A Workshop in Ansagale

Ansagale is the major city on Lagonav. It’s the port that I use to go back and forth from the Haitian mainland for work in Matènwa, up in the mountains of the small island.

Abner Sauveur, one of the directors of the Matènwa Community Learning Center, and I spent a week leading a workshop for two small primary schools in the outskirts of Ansagale. Here’s a picture of Abner as we were preparing to get started on one of the days.

The activity we used as the workshop’s centerpiece was an introduction to Wonn Refleksyon, the discussion activity we have been working on since I first came to Haiti in 1997. Here, one of the teachers is making a point about the principles the activity is based on:

The first text in the book discusses groundrules and objectives for discussions. One of the activities underlying principles is that the more participants know about and talk about what they are doing and why, the more productive the activity can be. For that reason, the first meeting offers groundrules and objectives, not as lessons to be accepted, but as topics to be discussed. Here the conversation continues in small group work:

One of our goals for the week was to encourage conversations between the school’s leadership and its teachers. The American woman in the photo above is a Christian missionary who founded the two schools. She joined in some of the conversations. The photo below shows the first grade teacher and Director of Academics at the larger of the two schools.

Here he is with Abner:

The week was made somewhat easier because we were able to borrow a motorcycle to make the daily trips up and down the mountain. Here’s Abner, getting ready to drive us up:

Abner’s younger son, Bidyori, enjoyed the new helmet:

This photo of Abner and me was taken by Johna Blockman.

309 256 002 008