Monday afternoon marked three months since the earthquake. Just this week we've started to see gingham-shirt-clad students headed back to class, and Tuesday MCC resumed teaching classes at a nearby seminary, Centre de Théologie Intégrale de la Caraїbe. Actually, MCC* was teaching three classes before the earthquake: Social Justice Issues, Advocacy, and an Advocacy Practicum. The seminary has decided to cram the rest of the semester into three whirlwind weeks, so each class runs from 2-6pm.
* Meaning Nixon and Alexis, our advocacy department.
I've signed on to work with Nixon to develop our teacher's guide and make the curriculum replicable, so I attended the class yesterday afternoon. The second-year teacher didn't show, so those students crammed into the first-year classroom to take part in the discussion on neoliberal market and governmental policies.
"To change the system, you must first understand it" - and try to understand it they did. I was also encouraged to hear things like:
"We must take responsibility for our problems."
"Haiti's history is different from all other countries, so we need to seek a solution to problems that fits in with our history and our heritage."
"Other countries can't change Haiti; only the Haitian people can."
"As pastors, we are leaders who can make a difference."
Hear, hear. Sometimes I get exhausted with the fact that everyone, but everyone, is more than willing to point out problems, but rarely are people willing to propose solutions. I know this is difficult in any context, but I particularly appreciate any conversations in which participants move past identifying problems and start thinking about responses. Here's to creativity, hard work, and personal responsibility and engagement.