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.