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1 Sep 2011

Back to School… Books

Posted by Molly Little. 1 Comment

 

IMG_4658 Cheers erupted in the yard this morning as the teachers showed their faces at the Toddler House.  Joyous to see their students and excited by the “Hero’s Welcome” they beamed with gladness and greeted their young friends who ran and encircled them with embraces.  We are so thankful to have them back!  And so excited for their refreshed spirits and energy to begin their task again of “catching” these kids up from time they “lost”.  Due to many of them never having any formal education before coming to GLA and others still with learning delays and disabilities. 

These three women, Mademoielle Kiki, Mademoiselle Elange, and Mademoislle Ruth IMG_4693 covet your prayers of wisdom and patience in knowing how to IMG_4721reach each child. They have a big responsibility on their shoulders. They can mean the difference in a child’s future, with their instruction  these kids begin to feel “smart” when maybe all they’ve heard in their past was the opposite, they can make them feel self-confident and show them that they can achieve, they can learn, they can do whatever they desire to do, and they can excel at it.  There is nothing like seeing the brokenness of a child heal slowly through the self IMG_4718 empowerment of learning.  A child who may have been hesitant to make eye contact and unsure of how to answer an adult may within weeks run to the same adult begging with confidence to hear their song, to listen to them read, to watch them count, and when they are finished they glow with the reassurance of knowing they are a brilliant and incredible child with the power to achieve! 

With the great influx of children we were able to IMG_4724 welcome in February and March of this year came a challenge.  A group of children ranging in age from 4-8 who had attended a form of schooling for a maximum of 8 months if at all, most had not even seen the inside of a IMG_4716school room, or held a book before, let alone used a pencil.  We desire to catch this group up to their age level  and development as soon as their abilities allow. Thus this year in buying French/Creole text books and learners we had to buy more than normal, because the 8 years olds need to go through K, 1st, and 2nd grade by the end of the school year.  When ordinarily we would need only to purchase one grade of books we needed three for many of the kids.  The bill looked quite IMG_4727daunting when it was all added up, but broken into cost per child they we can buy text books for each student at the Toddler House for approximately 35 USD for the year, that’s 11 months of text  books and work books.  If you feel led to help us with the cost of books for the 55 toddlers who call Toddler House home feel free to make a donation with the ChipIn button on the right side of the screen.  On behalf of the teachers who appreciate having the proper materials and supplies, and on behalf of the kids who will grow in their confidence and ability, WE THANK YOU!!!   

31 Aug 2011

Summer Break

Posted by Molly Little. 3 Comments

The month of August was summer break for our Haitian Teachers.  The kids would be more than willing to attend school straight through all year long as they LOVE it and don’t know what to do with themselves without their normal daily routine.  But our dedicated teachers need a break to get refreshed and be able to begin again to meet the challenges it takes to teach such a variety of ages and learning abilities in a group setting.  Today marks the last day of break and the kids have been counting down the moments till they see their beloved Mademoiselle Elange again. But they have had a great month, Joyce has made sure of that!

Here are a few highlights of fun and out of the ordinary things that they did on Summer Break.  

 

Pudding in a bag! 1/2 cup of milk, 1/8 cup putting mix, 2 drops food coloring, one gallon sized zip lock bag, squeeze and shake till ready to serve!

Pudding (2) Pudding

Miniature homes.  Many random bottles, box, lids, scrap fabric, construction paper, popsicle sticks, and a hot glue gun.  Create whatever comes to your imagination and give your little people a comfortable home. 

Minature Homes Minature Homes (2) IMG_4389

Pool Fun.  6 rubbermaid bins, 56 miniature bathing suits and trunks,  1 large pool, 2 small pools, a hose, and a lot of energy.

Pool  (3)Pool  (8)DSC05958 Pool    Naila in the Pool 21 July 2011 (2)

Clean and organized clutter free school closets.  8 willing pairs of little hands, four cardboard boxes marked “memories to keep”,four large trash bags, and 6 hours of cooperation. 

IMG_2126 IMG_4658

Water bomb bizarre.  20 little people, one hot summer day, 100 water balloons, a hose; result: cooled down, tired out, happy children. 

 

Harvest time.  18 hard working excited little pairs hands and feet to work the soil and plant seeds, 20 little arms to water each day, one garden growing to harvest… 3 red tomatoes, one head of brocolli, 6 pots of basil, and 4 bell peppers ready for tasting. 

