Monday, January 11, 2010

First Day of School! (or Rain Drops Keep Fallin' on My Head)

Today is the first day of the second semester of school. Everyone had a long break for Christmas and New Years. Now with polished shoes and pressed uniforms kids are getting ready to go back to school.

Only there is a problem: It is raining. I asked one of the girls at the rectory, Sonny, is she was excited for school, and she said that school would be closed today due to rain. It isn't even raining hard. However, she pointed out that many students have a long walk (sometimes an hour) and they don't want to get their uniforms dirty or wet. Growing up in Wisconsin, we barely ever had school closed, even for snow. But we had paved roads, rain coats, umbrellas, and, in a pinch, Mom to drive us to school. Our learning could continue uninterrupted day after day, giving us a sense of stability and routine.

Andrea and I have already seen many obstacles to a child's schooling in Haiti - tuition, unpaid teachers, lack of school supplies, and lack of sufficient school space. After adding "Rain" to that list, I marvel even more at the effort of those who have "made it."


PS: The picture is (from the left) Sonny, Noye, and Berlina doing laundry. Noye wasn't really doing laundry, he just wanted his picture taken!


  1. I'm actually feeling guilty about the rain--it just shows how stupid it is to judge things you don't understand. When we were here before it certainly rained, especially during the summer rainy season. People here were SO paranoid about getting wet. They avoided rain as though it were poison. Jack and I were gently amused by this, and thought they were crazy to be afraid of a little rain. The people at the rectory would tell us that if you got wet from the rain you would certainly be ill.

    Well, now in the winter rainy season I can see why they think this! The rain is interminable and cold, cold, cold. Jack and I can hardly get dry and warm despite our nice house and resources. Most people here live in mud and stick houses. If they get wet they have no dry house to retreat to, and no way to dry their clothes. I'm sure that they DO get sick from the rain.


  2. I was so surprised to see a male Haitian doing laundry. I thought; wow, things have changed, only to find out it was a photo opportunity. They do love getting their pictures taken!