Monday, March 30, 2015

Doctors and Dentists

Along with the group from NJ came a handful of doctors and dentists who were able to treat children from Espwa all week in the clinic. One of the doctors even traveled out to our school in Camp Perrin to see children there. It's always a big help when we have medical assistance like this from the states.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Arts and Crafts

Throughout the week, our friends from NJ did a variety of arts and crafts with the kids: from God's Eyes to paper heart decorations to chalk and playtime in the preschool. It was a fun-filled week for all of the kids!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

#TBT Dancing Shoes

This throwback Thursday goes out to Kens and his dancers for their incredible Michael Jackson performance a few months ago at the Espwa nan Nwel finale. Kens' little brother Marc stars as the dancer in white for this performance.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tennis Champs!

Last week our friends from New Jersey visited and held a variety of after-school activities for the kids. One of the favorites of the week was tennis! The visitors were able to set up a tennis net on the new basketball court and teach the kids how to play with donated rackets and balls. The girls got a chance to take a whack at it in their village too.

With the help of some of our older boys, we hope the kids will continue to use this equipment as the year goes on! Thanks to Beth and the other visitors for their patience and drive to teach the kids how to play.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Gangnam Style

The 2012 K-pop hit has made its way to Espwa! Check out this video of the girls dancing to "Gangnam Style" with our visitor from New Jersey, Macs.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Newborn Kittens in the Guest House

Everyone's favorite guest house cat, Mimi, gave birth to yet another litter this week. She is infamous for always being pregnant, and we are happy to report that three tiny kittens survived this birth. She curled up in a box in the guest house chapel and gave birth to Bingham, Summit, and Salem. We will let these kittens grow strong and healthy and then probably give them away to Espwa staff to help them keep rats away from their homes. Happy birthday, kitties!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New Paint Job in the Guest House Kitchen

The guest house kitchen has seen many colors, from bright pink walls, to white with yellow trim. It was long due for a touch up and thanks to our students from Ohio, we have a wonderful newly painted kitchen! They chose a nice color combo of white walls with a beige trim to off-set our bright window curtains. We're so grateful for teams that help with these little renovations!



Monday, March 16, 2015

Pack H2O

This past week, students from a liberal arts school in Ohio came to visit Espwa on a mission trip. Before their trip they spent time raising funds to make donations to Espwa and the Les Cayes community. One of their donations were Pack H2O water backpacks. These backpacks make it easier for people to transport clean drinking water from a water source to their homes or schools.

The student group helped the Espwa kids draw their own designs on the backpacks with markers. They spent the afternoon in the Quad coloring away before a quick photo shoot.

Then the volunteers taught the kids how to properly fill and carry the bags. They left over half of the backpacks with us at Espwa to be used to bring clean drinking water to the schools. The primary and secondary school directors were very grateful for the donation.

The group donated the last dozen backpacks to the city of Les Cayes to be distributed to those who are in need of assistance transporting water. Thanks again for the thoughtful donation!!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

On the Road Again

If you have visited Espwa in the past two years or so, you've probably noticed the large white school buses that have been sitting broken at the edge of our soccer field. This week one of our long-time visitors, Jay, was able to fix one of the buses. It is now operational and has moved away from the overgrown spot on the soccer field.

Thanks to Jay we are looking forward to potential field trips with the kids to soccer games again!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Then and Now

#Throwback Thursday to Dickenson, Placide, and Patrick all grown up!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Health and Safety

Last week we had two visitors from NJ who held some classes in our clinic. Mackenzie taught first aid classes to several groups when she visited Espwa this past summer. Last week her and her mother continued the classes with two new groups of students.

The students learned proper wound care, carrying techniques to transport an injured child to the clinic and basic CPR. At the end of the week all the boys in class proudly received certificates of completion. Their new skills will surely come in handy the next time someone gets hurt on the soccer field. Thanks Mackenzie and Iryna for all your work!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Physics Lessons

The students from Indiana spent two days teaching four physics classes to our Espwa students. They gathered groups of 30 students in the upper levels of high school in the church building and taught with the help of translators.

They spent the morning talking about the physics of launching water balloons from different angels and helped the students learn how to make different kinds of circuits and then use that knowledge to design their own. We are so thankful when groups like this can come in and give our students hands-on work like this. They learned so much from the experience!

In the afternoons the students played outdoor games and did arts and crafts with some of our younger kids. The Espwa students enjoyed spending time with their new friends from Indiana.

Friday, March 6, 2015

3D Printing in Haiti

Engineering students from Indiana visited Espwa this week with their professor, Daniel, and brought with them a 3D printer-- probably one of the first to operate in Haiti! They worked with some of the brightest students at Espwa and trained them how to design items to print. 

High school students in Haiti don't usually get a chance to use such advanced equipment, but they dove right into this opportunity with inquisitive minds. Seeing them learn alongside their American tutors was a wonderful example of the potential our students hold within them, and the intelligence that shines when they get a chance to use that potential. 

The first piece printed with the new printer, sporting ESPWA and the Indiana university's logo.
Espwa student Laurant showing off a replica of the guest house dinner bell he designed. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Encouraging the Girls

Last Friday afternoon, twenty Espwa girls arrived at the Quad between the ages of 12 and 16 with one house mother to supervise. They piled into the chapel and patiently waited for a lecture from five Haitian university women from Les Cayes.

Each of the university girls introduced themselves. They explained what they studied at college and all of things that people could study: medicine, agronomy, secretarial or administrative studies, business, nursing. They emphasized the value of hard work and the importance of education.

Each university woman spoke and stressed to the girls that they should be thankful for the education they already have here. They told the girls they should recognize their role models at Espwa and make sure they thank them every day. It can be hard for women in Haitian society, they said. None of their mothers went to college and they didn’t work outside of the home. But the future for women in Haiti is different. Their speech encouraged our girls to push the boundaries of what is expected of them.

“It’s not ok, if you tell me I have to do those things you expect of me. It is not ok to humiliate me or to minimize me because I am a girl,” they said.

It was a wonderful chance for our girls to hear these confident, articulate, Haitian women tell them not to give in to what society has always expected of them.

“Can you cook?” they asked. “Sure, maybe you can, but that’s not all you can do. You can work hard and study and save up money and you can be whatever you want. Don’t get distracted. Stay focused and don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do because you’re a girl.” 

With women like these as role models, we know our girls have bright futures ahead of them. We look forward to many more visits from our new friends.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cross Stitching for Cash

Our visitors from New Jersey and Connecticut brought down a load of materials to teach Espwa students how to cross stitch. The visitors helped the students learn the basics and do some practice. Out of dozens that attempted, a handful of students have shown some serious stitching skills. And contrary to Father Marc's expectations, the male students showed the most enthusiasm! 

The boys and girls who are interested and passionate in pursuing this hobby will also earn some money for their work. They will cross stitch personalized ESPWA hand towels, water bottle holders, cell phone cases, and bookmarks to sell to visitors who visit Haiti and craft fairs in the United States. All of the materials for these items were donated by Linda, Ann, and Pam, which means both Espwa and the student artist will receive all of the profits from these sales. We are excited to see the kids invested in this opportunity, and motivated to continue their cross stitching skills!