Haiti Part 3
Thu, November 11, 2010
Day 11 .. Restavec Roundabout
I will never complain about traffic in the States again. Yesterday was one standstill spot after another as I toured five schools with Djougine from Restavec Freedom. This wonderful group works with very poor children who have been given to wealthier Haitian families, where they are essentially treated as slaves without education, free time, or much food.
First, along the infamous traffic on Rue Frere to the Restavec headquarters...
Then across to Route 9 for a visit to a primary school with many Restavec children that Restavec Freedom has convinced families to allow to attend school.
I presented the laptop and Waveplace program to the school director there. He seemed very enthusiastic and grateful. I suspect this will be one of our schools. We then went down the road to a secondary school where more Restavec children are taught. We are hoping to train these older children as mentors, so they may work with the younger children.
We headed down Route 9 into Cite Soleil to visit a third school which was inside a gated complex beside a very large church. Djougine told me that an afterschool program is held here on weekdays which would be perfect for our efforts.
After a stop for lunch (which like everything else that day was a very long wait), we headed through downtown Port-au-Prince to Carrefour to Visit Institution Mixte La Providence, a school associated with our coordinator's boyfriend's family. Due to the traffic we were too late to meet with the school's director, though we did speak with the afterschool director and demonstrated the laptop to several children.
Our last stop was a women's adult literacy center, where we delivered a chalkboard from Restavec Freedom. Here as every other school I've visited, Haitians appeared very serious about education and the opportunities it represents.
After yet another grueling drive across Port-au-Prince, I dropped of Djougine and made my way up Rue Frere through more standstill traffic, to finally collapse on the bed once again. I did get to video chat with Paula and Isabel,(Tim's daughters) which was a big hit with Daniel, John's son who is the same age.