I mean, sure, we made the best of it this year. As we went through week after week of lockdown and political unrest and stress (just scroll through the year's posts for evidence), we, my colleagues and I, did our best to keep teaching (in disrupted days, then half days, then distance learning). We learned about the intricacies of Google Classroom and adapted lessons. I read lots of books and watched birds in my yard. I wrote updates in email and on Facebook and tried to keep Haiti in people's minds. I spent extra time with my husband and son and rode the exercise bike and attempted to maintain my mental health. I invited near neighbors over and served them chai. I wrote poems and short stories. I encouraged my students and their families as much as I could.
And last week, a lot of schools in Haiti opened, some for the first time this school year. (Here's an article in English about it and here's one in French.) And that's great. But only about a quarter of the kids were there; parents were cautious and scared, and there were still threats against the safety of students venturing out. Schools recommended that their pupils not come in uniform, since uniforms draw attention. Are you getting the picture that schools opening doesn't mean that things are back to normal?
While I recognize that difficult times help us grow spiritually, I am also sad that so many children have missed so much school this year. Children get one childhood, and it's already short. And school is only one aspect of the disruption in Haiti. Health care and the economy have been affected, too. There's a looming food crisis. There's been violence and fear. I'm not quite ready to wrap up this year with a bow and say it was all OK. (Please don't hear me making political statements or taking sides; I don't know the solutions to Haiti's problems, of which there are many.)
If you read my post from January, you'll see that I wrote about how some of the possibilities for the year were always negative. I used the metaphors of tornadoes and earthquakes (and earthquakes are not always metaphors in these parts). It didn't take any prescience to envision yucky possibilities for the year; we were already in the throes of political crisis when 2019 began. It just kept getting worse, and as the year ends, it's not resolved.
Irene has our roundup today.