Thursday, January 16, 2014

Up the Mountains Again

In the morning we return to BRESMA, where once again my client presents to a very eager class.  School is so valued culturally here, and orphanage life is so repetitive, that they are absolutely primed and ready for any activity that B. has to offer them.  I sit a watch for a while, still amazed at how much a teacher has to know.  It sounds easy, until you try it…  She has all different ages and levels, and everyone is completely absorbed and happy and attentive.  Haitian teaching is all by rote.  To the kids, these activities all feel like play time.

In the afternoon we head up the mountain again, to Bethel Guest House which is the personal home of Dr. Jacob Bernard and also New Life Link orphanage.  Every time I come here I’m amazed once again by the magnificent view from the balconies.

I’ve brought along ABI’s first family to visit Haiti for their two week socialization period.  The K. family has brought along three of their daughters to meet their new baby brother.  The poor girls were eaten alive by mosquitoes last night.  One looks like she’s suffering with the chicken pox!  They are joining us for some novelty and to see the mountain scenery.  The girls are happy and resilient, just as if they were on vacation anywhere else with their parents.  They tell me that they like playing with the other children at the orphanage.  I’m sure it’s mutual.

Boys at New Life Link
Dr. Bernard, B., and I talk about B.’s very complicated pre-identified adoption case, and then Dr. Bernard and I discuss a few other cases that we’re doing together.  I learn why I had to wait for two hours yesterday at IBESR – Dr. Bernard was meeting with Met. Guillaume and several other attorneys downstairs!  We share a good laugh over that one.  They should have just had the three of us join the meeting.

In any case, Dr. Bernard was putting great pressure on IBESR to let out the dossiers that needed Dispensation immediately, as there is no longer any such thing.  As he is in fact an attorney, I suspect that he knows what he’s talking about.  And after this many years, I know darn well that he’ll never drop the subject until justice is served.  Dr. Bernard makes me look like a real pushover.

Times are hard at New Life Link, not that the children know it.  They are as well fed, entertained, and educated as ever.  But all of the crèche directors are feeling the burn as they have to feed and care for children far, far longer than their flat fee child care monies were ever intended to last, and as many of the children in care have not even been matched to families who can help support them.  Many of them are relying on donations to care for children that are eventually going to be referred for adoption, and some of them are having to discontinue valuable outreach programs that served the community and preserved families intact.

I pray for speedy resolution of the deadlock, and renewed world interest in Haiti.  Perhaps this time donors will channel their gifts to the organizations that understand that only Haitians can elevate Haiti.

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