Our boys played a big soccer game against the nearby high school, Maranatha, this Friday afternoon. 2 years ago, when I was living at HFC, we played against Maranatha and lost 3-1. And when I called Mathurin the night before the big day, he said our chances were 50-50. I wanted so badly to go and cheer my boys on, but our overheating car couldn't make the journey and my Haitian taxi driver is in Miami, so the best I could do was call the next day for the play by play.
Jawar, the boys' coach, was not at the game because he had given them the week off for exams. So the level-headed, well respected, soccer fanatic Mathurin stepped up to the plate. With Duckhein, Alex, and the other older boys, he fashioned a plan of attack. In the first half, mainly younger and less experienced players such as Drisk, Camille, Jefthe, and Wilson played with a core made up of Bernadin, John Peter, Miscardet, Jacques, and Dorval. Then they brought in the big guns for the second half: Duckhein, Peterson, Samelo, Argusto, and Mathurin.
The strategy worked. In the first half, Alex scored, but the Maranatha team came back and scored, tying the game at 1-1 going into the second half. From then on, it was our game! Mathurin scored a beatiful header on a pass by Samelo, and Duck scored on a shot near the goal. Our boys pranced away from a 3-1 victory, chanting, "Marion G Austin is the best! We're the champions!"
On Saturday evening, when I talked to the boys, they were still on a high from the joy of winning. I hope they will be able to buckle down and prepare for the last 2 days of exams. At least the exams are being conducted in the usual way, with two or three subjects each day, instead of the five or six shorter exams that had been thrown at them every day during the November exams. Everyone is very glad to have the old way back.
Our kids got an early Christmas gift: the Bergeron family sent money for each of the children to choose and buy his or her own gift. This week, Michaelle and Lamarre took the kids out in small groups to buy their gifts. Many chose clothes or new shoes. Emmanuel said he was the only one that wasn't pleased with what he got - the store did not have the precise pair of sneakers he was hoping to find. That's Emmanuel. He is very hard to please! But from all the other kids, "Thank you, Bergerons!"
One more thing. The internet is down at the orphanage, so don't worry if you have not received any emails recently. I think all we need to do is pay this month's fees and it should come back up again. In the meantime, if you would like to send a SHORT message to one of the children, you may email it to me and I will give it to him/her when I go to HFC at Christmas.