This is one of those posts for the grandmothers. "The deets", as the kids say.
Here's my update:
This week I am teaching about writing research papers in MLA format (9th and 11th English), and Brazil + rainforests + income gap in Latin America (World Cultures). World Cultures has spent the week debating, and feisty discussions get heated between the juniors and seniors. Speech & Stage consists of ten sophomore girls who could not be more diverse, and I absolutely love watching them grow and challenge themselves. I secretly like when the shy girl randomly draws the screaming monologue from Talledega Nights, or when the Palestinian-Haitian girl gets the one from Steel Magnolias, and then knocks the Southern drawl out of the park.
Tomorrow I'm having a sleepover with my discipleship group and Brittany's at her house. There's a pep rally after school and then a basketball game, neither of which have happened at Quisqueya in the last year. Afterward, it'll be pizza, movies, snacks, games, the works. I visited their home for the first time tonight- a lovely home that whose upstairs windows literally hang over the tent city next door. There are a dozen wires coming out of their electrical box, where tent-dwelling neighbors have "borrowed" their power.
On Saturday is a service day at Quisqueya. B and I will supervise students helping teachers and working on the grounds, while other groups of kids are heading off to serve at the TeacHaiti School and a rural school.
Next weekend is staff retreat, which is a free trip to the beach! Haiti's beaches are so lovely. Soon after, we'll celebrate Ben's birthday & Valentine's, which happens to be on the night that Student Council is holding a staff appreciation dinner. No more romantic way to ring in the big 2-7 than to spend an evening with your students :)
We finally figured out, 6 months later, how to turn on our gas oven, so we're making nachos nonstop as well as popcorn on the stove. We keep literally almost all of our food in our tiny fridge (which is shorter than I am) because of our ant infestation. They eat through the foil of Pop Tarts, and they even eat our laundry. Grossest place I regularly find ants: on my toothbrush.
A final thing I want to mention is long overdue. Ben and I are chaperoning some high school students from Quisqueya on a history trip to Washington, DC in March over our Karnival Break. The 10th-12th graders went through a huge application process including writing a research paper, and they are so excited. They are all wishing for snow; many of them have never seen it in person. They've been raising money, designing a tshirt, and asking constantly if we've been approved for the White House tour (we find out in late February).
This week's happy thought: Ben is buying me my overdue Christmas present tomorrow. There really is no word for this item, either in Kreyol or English. It is a fairly common item here, but we all describe it by its function: "tennis racket that kills mosquitoes". It's a plastic tennis racket, but the strings are electrified, like a handheld bug zapper. Marchans sell them on the streets. Mine is coming tomorrow, once we can figure out how to say that in Kreyol. Vengeance shall be mine.
Keep praying for our students, friends! I pray tomorrow will bring fruitful conversation and a chance to love on our discipleship girls. A special prayer request goes out for one student who has confided about facing some heavy depression issues.