Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Day in the Life

In Celebration of my student's homework assignment this week (they are practicing present tense vs. present progressive [I sing vs. I am singing]) and as a reason for me to take more pictures, I present to you a Day in the Life of Julie Burd from Tuesday, February 4!  

 I awaken to see the sun just peeking through my mosquito net, listening to the cows mooing and birds squawking.  You have to get up pretty early to fit a run in before the sun gets too hot! 
The sunrise is without fail cool every morning. See those mountains? Aren't they gorgeous? 

Tuesday breakfast is peanut butter and banana sandwiches and fresh juice. Today's extra special treat was clementines! 

I head to my desk at FSIL at 8:00 and have about 45 minutes to kill before heading off to teach my first class, so I usually use this time to get caught up on grading. Love me some red pen! 

On Tuesday mornings, I teach my once a week high school English class at the Episcopal High School in town. You can see how thrilled the students were here... probably should not have taken pictures during a quiz! 

The school, like almost all high schools in Haiti, does not have a copier, so everything has to be written on the board and copied. This causes exactly as many disciplinary problems during a quiz as you imagine. 

The high school is on the same campus as my church and when I first got here, I could not understand why there were plastic water bottles EVERYWHERE. The explanation comes during one of my favorite parts of my days at Sainte Croix, which is the 10 minute break between 2 classes. The elementary school boys come out and play a version of soccer with empty bottles all over the field. I forgot to snap a picture of this, but here are the remnants! So much fun to watch all of their energy! 

The view leaving the school. As you can see, the classrooms (on right) are all temporary structures. It is definitely a challenge teaching (and I would imagine learning) with no dividers/noise barriers between rooms and I imagine it is going to be pretty toasty come spring. But they have a school and are able to get an education, so it is all good. 

Oops... the small car went to Port-au-Prince for the day so I got a bus to myself for the 5 minute ride back to FSIL for lunch! 
It is off to the hospital in the afternoon, where I am trying to get the stock into something that resembles an order. Need a face mask? I think I have one for every resident of the greater Leogane area. 

I BUILT THIS. And by build this, I mean I constructed it IKEA style from pre-assembled parts and with clear photo instructions. But it was still cool. We were sent 12 of these "Personal Energy Transporters" and no one had any idea what they were. I discovered it is a device with substantial wheels that you power with your hands. Quality control needed to test it up and down an abandoned hall... a shame no one walked in on me doing this since I build the child's size and looked pretty silly, but I had a good time! 

I did not think that we would make the best use of them in Leogane so we made contact with the team at Saint Vincent's, the Episcopal School and Orphanage for the Blind and Handicapped in Port-au-Prince (the only school for the blind in the country!). Their kids will love flying around on these! 

At the end of the work day, waiting for the bus home with the nursing students returning from clinicals. 

In the evening, it was time for a little tutoring...

Plus some time on the internet and a little bit of table tennis! 

As the day wrapped up, it was time for shower number 2. Shower number 1 is your traditional morning shower, shower number 2 is the Haitian specialty to remove the grime of the day and the bug spray, and to cool you down before bed! 

I realized circa November that I was not being a faithful journaler. So I took on the Happiness Project, which was started by someone to make people happy or something like that. For me, it means write down 3 good things that happen every day before I get into bed.   

Bedtime reading! Thank goodness for Kindles! I have read through my book collection and am happily taking suggestions for new ones... here is Katie Webb's choice! 

And there you have it, a day in my life! Thanks for reading! 

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