Garden (7)  Garden Garden (2) Garden (3) Garden (4)Garden (8) Garden (5) Garden (6)

Construction Zone.  12 apprentice engineers, one box of mega blocks, one box of Lincoln logs, one box of lego, one box of train tracks, and one marble tower; the result: one giant bustling city.  

 

Scrubbing Bubbles clean floor!  8 sets of little hands, 8 scrubs brushes, two pails, a can of ajax, and a lot of motivation.  

 

Clothes exchange. EVERYONE, closests emptied on the floor, contents sorted and refolded good put back on the shelf and old in a bag ready to be exchanged for “new” daily plays clothes.  Result: fresh pressed cleanly dressed children.  

New Clothes room 5 24 Aug 2011 (2) Pillow Case Dresses from PA woman Aug 2011 (6)

Scavenger hunts. Here’s a list, everyone scatter, who can find their items the fastest! 

 

Summer School. 2 pretend teachers and 16 attentive students, classroom chairs and tables, a chalk board, and the expanse of the play yard.  A little learning and review before heading back to class. 

 

Field Trip.  One very full SUV, 12 homework charts completed, one monkey to visit, and one tree to take turns climbing at the Baptist Haiti Mission. 

Field Trip (2)Field Trip (3)Field Trip (4) Field Trip  

 

And lots and lots of Basketball, Scooter Races, Walks, Jump Rope, Duck-Duck-Goose, and TV at naptime.

Duck Duck Goose DSC05922 DSC05920 Basketball (2)

With a little bit of relaxation….

Relaxation (3)

5 Jul 2011

No small thing…

Posted by Molly Little. 3 Comments

 

If you’ve ever been to Toddler House you’ll know that it is actually two houses in one compound.

2 full houses.

2 full kitchens.

2 full dining rooms.

2 full classrooms.

7 full bathrooms.

9 full bedrooms.

3 full balconies.

4 full storage depots.

2 water pumps.

2 water heaters.

2 washer machines.

2 dryers.

2 inverters.

2 sets of battery banks.

We house 56 kids.

15 foreign volunteers and staff.

And 13-17 national employees.

…around the clock.

And we have ONE generator that does it all. Its wonderful, its beautiful, its blue, and it is never underappreciated!

12065669501260557625Anonymous_light_bulb_svg_med Two and a half years ago we went without the use of it for two full weeks. P8133352 When the national electric company felt like it, we might have a few hours of electricity every other night. Our wonderful staff had to bucket out of a cistern water for everything, bathing, cleaning, cooking, they had to get the kids up at first light and put them to bed before the sun went down. They had to hand wash all clothes and bedding. They were amazing. But it draining. The little things in life begin to take so much more energy, they take so much more time, and they leave you unable to have the strength and will to washing_machine_clipartplay, to cuddle, to love, to explain things, to sing, to dance, to counsel our kids. You spend all your strength on the taking care of the things that must be done, and have no  more for the that are so important in a child’s life. Since that time we have been very blessed by a reliable and powerful generator. About six months ago it started to overheat from time to time. We had a mechanic here to look at it and he left with a promise to search for the needed part and return when he had found it. It slowly got worse, it drank in the coolant, and spit it back out again if we were not very careful how many lights, machines, and water pumps we used at once. toilet_-_clip_artWe would run one house and then run the other. Our mechanic couldn’t be reached. Then last week big blue had enough. The water pump was done. The mechanic made it up, took everything apart and promised to have it put back together before night. It was a kind promise, but not one he could keep. We went the night without power, the kids feeling a little uneasy when laying in their beds without even the light from the hallway creeping under their door.  24 hours later we had power. We are so thankful, we know it’s not something to be taken for granted, and that CoolClips_vc061907most don’t have this luxury! We thought we might have to go days or even a week again, but we didn’t. We are so blessed with the current that makes our days, which so often include  BIG problems and trying issues, so much simpler with running water and lights. The bill, though well worth it, was not a pretty sight. 770USD for parts and labor. If you would like to contribute please click the “chip in” button on the right of the screen. You make it possible for us to do what we do. Thank you!

30 Jun 2011

“Good News”

Posted by Molly Little. 1 Comment

 

VBS 1 We just wrapped up an amazing week of Vacation Bible School at the God’s Littlest Angels Toddler House with the Hillcrest Team from MI.  An incredible group they came full of service and with a passion to share the Love of Jesus with these kids.  The kids,  only a handful of whom had been here last year for the VBS could hardly wait for this week to arrive.  Their enthusiasm spread to the new kids who jumped for joy when Monday finally arrived, and “Good News” was on its way.  Good News, is how the kids refer to groups that bring VBS to us here.  VBS 6 There is an underlying song about the Good News of Christ, His birth, crucifixion, and resurrection.  5 years ago a group who brought VBS to us, brought this song with them and taught it to the kids for the first time.  They also taught them many other songs that week, but the “Good News” stuck and was a favorite, every group since then has included that song in their program and been referred to by the kids as “Good News” because of this.  

