I've had computer problems this month and I've only been able to use the computer at work. Hence the lack of news. So here are the little tidbits that I have accrued over the last 3 weeks.
The girls' phone had been dysfunctional and the boys have never had a phone, so early this month, with the generosity of the Bergeron family, both the boys and the girls were given new cell phones. It has been a relief to be able to call them when I want and to know that they can reach me whenever they need. Our phone conversations have told me that most of the kids passed their October exams, although there is the usual crowd of Nadia, Acheley, Richecarde, and Job that did not pass. I was happily surprised to hear that Camille, Stev, Wislandy, and Merline Jean all passed but I was deeply disappointed that Duckhein, Drisk, Miscardet, and Emmanuel did not. John Peter and Daniel were both first in their classes, and Stephanie Q was not able to take her exams because her eyes were bothering her the week of exams. Their next exams start on December 12th and Christmas vacation begins on the 21st.
Both Bernadin and Stephanie told me that our neighborhood in Bolosse has gotten safer and that there have been no shootings in the past few months. They also assured me that the recent hurricane and storms did not damage the orphanage in any way. According to Stephanie, the orphanage is a new place. She wouldn't tell me all the changes, but she said that the girls have new sheets on their beds and they have repainted the walls downstairs. The soccer field is clear, but the boys have been playing on another field that I don't know. They have promised to take me there when I come to visit. This week, there hasn't been any soccer playing because their coach Manno is on vacation. He's a good man, genuinely fond of the children, especially Evens and Stephanie. On December 27th, he will be getting married. The kids have been looking forward to his wedding for months!
Duckhein's arm, which he broke playing soccer early this summer, has healed crooked. His doctors have advised a second operation this December to correct the deformity. Duck says that he is not scared; he wants to get the arm straightened. In the meantime, Dr Bernard and Coach Manno have not permitted him to play soccer because they are afraid that he will reinjure the arm. Hopefully after his operation, the arm will be fully healed and he will be able to keep playing his favorite game.
Se Pradel, the boys' head nanny, and Miltha, the girls' head nanny, have switched jobs. The boys didn't have much to say about Miltha (real men don't talk about their nannies) but the girls said that they loved Se Pradel. They say she is very nice, even though she does make them do more chores on the weekends. Personally, I think that's a good thing because the girls' rooms could get catastrophic by the end of the week. Miltha is overseeing devotions at the boys' house, but following their tradition of having one of the boys lead for a week, with that boy choosing who prays, who reads, and what songs they sing. Currently, the boys are reading Revelation.
The internet is not working so I apologize again to everyone who is hoping to hear from the children. The repairmen have been called but they have not made it to Bolosse yet. But don't give up! The wonderful Bryn Boorman will be arriving at Fort Mercredi in 10 days, and she will be staying for at least 6 months, filling the role that first Kim, then I, then Nikki created, teaching English and computers and Bible, and just being there for the kids when they need some love. One of the perks of having her there will be an adult who understands computers and who will advocate for functional internet. We're trusting God for the doors of communication to open again through her.