Sunday, January 23, 2011

Haiti 6 Log 3

Haiti 6 - Day 6 - January 10th - 4th day at Jacob's Well  (Monday)

The rifle range.
At breakfast, we all picked the activities that we'll be teaching when camp starts tomorrow!  I'll be teaching riflery with one of the other team members, Gabe.  I can't believe that we're really getting down to it - everything we've been working for, all that we've done over the past few days, will bear fruit tomorrow when the children walk through the gate!

After breakfast, we jumped into another full day of staff training and last minute camp preparation.  Everyone was really busy!  Teams were working all over the camp.  I was part of a dish washing crew of 4 other team members - we worked in the outdoor kitchen counting and washing 200+ metal plates, cups, and spoons so they'll be ready for the campers tomorrow!  It took several hours to finish and we halted half way through for lunch.  Everyone's starting to get really excited about camp - you can feel the excitement in the air!  And you could hear it as we sang old campfire songs while washing the dishes!

Figuring out the best way to do Bible Drama has been difficult - mainly because  we don't speak Kreyol.  Yesterday, we tried several different practice methods.  First we tried to time how long it took to read the story in Kreyol and then act it out while trying to keep track of the time - that didn't work so well.  Then we tried to pick key words in the Kreyol text to listen for so that we could know where we were in the story - for example "danje" for "danger" in the calming of the storm.  Unfortunately, that didn't really work either.  We couldn't focus enough on acting while we were listening for Kreyol cue words at the same time...  Finally, one of the drama team members suggested just having someone read the story in English behind us while Peter Mark read it out front.
Drama team in Bible costumes - minus
me of course, I'm taking the picture! :)

I sat down with Greta (one of the 3 advance team members) last night and we worked through the stories with a Kreyol and English Bible, marking down all of the cues directly on the pages.  "Jesus sleeps" "Big storms hits" etc.  Since she's been here longer and has also studied on her own, Greta speaks more Kreyol than the rest of us, so she offered to follow along in her Kreyol Bible and then give us the cues as we need them.  Today, after staff training, we went up on the Drama hill with Peter Mark to try it out.  It worked really well and the drama team did a great job!

There's a group of kids who always watch us practice Bible drama  from the other side of the bushes.  They know that they're not supposed to come on camp property, but they always try to.  Today, a bunch of kids came over while Peter Mark was with us and we tried to tell them - in our broken Kreyol - that they had to leave.  At last Peter Mark turned to look at them and said something that we didn't understand.  The kids instantly scattered.  When we asked Peter Mark what he had said, he smiled.  "I said, My friends, get out of here!"

Camp starts tomorrow!  We're getting up extra early so we can have our devo and prepare before camp starts.  Early to bed tonight and praying for good weather tomorrow.

Haiti 6 - Day 7 - January 11th - 5th day at Jacob's Well  (Tuesday)

First day of camp!

Lining up for camp!  Everyone's excited!
The camp gates were scheduled to open at 8:45 - 9:00.  Campers started lining up around 8 while we bustled around doing all the last minute things that needed to be done.  We set up a hand washing station, a wrist bracelet station (each of the campers received a wrist bracelet that will be their "ticket" into camp tomorrow) and a cabin assigning station while the Haitian counselors all waited on the parking lot with their cabin signs to welcome the campers.

Assigning cabins
We let the campers in around 8:45 and they all trooped in excitedly, hardly listening as we tried to tell them to get in a straight line.  Greta (one of the advance team members) was in charge of cabin assignments.  She asked the kids how old they were and then put them in cabin groups by age.  We had children ranging in age from 5 years old all the way up to 15-16.  There were about 140 children total!   

After the campers were assigned to their "cabin groups," Peter Mark led orientation, explaining camp rules and the order of events.  Then the cabins split off to go to their activities!  There are 7 cabins and 7 activities (riflery, archery, steal the bacon, camp games, Jacob's Well 4-ball-Baseball, crafts, & Bible memory games).  The cabins rotated through all the activities - we had 3 activity periods today and we'll have four tomorrow.  

Adorable little girl enjoying her first
time shooting!
The first activity period was a new experience for me!  Since we didn't know enough Kreyol to really explain how to shoot a gun (or how to be safe with one), Gabe and I relied on demonstrating!  We knew the Kreyol words for "load" and "fire" and "do you need help?" as well as a few other helpful phrases.  And we also knew how to tell them they'd done a good job shooting!

The kids loved it.  Except for those in the oldest boy and girl cabins, most of them needed our help loading the lever action BB guns.  Some of the kids, however, didn't like waiting for us and tried to do it on their own.  I saw some of the most interesting methods of reloading I've ever seen in my life.  Lots of the kids tried to set the barrel down on the ground and then yank the lever down that way.  Others tried putting the barrel between their knees to hold it steady... the downside was that it was pointing at the kids behind them!  Needless to say, we quickly put a stop to that!

After the first activity period, we all trooped up to the drama hill.  I quickly got into costume with the rest of the drama team while one of the Haitian counselors led the kids in singing.  Then it was drama time.  Greta sat under a coconut tree behind the "stage" and read the cues aloud to us while Peter Mark narrated.  I was kind of nervous to see how it would work out, but it went really well!  I think the kids really liked watching us act the stories out.  Peter Mark also gave a little teaching before and after the Bible drama stories.

Peter Mark teaching the kids at Bible Drama time.
We'd planned to have lunch right after the first Bible drama, but it wasn't ready yet, so we headed off to second activity and then came back for lunch.  After lunch we had our third activity period and then Bible Drama 2 and then camp was over for the day around 4:00-4:30!  All in all it was a great day!

Preparing coffee from Jacob's Well
coffee beans!
We'd just about finished cleaning up after camp and getting the site ready for tomorrow, when we first smelled it... wonderful deliciousness coming from the direction of the kitchen!  We all migrated over and discovered the Haitians preparing coffee by hand from coffee beans harvested at Jacob's Well!  They roasted the beans over coals, then ground them up in a hollowed out log, and then sifted the grounds to remove any coarse chunks.  It smelled amazing and I can't wait to taste the first coffee made from Jacob's Well coffee beans!

After a meeting to talk about the day, a group of us decided to race up to the top of the attic to watch the sunset.  We didn't have much time, so instead of following the usual roundabout path up past the drama hill and the campfire circle, we raced straight up the steep hillside!  There was still a decent amount of light when we reached the attic, so we decided to go hiking a little ways further up towards the mountain (Double Head Mountain).  It felt like a scene from Braveheart as we ran along the narrow mountain path on top of the steep hills... the ground just falls away on either side and you can see so far in every direction!  It was amazing and an awesome finish to a great day!  We raced down the hillside again just in time for dinner.

Everyone's worn out after today so we're heading to bed early.  I can't wait to start it all over again tomorrow!

More to come later...

~ A Servant of the King

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