One of my most favorite things about the Ellerslie Campus is the inhabitants that we have every couple months or so. One of our dorm buildings houses a Haitian Children’s Choir called His Little Feet whenever they are taking a break from the hustle and bustle of tour. Every time I see them, I fall even more in love with these 15 precious children from Danita’s Children Home in Haiti. They’re always so full of life, mischief, fun, and love. I thought I might share with you some of the joy that they’ve brought to me.
Last week several of us “Advanced” students had the opportunity to help the kids with their school for a couple hours. We’re always ecstatic whenever opportunity to spend time with them pops up. So one afternoon we all met up in the common area of the Victory Wing and received instructions for tutoring. I was to be working with Kesnel, the little boy who someday wants to be the future President of Haiti. Was I feeling a little pressure? You better believe it! Kesnel, I was told, has a bit of trouble focusing on his schoolwork sometimes, so I was warned to beware of distraction methods. Secretly I was sort of hoping that I wouldn’t get distracted myself.
Not much later I heard Auntie Brooke’s voice coming down the stairs, “You’ll be working with Auntie Kelsey today!”
“Auntie Kelsey? Which one’s that?” (If only you could hear his adorable Haitian accent through my writing).
“Auntie Kelsey’s my friend, there she is,” said Brooke as they were coming around the corner.
“Ohhhh.... That one!”
That one? What’s that supposed to mean? I figured based on the big grin on his face it couldn’t have been too bad a statement, so off we went to find a place to study. Kesnel, of course, really wanted to study outside, in the wind. I walked outside telling myself all the while that I loved the wind. Someday I’ll believe it.
Kesnel did great with his math, with hardly a distraction except when Nathan Rogers was around. Then came time to practice reading, so Kesnel zoomed off to find a book from the reading corner. Giggles erupted from the stairs as he clunked all the way down and took off outside again. I went out only to discover that the book he picked was Where’s Waldo?, full of colorful and fascinating pictures- but no words to read. I convinced him to go back upstairs and pick out a new book, preferably a book with lots of words.
Thump thump thump thump thump. Whack, out the door.
This time it was a book meant for toddlers that would take 5 minutes at the absolute most to read through.
“Go pick a new one! Make it really hard!” I said.
Thump thump thump thump thump, up the stairs.
Thump thump thump thump thump, down the stairs..
He then proudly showed me the largest copy of Little Women I think I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately for Kesnel, Uncle Aaron was now standing at the bottom of the stairs and was quite convinced that Little Women was not a book suited for a little Haitian boy growing into a tough Haitian man. I can't imagine why....
“Kesnel, go get a manly book!”
“She told me get hard one! I did!”
“Well get a different hard one!” (Poor little guy)
This time Uncle Aaron helped pick out the book, and Kesnel and I had a lovely time reading all about Jujo, a little tribal boy experiencing his first step into manhood. Of course, we had a much more lovely time finding Waldo and many other interesting characters for the next 20 minutes after that. :-)