An update on the situation...#3

Classes re-opened in the school on Tuesday!

Because of the stressful and panic-stricken way in which classes closed in November, the school staff opened each morning this week with a special chapel to help the kids relax and reintegrate into the school environment. The teachers also incorporated some fun activities into their class time. It was plainly evident that both teachers and students were so happy for school to begin again!

Despite the lingering difficulties of getting cash and supplies, the cafeteria continues to provide a light meal at noon.

We just received some boxes of rice yesterday from a friend in a nearby organization, so that will really help!

The rest of our staff continues to maintain their regular responsibilities and "do the next thing" with whatever resources are available to them.

DDL has been working on the preparation and development of a couple plots of land for reforestation. In the photo above, they are building a water cistern on a plot of land we affectionately refer to as "The Forest."

This is "The Forest." ... No, we're not crazy. We're dreamers with big faith in a powerful God.
The cistern will make it possible to keep the trees watered, even when it does not rain.
Things are hard, so its always good to take time for a pose and a laugh.

"The Forest" is actually a project taken on personally by Williamso, who has put much of his own time, money, and energy into it. He wants it to serve as an example to other young people to do the other words, he wants to encourage them to believe in, to invest in and to develop their own community. He has been using the project as a teaching ground for the young men and boys who are part of fòmasyon as well.

On the ladies' side, Josiane has also been leading by example in developing her own plot of land given to her by her father. Here, she is getting some help planting trees. She works very hard to water and protect these trees.

The rest of our staff--whose regular job duties have been disrupted due to restrictions caused by the country lockdown--are also participating in community development.

Some of the ladies have been collecting and sorting gravel from a new reforestation plot. We hope one day to also construct a medical clinic on this spot. Although this is a somewhat distant project, we have come to refer to this piece of land as the "clinic land." Collecting gravel is important because 1) it clears the ground for trees and 2) it is needed for construction.

Wilferne and Lenique also spent a couple days cleaning up the "clinic land."

This is a shot Judy took on the drone. The land in the middle with all the holes is Josiane's land. Across the canal in the upper left-hand corner is the "clinic land."

And of course, fòmasyon continues. Here is a parting shot from the boys fòmasyon this past Saturday. They are learning the traditional craft of weaving with thatch.

Passing down knowledge. Learning new skills. Valuing culture. Growing in confidence. Staying out of trouble...I could go on...

To be completely honest, it is still extremely difficult to evaluate the situation of the country. Things seem to be calming down a bit, especially in Port-au-Prince. However, Gonaïves--the city nearest to us--has been very cho ("hot", lots of unrest, etc). Security and stability are totally unpredictable. The road may be clear today and then buses waylaid tomorrow. Despite the uproar of the past few months, nothing has actually been least not as far as anyone can tell. There is seemingly nothing to show as a result. So no one can tell how long the "calm" will last. Functioning and supplies are still difficult. Two stories: