Kaitlyn Guzik's blog

What We Do For Others

The best things we do in life are things we do for others. Support for this statement can be found in scripture, psychology and even economics texts. However, the best proof of this axiom is experience. It just feels right to help others. We can do the same act for ourselves, say make a meal, and it will be enjoyable, but that same simple act takes on so much more meaning when we make a meal for a person in need of a bit of help. Probably the first place we learn to do things for others is in our immediate family—this is one reason the family is such an important social building block. 

At LCS, "doing for others" is stressed in all aspects of the day. It is how we show appreciation for what we have been given; it is also how we show our love. I think the pictures above prove that.  Here is a quick description of what is happening in each one:

[Top left] Director of Community Outreach, Christina Moynihan [center], second-year Volunteer, Emily Marquet [fourth from the right] pose for a photo with student liaisons, Daëlle Edmond, Woodline Joseph, Nadine Certitude, Edline Monclair, and the members of Women’s Club. Women’s Club is a safe, supportive environment where women can share their joys and successes, express their frustrations and comfort each other.

[Top center] Sekond (sophomore) student Rosemarlie Merisier helps a student practice writing in THP’s Koukouy St Kler (Fireflies of St. Claire) program. Koukouy St. Kler provides early childhood education to area residents.

[Top right] Christina Moynihan discusses employment development opportunities with an LCS neighbor.

[Bottom left] Philo (senior) student, Vanessa Gaston, and Rheto (junior) student, Timothy Moynihan, dispose of roadside litter during Netwayaj Deyo (Outside Cleanup).

[Bottom center] Zone residents collect potable water for drinking, bathing and cooking from the LCS well.

[Bottom left] Rheto (junior) student Jean Roudy Abellard [left] helps a zone resident with his French homework in Ekol Ankourajman (Encouragement School), an after-school tutoring program for children and young adults from the zone. 


Much Ado About Something

Photos 1 and 2: Louverture Cleary School vs. St. Louis de Gonzague. Photo 3: LCS Alumni team with Coach Drislane, Deacon Patrick Moynihan and LCS Dean of Academics Marjorie Mombrum

LCS Ends Up Three Short

On Friday afternoon, we welcomed rival school Saint Louis de Gonzague (SLG) to our campus to compete in the last basketball game of the season for the LCS team. Throughout the season, this year’s basketball team has also played several games against the LCS alumni team, the most recent of which the students won. In the past, the SLG team has been fierce competition for our LCS team. The dozen or so players who came from SLG, an all-boys school of 1,000 students, formed an intimidating team, as many of their players were taller and bulkier than the members of the LCS team. The game turned out to be a very physical one, with fouls called on both teams, but LCS demonstrated true teamwork, persistence and sportsmanship until the very end.

The LCS team scored the first basket of the game and beat the opponent to double digits, ending the first eight-minute quarter with an eight-point lead and a score of 11-3. The LCS team maintained a three-point lead at the end of the second and third quarters, although the SLG team earned 11 points in the second quarter as a result of multiple LCS turnovers. Senior captain Jeff Benoit scored a few free throws at the end of the fourth quarter to keep the game close, but SLG triumphed in the last quarter, beating LCS 33-30. Nevertheless, LCS’s eight players exhibited huge progress from the earlier games of the season. Each LCS player employed technique and strategy to advance the team as a whole rather than selfishly rushing to the net to make a basket.

The game concluded four months of coaching for first-year Volunteer Edward Drislane, who advised his team from the sidelines during Friday’s game. Meghan Gregus, also a first-year Volunteer, served as one of the referees and remained professional and impartial throughout the game, despite several difficult calls. Sekond, Rheto and Philo students, who were permitted to stay for the afternoon, came to the game outfitted with trumpets and drums and cheered enthusiastically from the sidelines. The game was an impressive display of LCS community and a positive ending to the season for our basketball team regardless of the game being a loss.

As skillfully reported by Tara above, the game, although not a record book victory was most indeed an institutional victory.  It may seem a bit audacious to claim that a simple high school basketball game can be reported as a national event. However, in a country that struggles with many institutional factors, a game that starts on time and is played to its end in an organized manner is a reliable indicator of a brighter future for Haiti. 



Teachers of All Sorts

LCS teachers at a faculty in-service; Marianna Moynihan showing Volunteer Meghan Shackford her way around the clinic at Memphis Medical Mission; boss mason, Ketty Douce, teaching Emmanus Sanon masonry. 

I am sure that it is not surprising that there are a lot of teachers at Louverture Cleary. After all, it is a school. What may be a little less obvious is how many different types of teachers there are.

In the traditional sense of the word, we have 33 professional full-time teachers. This Sunday we had a gathering of 22 of our most veteran teachers from that group to discuss student performance and ways we might improve our teaching methodology. In a way, we were a group of teachers teaching each other.

Sometimes our students become teachers. In the second picture above, Marianna, now a katryem (US 9th grade) student, is showing new Volunteer Meghan Shackford around the Memphis Medical Mission clinic at Santo 19 where Marianna has been translating for two years. "Turning the tables" provides a great learning opportunity for student and teacher alike. Marianna and Meghan had this to say about their shared experience:


On Monday we went to the Santo 19 health clinic and helped to translate in the maternity ward. (Turns out Ms. Shackford loves babies). I introduced her to the doctors from Chile and the United States, and explained the procedures in the waiting room and when the doctors meet with the new mothers and babies. Since Ms. Shackford has been to clinics like this before, she already knew a lot.


Marianna is a great teacher! Which is a good thing, since she told me she's wanted to teach third grade ever since she was in second grade. I can tell she's found her true vocation because she's so passionate about it. Seeing her be so patient with all of my questions (and I'm known in my family for asking A LOT of questions) reminded me how important it is for a teacher to be patient with her students. Even if it means you aren't getting through a lesson as quickly as you had hoped, it's important to see questions as a sign that the students are actively listening and want to understand.

Small, low intensity jobs provide an opportunity for boss mason Ketty Douce to enhance the skills of Emmanus Sanon, who is working to move up from manual to skilled labor. Ketty started in the same manner. It was interesting to hear his thoughts on working with Emmanus.


There is a proverb in Haiti, 'Gen yon tam nou pap ka truv'm' [There will come a time when you won't be able to find me]. It's important for Emmanus, as a member of our maintenance team, to know something about all of the skills needed to keep the school running. If I am in the middle of a carpentry project and there is a problem with the masonry or metalwork or plumbing, it's inefficient for me to dropeverything in order to go fix it. If Emmanus can take care of it, we can solve problems more quickly and our team becomes stronger.

What have I learned as a teacher and student? Teaching and learning all lead to the same thing: advancement.

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