Kaitlyn Guzik's blog

Love and Basketball... and Compost


From Left: Rheto (U.S. 12th grade) student, Sebastien St. Fleur drives the ball down the court during Friday's showdown against the alumni; Volunteer Coach Amanda Haluga and Volunteer Asst. Coach Connor Branham pose with the victorious basketball team.


From Left: THP President Deacon Patrick Moynihan at work on the compost heap as Dr. Theony Deshommes (LCS '03) sorts metal for recycling; Christina Moynihan teaches "Theology of the Body" to the LCS Twazyèm (10th grade) class.

It was a joyous end to the basketball season last week as the LCS varsity team brought home an exciting and long-awaited victory against an all-star team of LCS alumni. LCS students beat the alumni 20-18 in overtime. Volunteer Coach Amanda Haluga was proud to see just how far the team has come in the past few months of this year:

This season I have seen so much improvement in so many ways among these twelve boys. They have grown in their basketball skills, discipline and their character. I thought the game was fantastic. After our initial defeat by the alumni in December, we came back this time ready to return the favor – and we did. I think every single one of my players had been working so hard to prepare, and our buzzer-beater victory was a testament to how much heart they put into this season.

Deacon Patrick and Christina Moynihan arrived just in time to catch the big win. Deacon Moynihan, THP president and head of LCS, spent the week lending support to the in-country administration and working alongside the Volunteers, staff and students. He commented:

The school looks fabulous and is running very well. I am impressed with my colleagues Esther Paul [Dir. of Operations-Haiti; LCS class of '02], Marjorie Mombrun [LCS Principal; class of '07] and Kaitlyn Guzik [Dir. of Community Development], quite a team."
I also enjoyed reuniting with Dr. Deshommes at the compost pile and with the Volunteers on the basketball court. Now, there was a real positive change from last year -- at 5' 11" I was finally the tallest person on the court.

Christina Moynihan, former LCS Director of Neighborhood Education and Social Services, gave a week-long seminar for the LCS Twazyèm (U.S. 10th grade) students on understanding human sexuality in the context of St. John Paul II's Theology of the Body, as well as the realities of sexually transmitted diseases. It has been five years since Mrs. Moynihan first introduced the curriculum at LCS. The course has become an annual source of metanoia for Louverturians and their communities. Djim Guerrier (LCS '14) recalls:

Since I am Christian, I have always known that men and women were made to live with one partner, but Mrs. Moynihan's class affirmed this belief for me. Deacon Moynihan has also talked to us about how one of Haiti's major issues is men having multiple families – that it disrupts society [economically] when a man has to divide a single paycheck among several families. It keeps them from moving forward.

And I was AMAZED by the information she taught us about sexually transmitted diseases and how monogamy is the only way to be truly safe. Mrs. Moynihan told us we have a responsibility to share this information with others, and so I have talked to other people in my community about it. At first, they thought I was kidding or trying to scare them, but when they realized it was true, they thanked me. My cousin said sincerely, "What you told me has changed my life." People don't think about the danger of the consequences of their actions. I'm so glad I had this class.

A Few Good Vols


From left: Amanda Haluga teaches students to make music with the instruments in the LCS Music Club during afternoon Play Hour; Connor Branham tills the rooftop garden with the LCS Garden Club during Netwayaj (afternoon cleanup).


From left: Michelle Paquette works with students to sort recyclables at the incinerator during afternoon Netwayaj; Lead Volunteer Kristin Soukup reviews decimals, integers and absolute values in Senkyèm (U.S. 8th grade) algebra.

With a full semester of experience under their belts, the Volunteer team returned from Christmas break the first week in January, stepping right from the truck into the classroom. Second-year Volunteer, Kristin Soukup is this year's Lead Volunteer in addition to helping in the administration as Dean of Students.

The team brings a lot of enthusiasm to all of their various responsibilities in order to best serve the students. All the Volunteers have spent a lot of time preparing and investing in the classes that they teach. Even outside the classroom, where they have different roles – which are sometimes different than what they expected. For example, Michelle leads and organizes the students at the incinerator, Michelle and Amanda help out with the Koukouy program, Connor has taken on leadership of the Garden Club and started a Business Club. And of course Amanda's leadership of the basketball team has allowed her to put her experience to good use. They are all playing their strengths, some they had before, and others they have developed here in service to the LCS community.

-Kristin Soukup, Lead Volunteer

Do you know someone who make a great year-long Volunteer for The Haitian Project?

Maybe someone who would enjoy living for a year in an intentional Catholic community? A recent college graduate willing to share their newly-acquired knowledge with eager students? THP's next application deadline is February 17. Contact Kaitlyn at development@haitianproject.org or download the Teach in Haiti flyer for more information.



Of Shovels and Wheelbarrows



Left: David Civil (LCS '10) coordinates work hour schedules and tasks as a member of the Junior Staff. Here, he works with students to turn the compost.Center: Students give the incinerator a thorough cleaning, as others turn the compost heap. The "Compost song" is displaying on the wall above. Right: Volunteers and students rid the soccer field of thorny plants which sprung up during the winter break.

During campus Work Hours, LCS students led by staff and Volunteers assist the campus maintenance staff on a daily basis, providing additional labor for more complicated projects and handling smaller jobs themselves. Junior Staff member and 2010 graduate, David Civil, manages the rotation of students, staff, and their tasks.

Our students don't come to campus just to work with pens and paper, but they have to be ready to work to rebuild the country. As I tell the students, life is not only about doing the things that we want to do, but about doing what we have to do and what we should do. Work Hours show the students that they have a responsibility to do what needs to be done, even if it is not easy. It's very important for this community to be filled with people who are ready to do what needs to be done. This is the mission of Louverture Cleary, this is a part of life. I am proud to teach the students how to do their work and to work alongside them.

-David Civil (LCS '10), Work Hour Coordinator

Work Hours are a chance for us to work physically, to remember that our intelligence isn't just something that is only for the classroom or an office. If we are going to be hard workers, we have to be ready for physical tasks, too. When it's time for work hour, I like when we have a chance to work on the betÓn [concrete] and on the rock crusher. I like doing these jobs because the boys don't think that the girls can do it. I like to show them that I can do everything they can -- that I'm strong, too.

-Michaella Cadet, LCS Rheto (U.S. 12th grade) student

Work Hours help students to learn about caring for their enivornment and to further benefit from the structure that LCS provides for their lives. When we are in work hour, we are demonstrating the importance of caring for the community and sometimes learning new skills, like the best way to use a crib (sifter). They will be able to apply a lot of these skills in their future.

-Michelle Paquette, Volunteer

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