Friday, June 3, 2016


Everything changes. I'm told life would get boring if everything stayed the same but there are times when it would be comforting to just be.... for more than the present moment.

Both drop in centers are busy, busy. Exam time is rolling around and in addition to our juniors, we have 30 candidates for Philo/Secondaire 4  the final year of high school. Here are our 13 candidates in Cap-Haitien.
Yfrenel, Brunel, Norceline, Raymondson, Wisly
Namene, Withnise.
Celine, Melane

Stephan, Claunise


Sen Rafayel has 17 candidates writing State Nationls. We had a picture call for Thursday but due to  an emergency trip down the mountain ---- Sen Rafayel grads on Monday.
Although our visit to Sen Rafayel was truncated this week, it was still crazy busy. Outside work was progressing on the security wall around our recently purchased property.
Project manager (and Foundation high school/
university grad) Da oversees work.
                                                   Many jobs created by our building projects.
Next door at Lakay Jasmine, staff organize applicants who have arrived for intake meetings and look after drop in students as well. We added an extra staff member to make certain everyone was looked after. Auguste and I interviewed each applicant, checking birth certificates and last report card received. In the kitchen and on the 'galri', staff boiled eggs, made sandwiches  and served students.
Auguste checks a birth certificate. Photo copies
are accepted as many originals have perished.
Only actual report cards are accepted --several
came with photo copies. They had to return to the
school of record.

Most of the young people who apply for support are tired, hungry, apprehensive even  frightened. So coaxing a smile for individual photos is a challenge. Again we depend on center staff. Sometimes they end up cracking each other up and a very needed and appreciated relaxing of tensions fills the center. Like many things, laughter is contagious.
Staff members Angeline, Elanie and Edeline relax applicants and each other with a laugh. Occasionally the applicants relax enough to enjoy the moment.

New admission --relaxing
After 45 consecutive interviews, a rhythm is established and I relax. But not for long. Our security coordinator Dieugrand was working night shift at Lakay Fondasyon in Cap-Haitien. He sent me a text about 9 pm indicating his concern for our 10 year old cat Lucy Two. I had also been concerned and saw her wasting away during the past 3 weeks til she was just skin and bones. Lack of veterinary support is frustrating to say the least. After many texts back and forth and no sleep, I rose with the roosters about 4:30 and waited for the rest of the staff to get up. We packed the truck, left a note for staff to reschedule remaining interviews and headed out. Construction staff had not yet arrived -- they work from 7 to 4. It was an opportunity to take in the progress. Yesterday they were laying the chainage to strengthen the walls. The masons would then be back to work.
Two weeks of nightly heavy rains have not only played havoc with student living quarters and our building project, they occasionally bring the mountain to a standstill. Of course when one is in a hurry, it seems interminable.

Finally past the bog, we made it to Cap-Haitien before 8 am. Lucy was very weak. For 10 years she has been there. When she became used to the new center, she took it upon herself to guard the first floor during the night then about 4:30 am she would make her way upstairs, stretch out on the floor beside my bed, and chatter until I regained consciousness and poked my head out from the mosquito net. She would then patiently wait while I dressed and walk down stairs beside me, mission accomplished, food on the way. She died shortly after 10 am and we buried her under the big mango where Tisab is buried.

Pictures are Lucy from  2006 to April 25/16)

Thank you Lucy -- for 10 years of friendship, support and joy. You are missed.


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