Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Silly Face

This is a very silly face.

This is the face you make when you are in Dallas at Vacation Bible School,
and it's Friday,
and you are announcing to a room of 600 children that their fundraiser for TeacHaiti has raised....






And that that is enough to put


little kids in the TeacHaiti program next year.

Holy crazy face, Batman. I don't mind. I'd make that face all day for that kind of amazing fundraising. And yes, just like last year, that $8,000 came mostly in change.

And yes, just like always, we did count it all by hand!

A stroll down memory land: remember when we did this same VBS, and this same fundraiser, in 2010, except there were masked riders and M&M costumes involved?


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Summer Reading List

I have a stack sitting by my bedside, ready for summer devouring:

1) Grace-Based Parenting by Tim Kimmel
2) The Art and Science of Teaching by Robert Marzano

3) Norms & Nobility: A Treatise on Education by David Hicks

4) Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

5) In the Middle by Nancy Atwell

6) A Christian Paideia: The Habitual Vision of Greatness by Bruce Lockerbie

7) 6+1 Traits of Writing

Nonfiction. Dense. Serious. Why can't I just re-read The Hunger Games?

With the exception of Eating Animals, they are all either required or recommended for my job. I want to be awesome at my job. I just can't really see myself poolside at a bachelorette weekend with this lot. Oh well.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Blackberrys, Alpacas, and the King of Siam

We're done with the school year.


I proctored finals and graded all week. When proctoring an exam, all backpacks must be against the wall, and all electronic devices must be on the teacher's desk.

I laughed to myself at this sight:
Proof that Haiti has a middle class

Then, the mail came early! And there was a giant box of books from Debbie, my mom's friend and college roommate.
Thank you, thank you, Debbie!
Fun fact: Debbie's great aunt wrote Anna and the King of Siam, the novel that inspired the broadway musical The King and I as well as Anna and the King, the recent movie with Jodie Foster. Debbie's great aunt was a missionary in Siam, and she sent a beautiful copy of that book for my classroom library.

Other fun fact: Debbie has a great blog. She reads. She gardens. She knits. She shears alpacas.

This week we are working in our classrooms, cleaning and putting away the detritus of another school year.

Saturday will be busy: a funeral, graduation, and prom.

We fly back to the √Čtats-Unis on Sunday. 


Saturday, June 2, 2012

TeacHaiti Field Day

Last Friday the Quisqueya 9th grade put on a field day for the children of the TeacHaiti School of Hope. The 9th grade developed stations and rotated the 75 children: tug-of war, rainbow parachute, snacks, singing, two playgrounds, water balloons, face painting, tag, and soccer.
This is Berllange. She is three. In Haiti there are three years of kindergarten, so she's one of the youngest children at TeacHaiti School of Hope.

Last summer my friend Belinda heard about TeacHaiti and her heart was touched. She signed up to be a sponsor, and was assigned to Berllange. Now Berllange has a hot, nutritious lunch every day. She's wearing a new uniform, including shoes. She has books and school supplies, plus all her immunizations and visits from medical and dental mission teams.

It's pretty incredible when I think about it. Love moving across the planet that way.

Back to field day.
Relay races
Parachute games with kindergarten
The smiles get me
Jean-Bertrand is sponsored by my friends the Bowlins!
Louna is sponsored by a family from League City, Texas!
Guilene is sponsored by my friends the Henrys!
First grade hanging out after lunch
Tug-of-war. Manoucheka got the full-face treatment at the face painting table!
Kindergarteners line up for hot dogs
Singing "Change My Heart, Oh God", which they learned in English class
Piling on to one of our 9th graders during a fiesty game of tag
Friday was really special. I love my Quisqueya students, and I love the TeacHaiti students. To see them interacting and loving one another was really special.

To the TeacHaiti supporters:

Your donations go to a real child.
With a name.
Who I may have met personally.

They matter.

Thank you.


Friday, June 1, 2012

Six Random Thoughts

Six random, unorganized thoughts that are in my mind right now.

You know what I wish I could bottle from Haiti and send to all of you in developed countries?
The heat. The hot, sticky, inescapable, oppressive. The heat that desiccates your body, saps your strength, and leads to irritability. I want you to experience this heat the way I do.

I want you to sit in a concrete box and at the hottest part of the day I want you to shut off all your power. The school is having generator issues and it always- always- happens after lunch, when the sun is most on my classroom windows, when the students are most ready to go home, and when I have the least strength to fight back. I want you to experience sweat every.where. I want you come home from your hot classroom, walk across the hot street and into your hot apartment. Peel off your sweat-soaked clothes and hang them up to air dry before you put them into the dirty clothes because you do not want them to mildew. I want you to coordinate fans around you to circulate air and dry the sweat on your body. Then I want you to get a restless night of sleep because wherever your body lays it is sweating into the sheets. To willfully avoid touching your spouse because they are a heat generator and it is already hot. So hot that even brushing ankles in the night feels like your legs might spontaneously combust from the added heat.

It Is All in Your Head.
There is a woman who helps out at my school who has been in Haiti for around 30 years. She said that every May people will wipe sweat off of them and say, "I do not remember it being this hot last May." She will tell you it was this hot last May. It is hot every May, June, July, August, and September. She told me this not knowing about the above rant. She has had nearly 30 Mays in Haiti... but really, was it this hot last year?

You Tracking With That?
I started the school year without a group of high school boys to mentor. I was really upset about this. I considered it one of the many super-important things that only I could do correctly. Fast forward to May and I was given the group of a leader who had to step away from work. It was awesome to talk with and pray for young men again. We ended our year together bonding only the way that guys can. We ate pizza and listened to a Matt Chandler podcast.

In 2007 Matt Chandler did three sermons on biblical masculinity. I played them the first one. Huge success. There is something about Matt's fluctuating volume, sense of humor, and use of the phrase, "You tracking with that?" that young people love. Combine it with a pizza with five different kinds of meat, and you have a recipe for male discipleship success.

It is closing time here at QCS. Not for good, just for this school year.  I could not be more pleased with the way the year ended. This crop of seniors were a unique bunch they have certainly made teaching interesting. Many universities in the US, Canada, and France are getting a good group of freshmen.

Homeward Bound
As I am typing this there are 11 days until I am in Dallas. I have the job of my dreams right now. However, one of the reasons it is my dream job is because I have a built-in break. This summer we have six weeks off and we will spend nearly all of it is sunny, scenic Dallas, Texas. I have a summer to-do list on my computer. I hope to accomplish all of the things on it. However, most of the things are food related... so I should probably add P90X, Cross Fit or at least jogging to the list (might be "yogging", I am not sure if it's a soft J).

My Reading List
I am reading Generous Justice by Tim Keller. The book is small, but very dense, like most of Keller's writing. His reasoning for justice, mercy, and the application of how to love mercy and to do justice are outstanding. However the book will cause you some uncomfortable moments. Even though I live in Haiti (or especially because I live in Haiti) I do not consider charity and mercy towards the poor something that I have accomplished. Keller's book has urged my to reconsider how I live some areas of my life. This book, paired with When Helping Hurts, would make a good introduction on how to effectively minister to those who are less fortunate than you in a way that is life-giving.



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