As promised, here is post number two this weekend to tell you about the preparation going on with the music school and my other little adventures!
During my first week back in Cap-Haïtien, I was given the time to get settled in the new apartment and learn about the city. My fellow missionary and roommate, Kyle has been living in Cap for a few months and has been extremely helpful in getting me acquainted with my new home. We were all over the place in my first few days to meet people, see places, and get a few more things for the apartment. As you can see, I was short a pillow and had the joy of carrying it down the streets of Cap (every taxi and moto thought I needed a ride!).
On my first Friday back in Haiti, myself, Kyle, Bishop Ogé and Serette drove out to Terrier Rouge to visit St. Barnabus, the Episcopal agricultural school. They were having a graduation, so as expected my flute skills can in handy. It was a wonderful ceremony and it was nice to see many of the priests from the northern region again.
My second Monday back I was hard at work with the music school. As I have explained, I have been relocated to Cap-Haïtien to assist the northern region of the Diocese of Haiti with starting a music program. Eight Episcopal schools and three villages were donated band instruments from the NGO, Food for the Poor. Now that the schools have instruments, my job this year is to help provide administrative structure to the program and to train the music teachers at each site. The sticky notes on this map that hangs in my office shows all the different locations of the schools and where I lived last year.
This means that I not only work here in Cap-Haïtien, but I also travel to these other locations to meet in person with the priests, school administrations, and music teachers. My first visit which covered three of the sites, Port-de-Paix, Gros-Morne, and Gonaïves were planned a little sooner than I had anticipated. This led to long hours, and as you can see from the pic my co-worker took I was just a little worn out (I promise I was just resting my eyes)!
Along with the preparation for the music school, I did have the chance to do a fun trip one day. About an hour outside of Cap-Haïtien lies the town of Millot. My co-worker has family in this area, so we took a trip to visit them. It was a lot of fun because it was the first time I really got to experience Haitian country life. While there I was asked if I wanted to see the “garden,” to be completely honest I would call it a jungle. All sorts of great things were growing there including chadek, cocoa, plantains, coffee beans, and bananas.
After our walk through the “garden,” I also had the opportunity to try my very first coconut. It was delicious! The whole trip was a lot of fun and wonderful way to get some fresh air away from my office. I also really enjoyed experiencing a very different side of Haitian life that I didn’t see last year. Music school preparation continued throughout the week and in my next post I’ll tell you all about my first trip to do teacher training!