So I just read my daily global intelligence email from Medex, and the report from last night indicated "widespread demonstrations" scheduled for today to protest fuel prices. News to me! It is 5:30 and I didn't see a thing unusual today.
Actually, that's not entirely true, because the first thing I heard this morning upon waking was helicopter blades whooshing not far above our house. My first words to Ben were: check your Twitter. Ben follows several English-speaking reporters who are in Haiti, including a freelancer for AOL, an AP reporter or two, and the correspondent for the Miami Herald. Nothing on the Twitter feed, so we went about our day as usual.
The final round of runoff presidential elections having taken place a few weeks ago, we had read in the news that the results would be announced Thursday, March 31. Then today Ben read that announcement will be pushed back a week, to Monday, April 4. Good grief. These elections initially happened the week of Thanksgiving.
There are discussions of manifestations possible due to gas prices, which have gone up over $1 US per gallon. In one sense, we follow these things closely. In another sense, we've learned to have a kind of casual "eh" attitude about reports of problems, because we've gotten a bit of "freak out fatigue" this year preparing for hurricanes, manifestations, and ex-dictators-reappearing chaos that did not bring down the sky as predicted.
You also can't spend you life freaking out, but you do need to be prepared. In homage to my second favorite American novel Alas Babylon, I have nicknamed our "emergency food" cabinet (yes, it is isolated from the other groceries to avoid tempting us) the Iron Rations.
In other news this week..... life goes on. Prepping lessons, grading tests. Sometimes one of us will have an existential identity crisis while grading tests, occasionally shouting out loud, "I told them this!" or "this was straight off the review guide!" Perhaps this is a rookie-teacher mistake and all you vets are smiling knowingly to yourselves, but we often are thrown into spirals of self-doubt when kids fail our assignments. What portion of responsibility for an F on a test is mine? The parent's? The student's?
I am teaching about the Middle East right now in World Cultures class, and it's been a very touchy topic as Quisqueya (and Haiti) has, interestingly, a large Syrian and Lebanese population. There are four boys in my class whose grandparents currently live in Syria, resulting in very close ties. They have all visited there, many for long summer stays. There are many questions in class beginning with "my dad says......." It makes me nervous! Discussing Islam, Muslim governments, Israel, fundamentalism, issues related to women and the press..... it's quite a loaded conversation. Not to mention today's lesson focused largely on Iraq and Afghanistan, and much of the class conversation centered around the current wars there.
Which reminds me... have I mentioned on this blog that my little brother deployed? I have asked for prayer requests in every setting, every staff meeting, and every class I teach, but I'm not sure I've said it here. My little brother (who towers a foot taller than me) deployed with the Marines to Afghanistan last week. It will be a difficult season for him, his love Kelsey, and my mother in particular, as he stays there the better part of this year.
So all this to say, it's a tough week to be introducing vocab terms like WMD's, IED's, and the Taliban.
Ben is working on scheduling service projects for National Honor Society, which he recently re-started at Quisqueya, and I'm working with the newly-founded Drama Club on their first skit, to be performed in chapel next week. On and on we go!