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By Riya Shankar, IV Form
Unexpected Life Lessons in Haiti–Lock Picking Skill Learned from a Priest!
Desi and I stood outside the bedroom, laughing hysterically as we banged on the door. We had just been locked out of the room for the second time for a reason I could not remember, most likely Natalie and Amanda ganging up on us. Nothing was funnier to us than being stuck on the other side of the door, the four in the room giggling as they listened to us struggle. After about five minutes of the insanity, the priest, Père Reginald, walked out of his room and stared at our red, smiling faces. As he watched the scene carry on, we suddenly stopped, afraid that we had disturbed him. He signaled for us to carry on, smiling at how hard we were trying to get them to open the door. This time, instead of his usual wave or quiet “hello”, he approached Desi and me with the biggest grin on his face. He joined our pounding, this time adding his deep voice saying, “This is the priest. Open the door!” We laughed even harder as he continued trying to talk to them, knowing they wouldn’t listen. He joined our laughing, his jolly laugh filling the room. (more…)
By Sarah Robertson, VI Form
Remembering Through the Kids’ Toothy Smiles
There are few places in the world that astound me. Places where I look around and am suddenly filled with every emotion, yet I am incapable of mustering words to describe them. My heart pounds with joy, my mind is ablaze, and my entire world is suddenly filled with life. I first felt this feeling peering out the towering glass windows of the CN tower, my mother tracing a map of her life for me along the panes. I felt it as I stepped onto the streets of New York City for the first time, breathing in the passion, life, and movement all around me, contrary to the aura of my sleepy town. Most recently, these inexpressible emotions were blazing on my trip to Haiti. (more…)
By Desmond Goodwin, V Form & Student Chair of the Haiti Partnership Committee
Book Club: A Necessary Tool in Partnership
At the end of last year, the Haiti Partnership held a meeting to discuss our goals for the 2014-2015 school year. The committee members agreed that we needed to emphasize to the community that the Haiti Partnership is just that: a partnership. How would we show St. Mark’s that we are benefitting just as much from this relationship as St. Marguerite’s, our partner school in Latournelle, Haiti? We knew that we had to bring Haiti to St. Mark’s. We wanted to bring the beautiful culture to our school and teach our fellow students and faculty about life in Haiti. We wanted to celebrate the country. By creating a “Haiti Book Club,” we hoped to bring a part of Haiti to St. Mark’s and use it to strengthen our partnership with St. Marguerite’s.
The idea was to read three books over the course of the school year; one book would be read over each vacation. Over Thanksgiving vacation, we read Clare of the Sea Light by Edwige Dandicat, a Haitian-American author. Over winter vacation we read The Big Truck That Went By by Jonathan Katz. And over spring vacation, we will read A Wedding in Haiti by Julia (more…)
By Julie Geng, VI Form
A Taste of Haiti
Haiti, the Country
Haiti occupies the western third of the island of Hispaniola. Haiti has an area of 27,750 square kilometers including several islands. The Haitian population is 10.32 million. The climate is tropical. Coffee, cocoa, coconuts, avocado, orange, lime, and mango grow wild. The most important cash crops are coffee and sugarcane.
Haitian History and Food
Spain, France, the continent of Africa, and the United States were crucial in shaping Haitian (more…)
An Interview with Mr. Chris Kent (English Faculty) by Julie Geng, VI Form
JG: What made you interested in Haiti initially and decide to go on the first trip?
CK: When Ms. McColloch, and Ms. Berndt and Ms. Lohwater first developed the partnership, she asked me to come along and join the group. I definitely took a backseat approach and wanted to just observe and wasn’t necessarily as active as I could have been purposefully. I just wanted to see what other people thought this was all about and take the time to figure out for myself what interested me. So I’m not really sure other than just being approached and being asked to be part of the group were what really drove me. I don’t think I had early on a connection with Haiti other than the idea that helping the school seemed a great thing to do. I was definitely impacted by the idea of teachers helping teachers. (more…)
By Finnegan Schick, VI Form
Stepping into ninety-degree Caribbean sunshine from a cold, New York blizzard is not unlike diving headfirst into an enormous vat of hot chocolate. First the heat covers every inch of your skin, then it fills your lungs. Within seconds you are covered head to toe in sweat, and the only sound that comes to your lips is “Waahhugh.” (more…)