the school, Bellamy. Miquette and TeacHaiti sponsor 4 or 5 current and former Quisqueya employees' children.

I told Bellamy to ride up front with Dan and the 3 blan (Katie, her mom Susan, and me) climbed into the back of the tap-tap. Off we went. Susan is a brave lady, but watching her bounce around the in back of Dan's tap-tap caused me to laugh so hard I teared up a time or two. Imagine a silver-grey tap-tap with 3 white people in the back. One of whom is a 6 foot tall blond woman. When Haitians would look into the tap-tap as we passed they had to do a double take!
The ride to the school was brutal. The three of us were bounced and flung all around the bed of the tap-tap.  As we neared the last turn before the school we slowed to a stop. A Haitian family of four jumped in the back with us: two parents and their two children. One was a girl dressed in the poofiest-frilliest-pinkest dress I have seen in Haiti. With pink shoes and socks to match. Probably the best outfit the little girl owned. The father and I exchanged pleasantries in Creole and bounced, literally, toward the school.

When we got to the school, Miquette gave us a tour and took us to the roof to show us where the kids would be playing soccer. As we stood on the roof, sweating like it was our job at only 9 am, Miquette excused herself and went back inside for a moment. She returned with the pink princess from our tap-tap ride: Susan's sponsor child, Woogina.
Miquette translated while Susan and Woogina talked.
Well, okay mostly Susan talked and Woogina muttered something we couldn't hear. But it was special!
What could we have expected from the little one. Up on the roof of her school, in her best outfit, meeting 3 white people, two of them taking pictures the whole time. The woman who runs your school asking you questions... Look, if you did that to me I might have tried to jump off the roof!

All kidding aside, this was a great opportunity to do something most of us will never get to do. Put a specific name and face with poverty, and sacrifice. Woogina's story is personal to Susan, she now has someone to think about when considering her giving to TeacHaiti and other causes.

I have many friends whose families support a child through World Vision or Compassion International. Few have visited their sponsor child in their home country. Those who have say it made their monthly donation come alive to them. I know this was the case for Susan, Katie and I.

And we will be praying and thinking about little Woogina as she starts third grade TODAY on the first day of the inaugural year of the TeacHaiti School of Hope. Over 200 kids are sponsored by TeacHaiti for the upcoming school year, and over 60 of them will attend the TeacHaiti School of Hope just down the street from us. Will you join us in praying for them?

We love you, little Woogina!

Ben

1 comment:

  1. I heartily echo that. We have been able to meet our World Vision sponsored children in Peru and in Rwanda. It was a life changing experience and one that I will never forget.

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