Jessica – Day Three – July 5, Open House

Natalie and Jessica
Natalie and Jessica

Another early morning for me, but I fell back asleep.  Shaina woke us up around 9am to let us know that we would be having breakfast at TonTon Rico’s house.

TonTon Rico picked us up and we headed over to enjoy a bowl (or two) of fresh Soup Joumou with toasted bread.  TonTon Rico explained that he made it every week.  Following breakfast, TonTon Rico took us on a drive around town so folks in could see that ETE Camp had arrived.  Many things to see: families walking to church, children playing with marbles, roads being constructed and vendors everywhere.  After that, we returned to our living quarters to get ready for Open House.

Open House ran very smoothly! We arrived a little after 2:15pm, only to find a group of parents and kids already waiting for us.  A few kids immediately ran up to Ms. Gilbert to say hi. After a quick discussion, we decided to keep registration in one room and students would pick up their bags/take their pictures in another room.  At 3:00pm, we began registering the kids – parents would fill out a permission slip, then the student would receive his/her group color, gift bag and have  his/her picture taken.  Students needed to have their parents present in order to register.  One little boy did not have his parents present and he was heartbroken about it. He was upset that his parents were late, but he had to wait.  The junior counselors were very helpful, escorting the kids from room to room.

It was interesting to see the reactions from the kids – some were super happy to be registered. Others were extremely shy and would not say a word. I tried to get one of the shy boys to talk, asking him what he wanted to be when he grew up: Lawyer? NO. Teacher? NO. Engineer? NO.  – So I gave him an O_o, and asked, “well, what do want to do?!” He responded with a big smile, “Medicine!!”  <3.

We were at the school for approximately 2 hours wrapping up registrations.  We had a high number of girls, so we had to hold some spots for boys.  We did a lottery pick for the remaining three female spots and those were filled quickly.  Following that, we ended registration and headed home.  On the drive back, a mother stopped our vehicle to ask if she could still register her two boys.  One was 13, so he was too old.  The other boy was 9. Mr. Gilbert asked him, “What’s 4×3?” The boy responded, “12”.  And just like that, Abel was newest member of ETECamp2015. His mom filled out his registration on the spot. I completed his name tag. Jeremy grabbed his gift bag and Zari took his picture.  We called that a drive-by registration.

That night, Ti-Jack, Shaina’s cousin took us out for a walk around Hinche.  We went back to the park, where a church service was being held.  It was the start of a revival week. In the midst of the service, the electricity went out, so the service went on in the dark.  The streets were filled with folks, even in the dark.  Laughing, walking, playing, there clearly was a Sunday night nightlife in Hinche.  Ti-Jack took us to get some street food, homemade Fritay.  While it was being cooked, there was an older gentleman playing the banjo and others were singing and dancing around him. At one point, the banjo player gave Jeremy a private performance – he stood directly in front of Jeremy and sang him a song.  When he was done performing, he stood and waited for a tip. At first, we weren’t sure what he was waiting for, but then he signaled his pocket at which point, we figured out.  We laughed, and Ti-Jack was able to cover the tip for us since we didn’t have any cash on us.

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