After a break for Christmas and Haitian Independence Day (January 1), the students in Sassier returned to School on January 7. Weather has been good, so there haven’t been days lost due to excessive rain and the river flooding that accompanies large rainfall. When there is too much rain, many of the teachers cannot reach Sassier, since they have to cross through-not across the River Ginaudee to reach the school from their homes. Also, the roads become very muddy and difficult to navigate with the motorcycles, which is the usual form of transportation.
There is a sense of excitement beginning to develop among the students in the upper grades. This June, College Pierre Toussaint will have its first graduation from 13th Grade. Remember that just 9 years ago, there was no school building for the parish school in Sassier. Now, there are two school buildings with more than 30 classrooms. Then, there were 200 students from Kindergarten to 4th Grade. Now there are nearly 900 students from Preschool to 13th Grade. As people in Sassier say, “Our dream has become a reality!” We cautioned all the students to remember that nobody can graduate unless they pass the examinations, so the reality that there is a lot of studying to do before any celebrations is beginning to set in.
Speaking of school buildings, the Christmas holiday provided us with the opportunity to finish the paint job on the new school building, which is the home more than 500 students from Preschool to 6th Grade. We think you will agree that it is a very beautiful sight! Also finished was the plumbing that provides water for the toilet facilities and the handwashing stations for the students. Having flush toilets and running water is a first for the students-no one has either at home. So, everyone will need to be trained to use them properly-not too much paper!