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Summer Vacation has Started! Except for…

The other day, I passed by the school during recess time and found this game in process…

The team on the left has a small rock.  One person is responsible to walk behind the others while everyone sings and secretly hide the rock in someone’s hands.  Once the song ends, the leader of the group on the right chooses one person to guess who on the other team has the rock.  If she guesses wrong, the person she picked will slap her hands! You can see this happen in the video, in fact.  In this particular round, the person who had the rock was the same girl who was responsible for hiding it!  She never passed it off to anyone else.

As I entered the school courtyard, some other girls were playing with the jump rope.

They were not jumping rope in the standard way, but were playing a game kind of like limbo…only opposite.  So, each person jumps over the rope, and after each successful jump, they raise it higher.

Most of the boys can be found doing one thing….playing soccer!  As I was on my way to get a picture of them too, the bell sounded.  I quickly caught this one as some of them kicked the balls back to the school, squeezing out every possible moment of play before returning to class!

This week, the students had their final exams, and summer vacation officially started on Thursday!  One thing remains to close out the year for the school:  the kindergarten graduation.  Only the students in the Kindergarten 3 class will graduate.  They will be moving on to primary school next year.

Kindergarten graduation is quite an event in Haiti.  Since Thérèse is the Kindergarten 3 teacher, she is the person primarily responsible for planning the graduation ceremony.  Below she explains a little bit about what goes into it:

To organize a graduation, you have to plan several months in advance, especially when it is for little children. First, you need to give the graduating class a theme name. You need to choose a theme color that goes with the name.  (If you choose “Hope” as a theme, for example, the color will be green.) You need to find a “Parenn” and a “Marenn” who will financially support the class. For example, they may provide the graduating children with a gift, or they may hold a reception for them after the ceremony. After these things are planned, you need to prepare the kids and hold practices with them.  This is the most difficult part.  You need to make sure that everything the kids will do in the ceremony goes with the graduation theme.

“Parenn” and “Marenn” could be translated as godfather and godmother.  The role of this man and woman in a graduation is to support and encourage the graduates.  They usually give some kind of gift or other financial support, and one or both of them will give a speech during the graduation ceremony.

The reason Thérèse must hold so many practices with the kids is because during the ceremony, they will recite, sing, and dance to demonstrate all that they have learned.  They even will pass on the “torch” of Kindergarten 3 to the rising class of Kindergarten 2.

You can see all of this in action in the coming blog post covering the kindergarten graduation.  Stay tuned!

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