So, you've been praying...and He's been listening. I need to share some updates with you!
1. The Internet. We are connected! Again. Remember my post about being cheated by the Internet guys we signed up with? Well, it turned out that they weren't entirely crooked. They eventually made it out to our house to clean up our connection and they also explained that two local tech companies are combining right now to one big network. As the network is reconfigured, there may be times when our Internet is slow. We shouldn't be completely disconnected again, though. I'm feeling much better about the whole deal and for the last 5 days, we've been able to get online.
SIDEBAR... Have you ever seen the PBS commercial on TV promoting Sesame Street? You know, the one where Big Bird and his friends are shown interacting magically with children all over the world and the screen displays the "Sesame Street" logo in dozens of different languages? It's enchanting... But it's a lie. At least, in Haiti it's a lie. From Haiti, when I go to the Sesame Street website (because I have a 2 year old who is nuts for Elmo, Grover, Zoe, Abby Cadabby, and the rest of the gang), it tells me that their videos and games are not available in my location. So, according to the commercial, are they going to send Elmo down here in person or what?
2. A babysitter for Naomy. We found her! And, she was right here under our noses the whole time. It's our wonderful, talented Celine. She is the Haitian housekeeper who "came with" the house we're renting. I posted not too long ago about going to her 30th birthday party and what a reality-check that was. Let me tell you a bit about her. She has a smile that lights up her whole beautiful face. She laughs from deep down inside and its infectious. I can tell she is happy when I can hear her signing in Creole in the kitchen. She speaks only Creole, but she is making an effort to catch on to some of our English. She is not married and does not have any children, but she will be a fantastic momma someday. She has only known my kids for 7 weeks, but I can tell she loves them. I don't think she ever had the opportunity to go to school, but she encourages Danielle and Elli to be serious about school. She looks at Elli's school papers (which are mainly pictures) and says, "bravo!" and makes sure Danielle is careful with her school books and folders. Her parents are no longer living, but she siblings who live nearby and 19 nieces and nephews. She is a little bit shy and very modest. She is lovely inside and out. Today, she let me give her a pedicure and I think she enjoyed the attention.
Anyway... Last week, I asked her through a translator if she would consider babysitting Naomy. Without a split second of hesitation, she said she would be glad to. I thought hard about asking her to babysit--mainly because she is at our house 8 hours a day, 5 days per week. If the babysitting didn't go well, it would be awkward to tell her I didn't want her in that role anymore....And even more uncomfortable if I ended up bringing in someone ELSE to babysit while she was around. We talked through a few details and last Thursday was Naomy's first morning with Celine. She cried bloody murder when she realized I was leaving without her, but I kept checking my phone at school that morning and Celine never called to tell me to come back home. When I did return, Naomy wasn't crying anymore. I could tell that she and Celine had been coloring, blowing bubbles, and looking at books--some real interaction--which is rare for babysitters in this culture!! Tuesday was Naomy's second time with Celine while I was at school and Celine told me she cried less and was much happier. Tomorrow, Celine will stay with Naomy again and I'm feeling very good about the relationship they're building. For now, we'll do Tuesday and Thursday mornings and maybe in a week or so, we'll add on Wednesday mornings, too.
Thank you to everyone out there who PRAYED with me to find a solution for care for Naomy while I am teaching. I think this is going to work out just fine! It's hard to express the load of worry that has been lifted off of my mommy heart. Now, when I'm at school, I can turn all my attention to my students.
3. School. I think students, teachers, and staff are settling into good routines. I still pray every day for our principal/kindergarten teacher, who has SUCH a full load of responsibilities on her plate. After a long wait, we have Internet at school, so the high school students have been able to begin their online classes. Generators, batteries, and inverters have been installed, too, which help us maximize electricity at school. I was able to order the A Beka learning to read booklets for the kindergarteners, which I am so excited to use. I would really like to work on adding some classic books to the curriculum for the 1st-10th graders. Someone recently asked me if I thought the students could use Kindles or other e-readers. I've decided that it probably wouldn't be a good idea for a couple of reasons: a) I'm not sure the students have access to enough electricity to consistently keep an e-reader charged; and b) I'm not sure they would have access to the Internet to be able to download books. I think it would be best to stick with paper copies.
Below is a reading list I've started for each class. If you would like to donate or want to help collect used copies of any of these, please e-mail me for details!
1st/2nd Grade class: The Magic Treehouse series; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; anything by Laura Numeroff (the "If You Give a..." books); anything by Kevin Henkes (the author of Lily and the Purple Plastic Purse).
3rd/4th Grade class: I just ordered 15 copies of "Mr. Popper's Penguins" for this class. Although there are two reading levels in this class, it will be good to read the same books together, even if we're going through them at different speeds. "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe;" "Island of the Blue Dolphins;" and "The BFG."
5th/6th Grade class: I'm in the process of collecting 15 used copies of "James and the Giant Peach" by Roald Dahl for this class. I'd also like to get "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory;" the Lemony Snicket series; and "Bridge to Terabithia."
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers. God has been listening.
Matthew 7:7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."