Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Team Work

Teaching in the university here in Haiti has given me a chance to see the American church and medical teams that come to UCI.  In just 3 weeks I have seen 5 teams!  They ranged from an Iowa family of 5 with kids aged 8 to 12, to a California church team of 27 that included doctors, teens, school teachers, and a carpenter.  And as a special bonus a friend from Kansas was on a team!  Here are some pictures showing the range of things people can do here in Caiman and the surrounding community.  JeanJean and Kristie make sure the teams are going where they are most needed.  I’ve tagged along with the groups so that I could teach bats and birds to kids while the teams worked.  

On Sundays the teams make lunch so the cooks can have the day off.  Kansas Nate with the Nebraska team cooks.

The small CA team provided a cement floor to help the family avoid health problems caused by dirt floors.

I taught ecology while the team helped with the cement floor.

The Nebraska team performed a skit for kids.

The Men's Choir entertained the teams.

Dr. LeeAnn in a remote medical clinic.

Deanna and Tricia organized medical supplies in the new clinic at the UCI university.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Madam Zwazo* returns to the schools

Today I taught in a school in which I first taught in 2009.  I have been back almost every year since to teach about birds and bats.  This time I taught 175 kids about mosquitoes and the animals that control them – fish, frogs, and bats.  We learned the life cycles of each, and despite being taught that mama bats give birth to babies that drink mama’s milk, when asked where bats come from the students still said from old mice!

It was only last year that I understood the culture enough to begin to seeing the dynamics of the students and teachers at this school, and my host explained what was going on.  The little kids, preschool – 6th grade, have always been nice and polite.  The high schoolers were always rowdy and tough to teach, and now I know it is because their teachers often do not come to class.  The teachers don’t get paid regularly or it is very low pay, so they don’t even bother showing up.  Which means the students are just milling around causing trouble.  The 7th grade class with no teacher at least sat still enough for 20 minutes of ecology lessons!

*When introduced to the principle he said something about Madam Zwazo, so that is my name now.  

Teaching the 5th grade, with a teacherless class looking on.

Preschoolers showing the 4 steps of the mosquito life cycle.

The path to the school.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Elections Part 1

Haiti round 2 election results were released on Thursday.  Here are photos of the candidate posters as I left Port au Prince on Monday.  The guy with the largest billboards, Jude Celestin, is one of the finalists.  Final elections are in December - stay tuned for another blog post!

From a website:
With little surprise, Jovenel Moise, the candidate of outgoing President Michel Martelly, led Haiti’s presidential elections with almost 33 percent, followed by Jude Celestin, from the League for Progress and Haitian Emancipation, with 25 percent and Moises Jean-Charles, from Pitit Dessalines, in third place with 14 percent.
This content was originally published by teleSUR at the following address: "http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Haiti-Discloses-Results-of-Presidential-Elections-First-Round-20151105-0040.html". If you intend to use it, please cite the source and provide a link to the original article. www.teleSURtv.net/english

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Back at UCCC

Today I began teaching again at UCCC in the central plateau of Haiti.  I am teaching general ecology, and biodiversity which is an advanced ecology class.  Since students didn't know I had arrived and only three showed up for the advanced class, we just spent some time getting to know each other, and finding out which students have to walk up to 2 hours each day to class.  Tomorrow starts the real classes.  I will teach both classes on Wednesdays, then the general eco class on Thursday, and the advanced class on Friday until we are caught up from me missing the first two weeks of the semester.  It is good to be back and easy to get back into the swing of things!

The translator and a student.