Thursday October 13, 2011
Started around midnight with a beautiful moon halo, which some members of our team had never seen before.
Brian and Kaiyra and Onel and Pierre Louis finished the dirt pile! The rest of us did our part to make the work go faster by watching it happen. Someone has to do that. Brian continued working up a storm with the workers, along with Angie and Kaiyra. Some of us helped clean up the classroom that had been flooded, and put up tarps to keep out the rain.
We invited the teachers to have lunch with us. We heard their anger and frustration as Ernson told us they hadn't been paid since June. They told us how they felt there was a lack of support for education. In their words, if the schools close, the jails open. Caz talked about the potential of young people, but also their hopelessness because of the lack of opportunity.
Pastor Jacob visited us. It was great to see him again. The teachers and Patrick expressed a lot of trust in him. We shared our concerns with Pastor Jacob and he encouraged us to continue to raise the questions.
We found out that the workers had not received lunch, although we had provided VIM funds for this. This was really upsetting.
Pastor Fed and other church leaders arrived for a meeting. Ace and I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to speak with him and Pastor Jacob and Patrick about the issue of the worker lunches, and the teacher salaries. We didn't get clear answers, but we expressed our concerns.
The issues and relationships are so complex here. On one hand, it would be completely naïve to think we could possibly understand what's going on in a week, or even in a year or 5 years. At the same time, we were clearly being encouraged to use our voice to ask the questions, to ask for accountability. Our team was not of one mind, as we struggled to be faithful in such a challenging context. I can only imagine the choices and challenges our Haitian sisters and brothers face each day as they too struggle to be faithful people and leaders in the midst of such injustice.