VBS 2 True to their title the team brought us much good news.  The kids learned this week about the miracles Jesus preformed.  They heard about the miraculous catch of fish in Simon’s nets, about Jesus calming the stormy waters, about Jesus feeding the 5,000, and of His love for them.  The team acted out the Bible stories.  They created games, snacks, and crafts to ago along with the stories throughout the morning.  Forty of our kids attended, and all forty will remember the lessons, the fun, the love, and the friends for years to come. 

VBS 3A few highlights from the week: 

The team was sharing with the kids how Jesus loves them when their happy, when their sad, when their good, when their bad, He loves them all and all the time.  At hearing this, 3 1/2 year old Joracin, glowing with joy lifted his head and looked to Joyce saying in such a matter of fact way, “That’s just the way Jesus is.”

VBS 4Wanderson eyes closed head bowed tell Jesus that he loved him.  

3 1/2 year old, Ti Peter already hiding God’s word in his heart, standing in front of all the adults with confidence belting out his memory verse in Creole, “Matthew 19:14, Let the little children come to me.”

The yard of kids exploding with cheers and energy when the team revealed the final day’s pinatas.  VBS 5

Rose-Myrtha giggling with delight as ran from one end of the race to another carrying a cotton ball stuck to her nose by a dab of vaseline.  

 

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet are the feet of those who bring good news…”  Isaiah 52: 7a NIV

24 Jun 2011

Fun in the Sun :) with a mixture of sprinkles…

Posted by Molly Little. 4 Comments

 

Pool 23 June 2011 (50 (4) Tuesday evening a plan was being formed… the “big kids” were sitting around Swiming Pool Letter 001dreaming of sunshiney days and hot afternoons, remembering back to last August when they had a chance during summer vacation the spend an afternoon in the pool.  Late in the evening they worked out the idea and early Wednesday morning as Joyce headed out into the yard a single sheet of lined paper stood out to her.  Fresh and full of clear unsmudged penmanship the paper had obviously Pool 23 June 2011 (26)not been sitting their long, “someone” had carefully placed it where they hoped she could not miss it and waited  in hiding to make sure she picked it up.  Click on the letter above to read it yourself. 

 

Craftily written the butter her up with  compliments and then in the end just tack on their request the kids got their point across.    Pool 23 June 2011 (15)Wednesday passed by, school and classes went on as usual, I am sure they wondered if their plan had been too weak.  However Thursday dawned bright and sunny, and with it being Fete Dieu in Haiti the kids had off of school with too much idle time on their hands.  Pool 23 June 2011 (4)About 11 0’clock we sent them all in to watch TV as we turned the hose and and started to  fill the pools.  Everyone kept having to use the bathroom which made a great excuse to run by the door and see how much progress was being made,Pool 23 June 2011 (44) then report back to the TV room, where no one was  able to concentrate on “Signing Time” nor had any interest in trying to make the motions.  Finally lunch time rolled around… Pool 23 June 2011 (66)and after the minutes ticked by slowly till we called the first group of kids to come down and change.  Two larger groups of kids spent a collective total of 3 hours in the water.  The clouds rolled in and a few rain drops  sprinkled but it didn’t keep them from jumping between kiddie pools, trying to make tidal waves, holding their breath the longest under water, and seeing how many friends they could squish into a Rubbermaid bin of water at the same time. Pool 23 June 2011 (80) They had a great afternoon and were so appreciative of the special activity!

 

“I will be glad and rejoice in you; 
I will sing the praises of your name,     O Most High.”
Pslam 9:2

5 Jun 2011

rain rain go away….

Posted by Molly Little. 5 Comments

 

imagesCA9IRWMMIts been gray for days!  Even when the rain drops are not falling it is still too wet and muddy outside for the kids to play.  They have been cooped up in the house since Tuesday and its more than evident.  This morning while the older kids were in church the skies cleared enough that the nannies brought the younger ones outside to play, in their desperation willing to let them run around in the moist yard for half and hour even if it meant changing them all before lunch and two extra loads of laundry!   You’d have thought it was Christmas they were so excited to be running around, kicking the balls, riding bikes, and able to stretch their legs and use their outdoor voices where they should be used (PTL!).  However the bliss didn’t last long, within and hour it started to sprinkle, but we’ll take what we can get!

