Summer Camp 2017 – Week 2 (Janey)
It’s been a successful second week of summer camp at Tree of Hope Haiti! Check out what Janey had to say about her past week in Haiti:
This was my first of two weeks here at Tree of Hope Haiti, and it was week two of the summer camp. I had been counting down the months, weeks, and days until I could come back to this beautiful country again. Working with kids is one of my favorite things to do, and being able to come work with these sweet children of the Grand Goave community is something extra special. Having the language barrier between us intimidated me a little – especially when being in a room of 70 creole speaking children. But what amazes me time and time again is how the interactions and relationships with them are about so much more than just talking to each other. We laugh, smile, play, use hand and facial expressions to teach each other English, Creole, and teach about who we are.
This week we worked on saying simple greetings and questions, colors, math problems, writing, reading stories, and verbs. I can see in all the kids their interest in learning. Some of them begin to show up at 7:30 am – half an hour early for camp – and then by the end their feet become weights and they cannot leave! They are genuinely having a great time coming here and they never want to leave! We work on saying “Good morning, how are you, what is your name, and how old are you?” each morning and so many of them are understanding it and have become so confident in answering. Whether inside during camp or in the afternoon when I see them playing playing, they love to be talked to and love to answer.
The final class of the week is the older kids. For me it was interesting being on the teaching side of english. We worked on verbs such as to speak, to run, to swim, and then conjugated and put them into sentences. With these kids it was cool to see how each of them were figuring out little ways of understanding what to do. Writing things out, looking at the board, writing translations, trying to say it out loud first. It was really cool to see how they went about understanding the English.
Another part of the week that I really enjoyed was in the afternoons being able to work one on one with a few kids each day to write letters to their sponsors. They liked to have the little time of focus on them, and I liked to see each of their personalities show. For the little ones having the help to write their own letter made them happy, and for the older ones being able to write independently gave them more confidence. All of them have a special place in their hearts for their sponsors, and it is visible.
On Saturday we went for a nice hike out to a waterfall in the mountains. Haiti’s mountains are beautiful. The whole hike was really nice – walking the riverbed and seeing everyone carrying their goods for market day on their heads and with their donkeys. The waterfall was awesome! On our way back we found that 6 of the boys had followed us! Through the heat with no water and they walked about 6 miles just to see us with the small reward of a few crackers and a few sips of water. After that we went down to the beach, and they walked down to us again! The endurance and persistence of there kids amazes me. Their faces are so refreshing and joyful.
Overall, it was an awesome week. The summer camp ran super smooth, and we had so much fun playing soccer and hanging out with the kids throughout the days. Onto week 3!