First class of the year is a computer class and I manage to drag my trusty friend and invaluable translator, Philippe, to ambush a couple of students as they emerge from the classroom. We swoop down and separate Jean Jeounty (22) and Noël Isande (21) from the laughing herd and with my “at least he tried” level of Creole seek to hear the voice of the people. And from their genuine smiles I’m drawn to believe them. Both Jean and Noël speak particularly positive about the way the teacher conducted the lesson and simply hope the other lessons will follow suit. But why do these young mountain dwellers decide to enroll in the Vocational school in the first place and learn the mystical art of computers? Jean, straightforward in his shyness says that he hopes to ‘up his knowledge’. Short and to the point - a man after my own heart. Noël, bold and confident looks at her fellow classmate with a raised eyebrow; takes a step forward and unleashes a wonderful monologue ….. the essence of Noël's message , like her few worded companion, she is on a quest for knowledge, but also recognizes that the world is knocking on Haiti’s door and computer knowledge is paramount for life in a modern society. She also has friends who work in the information sector and who encourage her … several girls [who attended the Vocational School] now have jobs as we speak. Since they graduated only last October it is indeed something to be proud of.
Needless to say, both the staff and students are looking at the coming year with great expectations and with great hope for a bright future for both the school and for the nation and its next generation."