I haven't posted any news from the orphanage in a while. Here's the little bit that I've gleaned from my phone calls.
Nikki left Haiti on Saturday, January 5th. I know the kids were very sad to see her go. Saturday was also Jude Tilus' birthday; that darling little boy turned 12. The kids went back to school on Monday, the 7th. They were supposed to start on Thursday the 3rd, but practically no teachers showed up on the 3rd, so they postponed until Monday. The kids will be in school until Mardi Gras, February 5th. Haiti celebrates Mardi Gras (Kanaval) with big parades, music, parties and lots of drinking. Schools and businesses are closed that Monday and Tuesday. Last year, Dr Bernard brought all the children to his house in Thomasin for Mardi Gras; we had a blast. A week or two later, the kids will have exams again. Our kids did great on the December exams - only 2 boys and 2 girls failed - hopefully, they'll do just as well in February.
Things have been quiet at the orphanage. Bryn has started English classes in the afternoons. The older kids (group 1 and 2, I believe) have been teaching her Creole for now which benefits both Bryn and the kid-teachers. The younger groups have started right into English. I know that Bryn had all her teaching plans in her email which she has not been able to access due to the lack of internet at the orphanage, so pray that she'll keep being resourceful until she can use her curiculum. The girls are back to their usual boredom - if you ask them, they would tell you that all they do is walk up and down the stairs. That's not actually true. They play with the babies, they listen to music, they watch a movie on Friday nights with Bryn, they help out in the kitchen, they do chores in their rooms and the bathroom on the weekends, and they go to church and prayer on Sundays. The boys are being punished for overusing the playstation by not being allowed to use it for a month, but they are playing soccer and basketball whenever Coach Manno will take them.
Yesterday, was Carmelle's birthday. She turned 13. It's about time too! She has been taller than me since August 2006. I talked to the boys and the girls on the phone yesterday. The girls wanted to know about what I was doing and they asked about my classmates who had visited. They told me that Tatie Guirlaine has left Haiti and gone back to Canada to work. They miss her too. Peterson also told me there is a fat rat living in his room and that Dorval was trying to catch it. I could hear them yelling, "Gwo rat!" in the background and at first, I thought they were yelling at me. You see, they nicknamed Kim "Ti Sourit" (Little Mouse) and me "Gwo Rat" (Fat Rat) while we were living there. But no, Peterson assured me, there really is a gwo rat running around his room. The boys tell me that the men who gave us trouble on the soccer field have not come back since I left (Thank God!) and they are absolutely horrified at the thought of me living in 6 inches of snow. "Why don't you just come back to Haiti?" they ask, as if it's a simple matter of me choosing. Both boys and girls are desperate to know when my next visit will be. They ask every time I call them and every time, I have to tell them that I don't know, but I will tell them as soon as I have a ticket.
Currently the internet is still not working because the price of modems has mysteriously doubled in the past week. Logically, Dr Bernard refuses to buy one for twice the normal price. So we wait. And that's about it for news from Haiti.