Before we start the introductions, here’s an interesting side note about names in Haiti.
First of all, except for rare cases, everybody has a nickname. Secondly, they very likely go by their nickname more than they go by their real name. It may be years before you even know their real name. Or if their name is, for example, Metchmaksonloveky, it may just be too much work to call them by it.
Also, in Haiti, when a woman gets married, she becomes known by her husband’s first name. So, if I were to marry John Smith, I would be Mrs. John, not Mrs. Smith. Pretty much everyone except my husband, kids, and immediate family would call me Mrs. John. (In fact, it really was years before I knew the first names of most of the ladies on our hospitality staff.)
Now, to make it even more confusing, if my husband has a nickname (and you can pretty much bet he does), I may be known by his nickname. So, if John Smith is usually called Jojo, I will be called Mrs. Jojo.
Got it? Ok, now you’re ready.
Introducing…Our hospitality staff! These are the man and women who prepare and serve the meals of the school food program, who keep Lemuel clean, and who care for other Lemuel staff, as well as visitors.
(pronounced “jee-nel,” using a soft “j” sound)
If you come to visit us at Lemuel, you will soon know this smile. Jinel is the director of hospitality. He can plan menus, develop market lists, budget food funds, and manage his staff of 9 ladies like nobody’s business.
Juvena (again, soft “j” sound)
A.k.a, Mme Celissa OR Mme Ce (sounds like “say”)
(Oh, another note about names: Madame (Mme.) is usually shortened to “ma(n).” That’s not pronounced like “man,” but more like saying “ma” through your nose.)
Mme Celissa is second in command to Jinel. She helps with menu planning and marketing, and she oversees the food preparation for the school and for visitors.
A.k.a, Mme Wisly
Mme Wisly has been working in the school kitchen for several years. She has endured the smoke and heat of the wood fires (in past years), always with her infectious smile and overflowing thankfulness. If you want to make her day, visit her in the school kitchen and let her give you a little food.
A.k.a., Mme Obert (don’t pronounce the “t”) OR Mme Bebe (short “e” sound)
Mme Obert is one of Lemuel’s earliest employees on the Plateau. She and Mme Tiferne used to essentially be THE hospitality staff! Mme Obert keeps the Lemuel House yard swept (yes, we sweep our yards) and the smaller buildings clean.
A.k.a., Mme Tiferne, OR just Mme Ferne (you don’t really say the “r”)
Along with Mme Obert, Mme Tiferne was one of Lemuel’s first employees on the Plateau. I can still remember her and her small son bringing water on their donkeys to water the small trees on the Lemuel campus!
A.k.a., Mme Gulbert (pronounced “geel-bare”, with a hard “g”) OR Mme Be (short “e”)
Mme Gulbert is responsible to keep the Lemuel House clean and organized…no easy task at grand central station! She also does the laundry in the old-fashioned wringer washer.
Islande (pronounced “Eez-lahnd”)
A.k.a. Mme Adrien OR Mme Ti Bogi OR just Mme Bogi
Mme Bogi keeps a large section of the yard swept and clean, and also lends a hand in the kitchen, serving lunch to the kids and helping with dishes. (Before we switched to charcoal, she also endured the smoke and heat of those wood fires for a few years along with Mme Wisly in order to give the school kids a meal every day.)
A.k.a., Mme Carlo
Mme Carlo is the newest member of the hospitality staff. This is her second year with us. She cleans the classrooms in the school and sweeps the school yard.
A.k.a., Mme Brunel (“Bree-nel”)
Wilda does not work on the main campus, but helps with housework at Manis and Judy’s house and my (Krischelle’s) house. She also lends a hand when there are visitors at Lemuel.
A.k.a., Ciline (Easy!)
A hard worker with a ready smile, Ciline is the youngest member of our hospitality staff. She is always ready to throw herself into whatever needs to be done and seems to have boundless energy!
We are so proud of the ladies and gent on our hospitality staff. They have come a long way! They have worked hard to grow in their knowledge and develop their skills to the point that they can not only adeptly handle the day to day cooking and cleaning needs on campus, but can also receive and care for the needs of guests and visiting teams with little help from the administrative staff.
Some of the strongest believers on Lemuel’s staff are a part of hospitality. They are a praying force, meeting every morning to sing a song or two and start the day off with prayer. Please pray that the members of our hospitality staff would not only grow in their job skills, but in their faith as well. Please pray for Jinel, that God would give him the wisdom he needs to lead and invest in his staff.