I also spent a little time hanging out with my new friend, Joel. I just loved this young man, although we were never able to talk much with each other, as we didn’t have a translator nearby. Instead of pronouncing his name like “Jowell,” it’s pronounced in two distinct syllables — “Jo-L.” Joel would show up several times a day to do whatever service was needed for the missionaries, or to bring supplies to the cooks.
I kept wishing we could talk to each other!
Speaking of language barriers, I attended the registration for Marty’s “English as a Second Language” (ESL) classes. This is really a great service for the Haitians, as it can give them great options for careers. Eleven students showed up, and more were expected to register later.
Marty’s husband, Larry, and their granddaughter, Hannah, also came to the registration. Larry teaches computer classes for several weeks at a time. Several of the leaders of the community, such as the Mayor, as well as doctors, nurses and teachers, have attended these sessions and they are invaluable for the people. I really love these very practical skills that the missionaries are working on with the Haitian people. So far, over 70 people have been involved in these English and computer classes. As Marty said, “We want to give them a hand up instead of a hand-out.” The goal is to give them skills so they can be self-sufficient. They hope these activities will grow fully into an institute of higher education. Hannah had arrived for her family’s vacation but was staying several additional weeks with her grandparents. What a great summer vacation!