Archive for “February, 2012”

Full time teacher?

I had no idea when I came down here that I would be doing what I am doing now.  I should start off by apologizing to all of my high school English teachers.  I can’t remember their names, but I know that my relationship to the Vice Principal had a lot to do with English class. 

Can you believe that I am an English teacher seven days a week? 

I was already helping out a group of young people that meet every Sunday night.  That is “Shiny’s Club of Translators” – SCOFT.  This is usually about 30 guys and maybe 4 girls that meet for two hours.  We pray, introduce new attendees, tell a couple of jokes, discuss a couple of phrases then I take some time to define and pronounce words that they come and write on the board.  As soon as the sun has set far enough that we can’t see the board, we close with a prayer.  The room we use is off the grid, so to speak!

I was approached a few weeks ago by a young man that was beginning his second year of his own English institute.  He asked if I could help out with a couple of classes.  Of course!  Those of you who know me know how hard it is for me to say no…so, I teach classes that meet Friday late afternoon, Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday.  This school is called the Amen Institute.  I am having fun with these kids…their ages range from 15 to 20 and most of them are taking these classes as a suppliment to their regular education.

Finally, Chris Greene had taught English classes in Jubilee last year.  He had a beginner and an advanced class.  He wanted to step it up this year to reach more students.  I happily agreed to help him.  Logistically, Jubilee did not work for our class times or sizes, so we had to find some space.  We rented two classrooms in the middle of town from 1pm to 6pm for six months.  Then Chris put the word out…we had over 100 applicants for 80 spots.  We found good textbooks and we are patiently awaiting their arrival.  We have two simultaneous level one classes, 1:30 to 3:30 Monday-Wednesday, and Tuesday-Thursday…20 students per class…at least that was our intention.

Our advanced English classes are every day from 3:30 to when we are done.  Our intention is to teach more than just English, so we teach Theology, Philosophy, Computer Repair, Public Speaking, Political Science, Business/Marketing and Construction Theory.  Chris and I split up teaching these classes but we usually help each other out. 

The name of our school….”Pursuit of Happiness English Institute”  Here is a picture of our school building with the teacher’s ride out front!

Here is a pic of the first day of class, before we started sorting out who gets in and what days they will have.
If that doesn’t take up too much of my time, I am excited for the opportunity to help out with our garden project.  We had a group in here last week that was serious about helping us with our goal of greening up Jubilee.  We went to a nursery and picked out some nice little plants.
The group helped us start our own little nursery here in the yard.  We will toughen these little guys up so that we can put them out in Jubilee!  Here are a few pictures of what we have going in the yard right now.
Look Rog!  Sprouts!

I still have a list of other projects to work on…find the plumbing problem here at the house, build a cistern for rainwater collection, fix the drainage problem in the yard before rainy season, play with my new welder that arrived with Jim, Jeff and Steve from Journey Church, and the list goes on!
Thanks for taking the time to read a little about what is going on down here with me!  May God bless you as much as He has blessed me and this place!

Road Trip and Breaking Ground

Over the weekend of the 21st, we took a road trip up to Cap Haitien.  Beaver, Kervens and I took our motorcycles from Gonaives up to Cap on Saturday.  We found a hotel and relaxed a bit after the ride.  On Sunday, we rode to Milot to start the tour of the Citadelle (Google it).  Huge fortress built on the top of a mountain two hundred years ago.  We spent most of the day on the tour, then returned to our hotel in Cap for the evening.  The next morning, we hopped on our motorcycles for the return trip to Gonaives.  There are plenty of more pictures of this trip on my facebook page.

When I got back, they were building stuff without me!  We put together a couple of prefabricated shelters on top of foundations and poured concrete floors.  We put a skim coat of concrete on top of the siding to make the houses more durable and so that they look appropriate in the community.  We have also built up some ground where we will be building the medical clinic.  The raised area there is where we will dig footings and build the clinic.

We had help from a couple of weeks worth of groups building and painting some tables for Pastor Genata.  The kids needed some short tables to play on, so that is what we built.  Four, four foot square tables, at various heights.  I got to use the router bits that my Dad sent to me through one of the groups!  Thanks Dad!  The tables look great!

That last picture is of Emory’s neice Marley helping out with the painting!

On Friday of this week, I start teaching English at the Amen Institute.  I made sure to make it clear to them that I have no education experience, but that did not deter them from wanting me to help.  I will be teaching two classes a week at this school.  I will also start teaching English next week at the school in Jubilee.  I am very excited to start building relationships with these young people through the teaching of the English language.