Thursday, January 16, 2014

Over the River and Through the Woods to Teacher Training We Go!

Thank you to everyone who keeps coming back to read about my first month in Haiti.  This is the last post to get you caught up on what’s been going on this month.  After two long weeks of preparation, I said a prayer and hopped in the car to Port-de-Paix, the first music school site to visit.

The drive there, as I talked about last year, is a bit grueling for only about a fourth of the trip is on paved roads.  Although the roads are rough, I can testify that the beautiful scenery of the Haitian mountains and forests make up for it.  By mid-afternoon Monday, we had arrived in Port-de-Paix and after a quick meal we got right to work.  Myself and Dan Tootle, another missionary from the Episcopal Church serving in the northern region of the Diocese of Haiti, first had meetings with the priest and school administration.  Dan is doing school evaluations of every school in the north and presented first, followed by me explaining the music program and its details.  The next day, I worked with my two teachers going through teacher guidelines, pedagogy types, solfege review, and looking at the instruments. 

That afternoon we hopped back in the car and headed back to Gros-Morne to do teacher training at La Resurrection. Visiting Gros-Morne was particularly fun because my interpreter, Fritz, has family there. So not only did I get to do teacher training there, but I got to visit with his family. A particular highlight of working at La Resurrection was how I spent a few of my extra free moments. As I was doing an assessment of recorders that had been donated to the school, a crowd of children gathered around me. We had a conversation about if they were excited to start music and to play instruments. Next thing that I know, I am teaching them songs from mini camp in Port-au-Prince. We were a little bit of a distraction during the school day, but it was quite a pleasure to spread the joy of music again. 

Two days later, I hopped in a tap tap to head down to Gonaïves. My first day in Gonaïves I went straight to the school and did an assessment of the instruments. I was disappointed to find out that many of the instruments are in need of repair, so if you know of anyone who can repair instruments, you know how to find me :) The following day I did my last set of teacher trainings with the teachers of Gonaïves. The whole trip was quite fun, getting to meet the teachers I’ll be working with, as everyone is extremely enthusiastic about the program. Thanks again to all of my sponsors for the month of October. Another update is on the way for November! 

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