Day 4: Heartwarming and Heart Stopping!

Rise and shine at 6am, greeting the rosy-fingered dawn! We all arrive by bus at the school ready to face our different tasks.

First, the heartwarming part…

This morning before the start of church services, I was asked to join a group from Tulsa Oklahoma’s Kids Against Hunger on a special event! KAH had paid to have a house built for a Haitian family. Early in that week the KAH team was in the midst of painting the house, which was to be presented to a woman named Mireille and her family. There was quite a bit of shopping for furniture and household supplies.  The KAH menfolk built bunk beds and a shelving unit for the house. Mireille only knew a little of what had been prepared but already her children suspected that this house would be theirs. Later in the week curtains were hung, the furniture set in place, the beds made, new clothes laid out, toys placed in toy bins and special gifts were in their places in the house.

We drove up to the top of a steep mountain, a gorgeous site with a 360 degree view of mountains, trees and ocean. We gathered around the site marveling at the views outside as well as the details inside the house, including a tiled floor.

Mireille and her youngest son.Aug31MireilleSon

Then Renée presented the new 2-room home to Mireille and her children, in Creole of course!

Presenting the house to MireilleAug31-2013ReneePresentsThe main entry roomAug31MainFrontRoomA kerosene lampAug31-2013LightThe children’s bunk beds with toys and clothingAug31-2013BunkBeds

There were many tears of joy (both American and Haitian!) during the prayer and the exhortations that followed.

Tears of joyAug31-2013Tears

Mireille was overwhelmed and in tears, clinging to me, almost preventing me from leaving. It was wonderful to see the family later on at church, the children all wearing their new clothes and sun glasses! Truly a heartwarming scene!

A dresser and presents for the familyAug31-2013Treats
When we returned down the mountain it was almost time to begin the Sunday services. I recognized Andrew and Angie Sutton from a previous visit to Haiti. They direct the Hands and Feet project in Grand-Goâve. There was much singing throughout the service. Pastor Kevin spoke about balance in honesty and balance of the heart.

Guests were kindly introduced. Then after more singing, Pastor Lex made the announcements we had expected, saying that some classes would resume the next day and that Computer Club would begin as well. Now we could begin in earnest to prepare lessons. We decided to teach a week’s worth on newspapers, taking notes, creating interview questions, acting out interviews with partners, going to sites in town for interviews and after that actually posting results of the interviews! Lots to accomplish ahead!

Onward to the heart stopping part: the technical front

We had much planning and discussing ahead of us.Sept1-2013HaitiMOHIJeanide and Junior worked on creating drawings in the Paint Activity.Sept1-2013JeanideJunior1Yesterday was a difficult day in which we recovered the school server’s digital library disk.  Recall Silar threw his Saturday schedule up in the air to cross town on a motorcycle to his orphanage where he picked up the digital library disk.  Then he traveled to a crammed public square (Clercine), where he met Jeanide, whom he hardly knows, handing her the disk.  Then she continued on to the airport where she met the Mission of Hope school bus, which drove her with the system to the Mission in Grand Goave.  It felt like a commando operation.

But today was no easy day either as the various parts of the digital library system did not interconnect as they should.  This became increasingly clear when George gave us a fantastic demo on his MacBook, but somehow this amazing new content would not cleanly load (if at all) on XO laptops!

George presents a demo of IIAB (Internet-in-a-Box)Sept1GeorgeDemo

Junior watches demo on PC and on children’s laptopsSept1-2013GeorgeDemo2One of the brightly illustrated Creole e-booksSept1-2013GeorgeDemo3Once Elisabeth arrived later in the afternoon, she and Junior were able to browse through  Khan Academy videos.  Soon after, Sora raced off over the mountain (and overnight boat) to return to her site near the Dominican border.

George was trying to get Internet-in-a-Box (IIAB) working, with Kevin Groder’s borrowed 1.5 TB USB3 drive, after yesterday’s beyond-the-call heroics borrowing Silar’s IIAB drive. We soon began facing the reality that IIAB just did not work on all XO-1 laptops even with the brand new software we installed on all XO-1s back in March.

This was the weekend of nightmares when neither the server nor the kids’ computers would cleanly talk to one another. The 36 science e-books donated by Educa Vision Inc barely worked, due to March’s Release 11.3.1 software refusing to easily display PDFs.

Thus began our next commando operation of the coming 3 days, evaluating how XO-1 laptops might receive brain transplants to get IIAB maps working, as well as the 36 science books cleanly loading into kids’ browsers.

The tech team stayed up late that night, uncovering glitches. One heart-stopping day indeed!


About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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One Response to Day 4: Heartwarming and Heart Stopping!

  1. Alice Jordon says:

    Love the pictures of the young mother, her children and their new house! How exciting!

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