“A hungry stomach has no ears.”~Haitian proverb
It would be hard to exaggerate the importance of the school food program. As we explained last year, it could literally be stated: “No food, no school.” (Please click on the link to review why!)
This year, the kitchen staff was able to move into the cafeteria building! Though it is yet unfinished, it is a step up from the open air kitchen they had been using up until this point. Jinel even has his own office behind that salmon colored door!
In the future, we hope to find a way to upgrade to propane stoves, so that we do not need to continue burning charcoal. We have plans for other kitchen equipment and furnishings as well. Step by step.
When the building is finished and we have benches and tables, the kids will eat in the cafeteria. In the meantime, the ladies carry the food, plates, and utensils over to the school where they use the fourth grade classroom to separate out the meals for the children. Usually, some of the older kids help them place utensils and hand out the plates and drinks.
For now, the kids eat at their desks…I don’t think they mind though!
Everyone loves lunch time!
In these pictures, the kids are eating pitimi (sorghum or millet) with a dish called legim, which literally means “vegetables.” Pitimi is the traditional grain crop for this area…when people are able to get a harvest, that is, which has not happened for a number of years. Legim is some mixture of cabbage, moringa, chayote squash, carrots, green papaya, and/or eggplant all cooked down and mashed together. Sometimes, it even has meat (that’s an exciting day)!
The school food program is far more than a nice extra. It contributes significantly to the students’ development and capacity to learn, and it is a very important aspect of the education at Ecole Mixte Lemuel.