 

yes Mother’s Day here in Haiti was last Sunday.  These nannies in some cases are the only mother our kids have ever known and they/we wanted to appreciate them on their special day.  I overheard our nanny Magalie the Friday before talking to her co-worker, “Its my day on Sunday.”  Yvena responded, “Your birthday is Sunday?” “No, its Mother’s Day and I have many children.”   In yes (2)truth Magalie doesn’t have any children of her own, but she loves and cherishes each of “her” children here as though they were her very own. 

 

yes 3 The kids made cards, sang, gave kisses, and presented their special caregivers with cake and flowers.  The ladies were touched and felt blessed to be honored by their children from humble circumstances in such a heartfelt way.  We are so thankful for their years of dedicated passion day in and day out raising hundreds of children from often times difficult backgrounds and trying situations wityes 5h patience, prayer, love, and guidance.   As you think of these “Mothers” please lift them up in prayer for God’s unending strength and wisdom in their important role.   

18 May 2011

Flag Day in Haiti

Posted by Molly Little. 5 Comments

 

“Mon drapeau po po SONY DSC
Mon joli petit drapeau
C’est Dessalines qui l’a créé
mon joli petit drapeau
C’est Catherine Flon qui l’a cousu
Mon joli petit drapeau!”

 

School children all over Haiti know this song by heart, once a year singing it with loudly with pride as their march through their neighborhoods, waving their tissue paper flags of red and blue SONY DSC high in the air.  It is the 18th of May, Haiti’s Flag Day.  The story goes that the first Haitian flag was created on this day in 1803 leading the people in their struggle to overthrow their oppressionists  and become independent.  Less than a year later they celebrated their victory.  The flag has changed a little since then.  The black bar was made blue, and their beautifully embroidered national emblem was added to the middle on a white rectangle.  haitian_flag_lg_clr Through their changes the flag still brought up the same emotions at its sight and held the strength of its meaning.  Through the last two centuries Haitians have celebrated their independence, their freedom, and their heritage that is reflected in their flag on this day, Dis-huit Mai.

 

SONY DSC This morning at Toddler House the kids were antsy with  anticipation.  They had been practicing their song in school in preparation and yesterday evening sang it over and over trying to get the littlest Flag Day GLA Kay B 18 May 2011 (7)ones to be able to follow along.  It took about an hour to be ready to go. Gwo Mama and Joselaine dressed them each in red or blue t-shirts.   Se Clarna and Nadine passed out flags.  Judith and Endy tried to get everyone to line up in two perfect lines of red and blue.  Nadege coaxed Linda and Peterson back to where they belonged.  Estelle started to pound out a beat… the singing began… then the singing stopped, a false start!  Another SONY DSC few minutes passed as the kids fall out of line, too anxious to stand still, Nadine, Nana, and Joselaine try to line them back up as Estelle, Gwo Mama, and Nadege decide what order of songs to sing.  THEN one, two, three, we’re off.  Right….left…right..left.. right, left, right…. marching in place, flags UP, drum beating, voices strong the kids headed out.  We marched up the yard, out the gate, down the hill, around curve, and through the  neighborhood.  Kids and adults alike heard the parade and came out to see, but they SONY DSCdidn’t stand on the sidelines and watch, no they joined right in.  Soon our parade was over 100 kids and adults alike, marching strong and singing in unity with pride not just about the red and blue they waved above their heads but their history, their nation, and their people.  We arrived at the bottom of our street and turned around to head back up.  We were treated to a  rendition of the Haitian National anthem as the neighbors escorted our parade of little ones back to the Toddler House.  Inside the gate, the singing continued as we marched back and forth in the yard singing Flag Day GLA Kay B 18 May 2011 (6)songs the youngest would know and could participate in.  As the last song was sung the kids moved down to the end of the yard and on a 150 red and blue balloons rained down on them, Disney kingdom style:).  The kids would have played forever, the energy levels not waning, but once their stomachs growled their eyes got heavy and all settled in for a long hard afternoon nap.  One great Flag Day with memories I hope they will take with them wherever there go.  A heritage to be proud of. 

