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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Haiti Day 17: The Return of the Sikhs

Relationships. Haiti has brought about so many opportunities to meet people, all vying to help rebuild the country of Haiti. Michele and I were quite surprised to meet two Sikhs from San Francisco. Dr. G ran a clinic in San Francisco serving primarily low-socioeconomic Hispanic families. Ishmeet came to Haiti one week after the earthquake and with a team of 2 people provided 5000 hot meals a day to a tarp city near the airport in Port-Au-Prince. Just recently they both helped to provide and assemble 500 tents to replace the dilapidated tarps and sheets in the encampment they were helping to feed. They are going to participate in the daily school program at SOPUDEP providing both clinical care and English lessons for the children. It is extremely encouraging to see individuals from all over, regardless of race, ethnicity, or creed, working to better the conditions in Haiti.

Michele and I taught English again today. Michele taught about colors and food items to a group of 55-60 primary school students while I taught the parts of the body and how to communicate with a doctor in English to 40-45 secondary school students. Some of the local SOPUDEP teachers sat in on our lessons to better their English. The regular day session ended at noon. Prior to the earthquake SOPUDEP ran an after school program for street children, of which Michele and I were a part of. They have not yet restarted the afternoon program, but today I saw the most unbelievable sight. One of the street children that had attended previously showed up at the school today at 1:30. He was dressed to impress, wearing his ironed SOPUDEP T-shirt, slacks, and polished shoes. I could tell that he had been waiting for this moment, to return to receiving an education that had been regularly denied to him in Haiti. Rea explained to him that the after school program for street children would begin the first week of May. With only a tinge of disappointment, he returned to where he had just come, the streets of Haiti.

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