Generosity, Love, and Need

While in Haiti, I was given one of the Reflection Circles books in Creole. My favorite story in it is a story about Generosity, Love, and Need, taken from Plato’s “Symposium”. In short, what happens is this: A god named Generosity is at a party, and eats his fill, and drinks ’til he falls into a drunken sleep. Along comes the goddess Need, who figures what she really needs is to have a child with Generosity. So while Generosity is sleeping, she makes love with him, and conceives a child, who is named Love. Love takes...

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Learning Through Participation, Cabois

I’d like to share a few impressions of the school known as Ecole Communautaire Jean-Jacques Dessalines de Cabois, or ECJJDC. The cost of teacher salaries in order to run this school is about $500 US per month. This school, in a poor area of rural Haiti, helps create peace and stability in the area by teaching students to participate in their education and in the life of their community, and to learn the skills required to create joyful, vibrant communities – even in a country with little economic means and an unsteady...

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Who’s Hurt More?

There’s a dear young boy, wearing the yellow shirt in the photo here, one of my favorite people I met in Haiti. He was quite taken with the pennywhistle I brought there. He couldn’t really figure out how to play more than one note, but that was enough. I loved him, so I left the instrument in his hands more than once as I left the house to go do the things that we adults do during the day. About the second time this happened, he said he lost it. One of his relatives found him with it a few days later and gave it back to me, and it...

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Computing in Haiti

If you think Windows is a headache in first world countries, try it on slow computers with slow internet connections and people that don’t really speak the language their software was written for. Welcome to Haitian computing, where if you kept your Windows and your Virus-checker up to date, that would be the only thing you did with your computer!!! Oh, wait. I meant to talk about “what’s possible” rather than, um, being really whiny. Here’s what’s already happened: By installing Google Chrome in French for...

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Are Haitians Generous?

Wanted to write very briefly to share what I have learned about the way that elementary schools are typically funded in rural Haiti (from what I saw). I visited a number of elementary schools in rural Haiti. One was in Sitwonye, one in JanJan, one in Fayet, and one in Kabwa (Cabois). One of the things I was interested in was the way that the schools are able to function currently. The rural students’ families have difficulty paying for a minimal number of school books and writing instruments, and are able to contribute almost nothing...

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