Haiti Travelogue: School in the Dark, Soccer without Shoes

Westword reporter went to Haiti for his recent feature story "The Social Conscience of a Missionary." Be sure to check back in for the next few days as he recounts his personal journey through the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Slide Show

The town of Grand Goave is our last stop. There’s no school here, rather, all the kids in town who want to learn come to church. They’re grouped together somewhat by their ages, and a couple of 18-year-olds from the village, who aren’t paid for their trouble, try to teach the kids with no school supplies, no chalkboard, no books and usually no lights.

Behind the school is a graveyard for Mack trucks; the man who runs the school is also a mechanic.

The suitcase full of school supplies that ICOF brings doesn’t go very far. Dishing it out is sheer chaos. Out back, after the last of the supplies is dished out and the best soccer ball in town gets a new soccer ball (although he has no shoes), the principal/mechanic tells ICOF that the kids have to study to pass a difficult national test. -- Luke Turf

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