Friday, June 24, 2005

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St. Suzanne School greets Bishop Chibly and Patricia

Bishop Chibly, Patricia, Sister, Fr.
Medenel are greeted by the children.

St. Suzanne School Posted by Hello

These are some of the 400 children who greeted us with song when we stopped to visit St. Suzanne School in the mountains. St. Suzanne in is the diocese of Fort Liberte. It is about half way between Cap Haitian and Fort Liberte. Fr. Medenel is the pastor there. She school is run by the Sisters. St. Suzanne is about a 1 1/2 hour drive from Fort Liberte on horrible roads.

The needs of this school are great. But by contrast to Cotlette, they at least have a school and a church to attend. There is no well here; water has to be hauled up the mountain from the nearest well. The supplies are very limited. The usual things we take for granted in our schools do not exist here.

You can see the bathrooms on the bottom left picture. These facilities are horrible. Can you imagine your children using them? The playground is a washed out area of clay. It is the hope of the council to change the drainage of this area and to add some playground equipment for the children in the future.

Fr. Medenel and the sisters also need help in paying the teachers. The families pay $11 a year to send their children to school. That is all the families in this poor area can afford. Obviously, this does not come close to covering the cost of the 15 teachers that work here in two school shifts.

St. Suzanne has a women's center next to the school that teaches women to sew. They have 4 sewing machines. There is a large oven that no longer works. When it did work, they were able to teach women to cook and bake bread.

The sisters currently live in the medical clinic next to the school. They have a house that is not completed. It still needs doors, windows, and all the finishing touches to make it habitable. In the clinic there is an efficiency size stove and oven that the sisters use to cook for 400 children. How they work this miracle is beyond my imagination!!


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