Sunday, June 29, 2014

Having Fun with Teaching

One of the things that has been enjoyable about the time doing the Kid's Camp (VBS) is watching the Haitian translators do their thing. I think one in particular "found his calling" with kids. He is amazing! His name is Savelle (I think I spelled that right) and he has a way of working with the kids that we could have hoped for and God totally supplied abundantly (the other translators, Lindell and Pastor Joseph, also did great).

The picture above doesn't show our two translators but it does show the puppets they were using. We actually just gave them our script and they went to work conveying the ideas in Creole much better than we could, voices included!

Thanks goes to Diana Enkelis, Director of Children's Ministry at GBC, for working diligently on the scripts (in English, of course). We had four days of lessons and our Haitian translators performed them each day. I (Reid) was teaching the older kids (13-15 years old) and had to resort to letting them watch the puppet show which was apparently much more interesting than the way I was teaching them. :)

The kids also had lots of fun with the crafts and games that we were able to take with us. Crayons are not something they get to have. You should have heard the gleeful squeals when they ran under the parachute too!

Such a joy to bring joy to these kids in unexpected ways. It was also fun to see some of the parents join in too. Who says crafts are just for kids?

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tuesday: VBS Day 1

Fortunately for us, things are a little more slow paced here in Haiti. Breakfast this morning was around 9:00, so we had a leisurely time getting ready before things got started. After breakfast, kids started arriving a few at a time. They dress in their Sunday best for VBS, so the boys have collared shirts and khaki shorts or pants and all the girls have pretty dresses on. The little girls have pretty bows and hair things in.

Crates were set up for benches, and they all were seated to begin. It is amazing to all of us how they can sit and wait so patiently. Even the little ones. Our translators really got into the puppet show. We taught today on the Creation Story. After the puppet show, our kids stood up and as the translator read through the creation account, they used hand motions to describe each day's creation.

We had a craft for them to do. They colored a creation story wheel. For about a half an hour. :) They really enjoyed coloring, and wanted so badly for us to praise their work. It is fun to see their faces light up with a little praise. :)

After that, we played parachute games. That was a huge hit! When all was done for the day, the ladies fed all the kids. We estimated about 230 kids were here today. Can you imagine trying to feed that many children? Now imagine feeding them all with no stove or oven or even a table. Everything takes very long to prepare, and is no easy feat.

As I write tonight, all our kids are in one tent playing cards, laughing and talking. I am about to give them the lights out and in bed signal. Come back for more tomorrow!

Arrival and Set Up

We're here! We arrived in Port au Prince on Sunday at 9:30. Going through customs took quite a while, but wasn't complicated. We loaded up four vehicles with luggage and people. Pastor Riccardo took us to his house where some of the women had prepared us a meal of porridge, watermelon, bananas and the most delicious pineapple I have ever tasted.

After our meal, we loaded up the vehicles again and headed up to the property. One car got stuck about halfway up the mountain. The weight of the luggage and people was just too much to make it up the steepest part of the rocky dirt road. (I was in that car. We arrived at the property about two hours later, after they had sent another car back to get us.)

Guess what we did when we got here? We ate! :) And greeted the crew of four that had come early to prepare for the needs of our team. After our meal, we set up camp . In the photo below, you will see that we set up a pvc pipe structure and covered it with a huge tarp.

Bedtime was fairly early. We were so exhausted, most of us slept quite well.

Monday, we took things kind of slow. Our taxing travel schedule (ever tried sleeping overnight in an airport with lights on and tv blaring?), and adjusting to the climate had us all moving slower than usual.

We separated VBS materials from donated clothing and moved our personal bags down to our set up. It is about a 1/4 mile walk from our camp to the USAID building, where we are currently eating, hanging out and having VBS. We rested, and played with lots of kids.

Monday evening, there was a fearsome thunderstorm and deluge. It was more magnificent than anything any of us had ever experienced. It was very exciting! Lots of lightning and thunder. And what a downpour!

Unfortunately our structure could not withstand the winds, and it took all of us and several of our gracious Haitian hosts to remedy the situation. We had to shout to be heard above the noise of the storm. We removed the pvc pipe structure and staked the tarp down just over the tents to keep the rain out. Several of us grabbed soap and "showered" in the rain. Yep. It was like a shower head. Not even cold!