Today we started our day at the sewing school, lezeau Academie de Haute Couture et d’Elegance. We helped this school purchase equipment to improve training and garment finish. I thought that the school is a peaceful place to work. The girls here learn to make patterns and sew garments. They take orders for school uniforms and even wedding dresses. Mostly, is the importance that these girls learn the trade and hopefully get jobs after graduation.
We then spent our afternoon at the AMURT. This place was magical. A gem in the midst of a tent city. The school is a community learning lab that educates 1500 participants. The school consists of children from kinder to primary but also has a program for woman. They also forcus on urban ecology and offer teacher trainings. The entire school is YOGA BASE! A dream to have in the US. This means their focus is on the school being a circle of love. They offer a neo-humanist curriculum, yoga for all ages and a vegetarian lunch program for the children. Today we toured their garden where they grow vegetables in recycled tires. The hope is for women to then bring the recycled tire back to their tent and continue to grow food on their own. We visited with the kinder students and practiced yoga, sang, danced and played games. The children loved all the attention and couldn’t get enough. They enjoyed getting their picture taken and then looking back at it on the camera. Some of the little girls thought that my hair was funny and they enjoyed touching and playing with it. They also were very interested in my hands; looking at them, clapping with them; just simply playing. I helped paint the mural. Of course only the blue background because I am not get ready to display my non artistic talent on a mural just yet. Heehee! The school is just simply amazing and well run! The children were beautiful and playful! It was a breath of fresh air to be there.
In the evening we had a guest speaker to talk to us about Haiti and Voudou, an African-based religion of Haiti. Voudou can be traced to the first Africans brought to Haiti in the sixteenth century. It truly was a fascinating conversation with our guest speaker. As our guest spoke of Voudou my mind was speaking my language and my religion and how similar the two are. The number 3 meant to me, the holy trinity. When the word sacrifice came up, immediately I thought of Jesus dying on the cross. If there was something that I couldn’t quite relate to then I listened with an open heart and mind. But there was one thing….when our guest spoke of voudou dolls and how they are used for healing; having a figure of a human and maybe a ring of theirs or a piece of hair and then practicing acupuncture on the figure for healing and with good intension. The thought that came to my mind was I don’t care how you heal, weather it is through a voudou doll, a healing service in someone’s house, sitting in a circle holding hands and praying together.
Some of us are born into a religion and/or a belief system. Clearly not everyone around the world believes the same thing. That’s life. Regardless if I agree with others religions and ideas I am open to listening and learning.