“Hey Jeanide, we should have a party for the kids at Silars’ the day the group gets here.”
I know what you’re thinking – Sora, parties take a little bit more planning than that. Yeah, but that’s all I had to do personally to ensure that everyone got a real treat this Friday. Jeanide, our teacher who works with the kids there every week, took care of everything:
-putting together a program of kids performing dances, sketches, and jokes
-asking the strongest boys to get out some speakers
-buying the drinks and snacks
-getting the kids to write thank you notes to all the visitors
-even coming up with riddles and rewarding correct responses with pieces of candy…
Silar said himself he never imagined our “ti fet” would be this big! It was a true Haitian experience to welcome the three students from Monterey to the country, complete “Krik!” “Krak!” traditional riddle games, costumes, and of course “blag” (jokes, but they’re only funny if you’re Haitian).
Me as a Kreyol translator, trying to interpret jokes:
“Two brothers share a house they inherited – one takes the top floor and tells the other he can do whatever he likes with the bottom floor. The one with the bottom floor decides to tear it down…I swear guys, it’s funny if you’re Haitian.”
“So…this one is something about a woman trying to get pregnant having to follow all these weird instructions. Again, you have to be Haitian to get it.”
Of course, the dance party before and after the official event was something everyone understood…
Believe it or not, underneath all this fun we still managed to have some semi-serious conversations about everything the kids did with the laptops last year. The riddles Jeanide asked related to things they learned over the course (“What does FIFA stand for?” coming from the sports unit), the hilarious satiric parody of cholera information films included a section on looking up the disease on Wikipedia, and some of the stars from the class came up and talked about their favorite activities (writing and drawing, predictably, are the most frequently used and liked).
Silar took the opportunity to get the kids excited about the next thing coming: 20 more kids participating in the XO course. Which, of course, means more work for Jeanide…
But she did such a good job pulling this party off, I’m sure she can handle it!