The Kids Started School!
I know that a statement like “The Kids Started School” is not overly exciting to many of us. School, in America, is kind of just what you do when August/September comes around. The idea of not going to school for anyone under the age of 18 is largely unheard of, and parents in America know the exact date for the first day of school about 1 year before it actually happens. At All Things New, however, it is a huge deal!
In the 9 years we have been working in Haiti, I can only remember 1 time that school started on the day it was planned to start, and this year was not one of those years. This is also the first year since ATN started that I have not been able to be down in Haiti helping the kids get ready.
While it was sad for us not to be there, it is an incredible testimony to our employees that all of our kids had everything that they needed on September 21. That is a great testimony because getting ready for school in Haiti is a lot different than getting ready for school in America.
- In America, you know at least a year in advance when the next school year is starting. In Haiti, you know approximately 24 hours before the first day (this is an exaggeration of course, by not by much).
- In America, to get school supplies, you either fight the crowd in Target or Walmart for a couple of hours or you order everything online to be safely deliverd to your home. In Haiti, Lener, Gina, and Violenne spent hours prepping for every thing every child needed. Lener then spent hours in an outdoor market looking for the right things at the right price.
- In America, your kids receive their books on the first day of class. In Haiti, Lener collects class lists for all of our children (they are different for different schools) and he returns to both a local bookstore and again to the outdoor market to try and find everything the kids need.
- In America, you have open house and “Meet The Teacher” days. In Haiti, you find out your teacher when you walk into school and parents rarely interact with the child’s teacher.
- In America, you purchase a couple of new outfits for your kids and they are ready for the school year. In Haiti, you purchase the fabric (again at the outdoor market) that each school tells you, find a tailor/seamstress to make the uniforms from hand, and then you hope that those uniforms fit for the majority of the upcoming year.
- In America, you have to watch out for hurricanes, snow days, or other weather related issues that may close school. In Haiti, each of the past 3 years have been cut dramatically short by political and social upheaval and the fear of kidnapping.
There are a lot of other differences, and it may seem like I am complaining, but please believe that I am not. Things are just different in the 2 countries, and especially when it comes to school.
The reality is that we at All Things New are 100% completely blessed by the work that our employees do, even in our absence. Gina, Lener, and Violenne did an amazing job and they have been doing it for years.
Please join me in prayer for our kids and for their school. Things in Haiti are difficult, but 2 things that can never be taken from our kids is their relationship with Jesus Christ, and the education that they are receiving each year. We are so thankful for all that you do to help in those ways! Please continue to pray that our kids use these things to do great things in their lives!