 

 

9 May 2011

The fruit of their labor…

Posted by Molly Little. 10 Comments

 

radishes 9 May 2011 (14) The Monday morning after the first raised garden bed had been made was the day to plant.  Four weeks ago to the day.  Joyce carefully chose the fastest producing seeds we had for the kids to plant, not wanting to discourage them if the crop took too long to blossom.  She chose radishes.  Radi is what they are called in Creole.   Most of the kids didn’t know what they were even with the picture on the seed packet.  But over the last couple of weeks they have asked their nannies and the cooks about radi wanting to know all there is to know about them.   They are not used all that often in any kind of cooking they know, North America or Haitian, but they did come of with two things they thought they could use them for.  radishes 9 May 2011 (5)Picklies… of  course, that crunchy spicy relish that goes with EVERYTHING especially deep fried Creole food, and they are also used in your basic lettuce salad served often in roadside restaurants with red beans and rice.  Today, however, we didn’t make anything with them, we just enjoyed them. 

radishes 9 May 2011 (20)The oldest class harvested the 25 or so that were ready to be pulled.  Ever so gently lifting them out of the ground so as not to disturb the ones that were not yet matured.  Each was a surprise.

“That one is pink! That one is red.  That one is long.  That one is round.  That is the biggest.  Oh, that one is too small.  There is a purple one.  Will they all taste the same?” 

radishes 9 May 2011 (19)We cut the greens off and cleaned the colored root vegetable.   Then sliced them in half and salted them.  The kids tried them first. 

“HOTTT!!!”  Was the general discovery. 

“Crunchy", too,” Rilinxe stated.  

“It tastes like an onion,” Eunise pointed out. 

They were proud. They were pleased.  And they couldn’t wait to share something of their very own with their nannies.  radishes 9 May 2011 (13)They rushed around searching each lady out where she was to offer their patiently nurtured, home grown, fruits of their of their labor.  All accepted their treat, noting the pride in their young faces and encouraging them in their good work. 

The beans have blossomed… it won’t be long now. 

15 Apr 2011

Necessary Renovations

Posted by Molly Little. 2 Comments

 

If you who have followed the happenings of the Angela & Sonson Working on the playset 6 Apr 2011 (7)GLA Toddler House since the beginning of the Angela & Sonson Working on the playset 6 Apr 2011 (3)blog back in 2008 you may recall the wooden play set that a church in the States so kindly donated to us in early 2009 after they had redone their playground with a newer model. 

 

The set has been well used by the over 150 kids that Angela & Sonson Working on the playset 6 Apr 2011 (5)have lived inside these walls since then.  We’ve been through rainy season after rainy season, hurricane  weather, earthquake and after shocks, and still it stands.  Several individuals have replaced wood here or there, reinforced pieces, and tightened screws.  But since the start of this rainy season we noticed the wood, with its thinning protective coat of paint, was  starting to rot in several IMG_2905places at once.  So we had to shut down part of the set and keep the kids off until… exactly at IMG_2913the time we need God sent Angela who had the time and know how to remove that which was unusable and repair the areas of concern. The exact hardware needed to bring the bridge back to life was impossible to find and she spent quite some time rummaging through John’s various nuts and bolts to find over a dozen fasteners and alter them to suit the job. 

 

IMG_2903 Then this afternoon we had a break in the  clouds and Nikki and 5 of the volunteers applied a fresh layer of paint over all of the IMG_2920random bare, green, red, blue, purple, and stained pieces of wood that made up the whole unit.  I could not believe IMG_2898how quickly they worked.  What I thought would be a two day job, they accomplished in a single afternoon.  With the stars shining tonight we hope it will have sufficient time to dry completely before the next April IMG_2924showers try to work their damp  decaying effects on the set, only to be deflected by its new protective shield.   Good as new!!  Thanks to all those involved!     

14 Apr 2011

Butterflies and Unicorns….

Posted by Molly Little. 2 Comments

 

  Use (2)School let out this rainy afternoon just about the time face painting pro Melissa Morrisette showed up at the Toddler House with her pallet of colors.  She and her husband spent their last afternoon at GLA by Use (3) blessing the kids with their artistic talent.  Faces close they leaned in to bring to life and perfect the details of lady bugs, cars, hearts, flowers, rainbows, butterflies, and unicorns with love and true compassion openly evident on their own faces for the individual little lives of these children.  Use Jeanilia glowed with delight at her reflection in the mirror, her eyes sparkling with even more brightness than the glittery black and white kitty cat on her cheek.  Use (5) And Montesquieu ran up the stairs and through the yard when he thought no one was looking singing, “I’m flying… I’m flying… I’m flying” inspired by the unicorn on his cheek.  Though the paint will wash away those moments of renewed realization that they Use (4)are beautiful will remain etched in their self-worth and confidence only to grow.

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