Learning Something New is Often a Real Challenge!

18th October

Today it was back to school having had a day off on Monday due to it being a national holiday in Haiti.

Learning Opportunities are everywhere

Learning Opportunities are everywhere

At long last we had agreed the time-table for computer instruction and the pre-school teachers were beginning their lessons once their classes were finished at 12.00 and they would stay till 1.00 when the rest of the school would finish.

Well there I was ready and waiting having finished with the previous class, checking the computers were ready to go and we could all begin together when they arrived.

In came 3 teachers who sat down and immediately began typing. One more teacher had yet to arrive and it was already 12.15. I was beginning to wonder would we get going at all today.

At some time around 12.20 or so in walks the director of the primary school, carrying a tiny baby in his arms, I was a little bit stunned to say the least, but simply asked him how old the baby was, thinking it was his. Eventually I realised it wasn’t his baby but I had no idea whose it was. Next to arrive was the teacher we had been waiting for with a towel thrown over one shoulder, a tub of made up baby food and a spoon in her hand and two walking toddlers. Perhaps the tiny baby was hers too! I was just a little taken aback. As far as I was concerned I was here to teach adults, not conduct a mothers and tots session. I was just a little peeved and thought to myself, “I really am being taken for a ride here.”

Then I settled down again and reminded myself I was in Haiti after all and all my training had taught me that things would be done differently in Haiti and the best thing to do was to go with the flow.

Small beginnings; Great endings

Small beginnings; Great endings

So I smiled at the toddlers asking how they were and began the lesson, not quite in the same fashion I usually would, but I explained a few things and we got settled down to work; it went much better than I had expected considering my initial introduction to this new class of teachers. When I asked them their names I realised the woman of the baby food, towel, spoon and three small children was the director of the preschool and I realised this wasn’t just a once off occurrence but a pattern for how this new class would continue.

Then it dawned on me just who it was who had the biggest learning in class today.

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