Ben: A lot pf people are afraid of entering into their houses to do their work. They are all sitting outside. A lot of teachers at other schools feel that they are too distrubed to work with the children so schools are still closed. There are other teachers who believe that the children are not yet ready to learn again. Some Lagonavians see us as non patriotic, that we are not showing enough remorse for all the people that have perished. They feel we should stay closed for a month or two instead of opening so quickly. A few people in Matènwa feel this too, but most of this criticsm comes from people outside of our community. Parents are sending their children to school because they believe in us. Others are sending them because they have nothing to give their kids and know that the kids will be fed at by us. We have been teaching about volcanoes and earthquakes in all of our classes. Each child was asked to explain their experience of the quake and several of our children drew and wrote about their experiences. We will try to send those to you. We feel that we should be open so that families do not feel like this is the end of the world.
Abner and I have also been going around to some of the churches, explaining what an earthquake is and why some places were more damaged than others. We are spreading information that we heard on the radio, on the internet and from books that are in our library. We also went to the churches to head off rumors, because several people said that Americans and China were shooting bombs under Haiti so they could take control of Haiti. They were the ones shooting things under the ocean so they could come in mass to Haiti, so that they could make it appear that Haiti had a problem and then come in and control it better. We had to talk to the people so they could believe it was a real earthquake and that they did not need to believe that people created this. Other people explained it as something that God was doing to punish sinners, and that it was fulfilling a prophecy, another portion felt it was truly a natural disaster.
Chris: It is clear that people need time to discuss and process the earthquakes and all the after shocks. They need a venue for sharing their stories and knowledge with each other. We are informally spreading information and presently forming a plan to have children share their stories with other children across the island and on the mainland.