Freshly painted pillars in the LCS cafeteria with the mantra “We will cook what we have; we will eat what we cook,” written in the school’s four languages. Bottom row: LCS maintenance staff, making benches for the cafeteria.
We are fortunate to have a relatively diverse and, I dare say, tasty menu at the school. Students from the early graduating years will remember Louverture Cleary School having a more basic and less varied diet. In those days, I worked more closely with the cooks. When they were concerned with making a meal for the third time in one week, I would remind them, "We will cook what we have; we will eat what we cook."
I am proud of our institutional progress. I appreciate the LCS cooks always making the best of what we have had and have now. However, it is also important to remember our past and keep in mind that, with the right resolve, we can survive ― even prosper ― in just about any circumstance. This week we painted the old mantra on the pillars of the cafeteria.
We also made new classroom benches from wood leftover from the forms used for the walls we poured last year. Not all our materials for the benches could be supplied from "what we had". Thankfully, Patrick Brun, THP former Board Member and Chair, donated 30 planks for the seat and desk-tops.
I have asked Volunteer Kaitlyn Guzik, who helped lead the student group who did the painting, to recount her experience:
Deacon Patrick Moynihan always says there are three parts to every job: the planning, the execution, and the clean-up. At 7 AM this Saturday, the planning for this project included translating the English mantra into the other three languages of our school: French, Kreyol and Spanish. As our resident linguist, Volunteer Tara Kingsley, and the students carefully chose each word, little did we think that we’d put these words to the test later that morning.
For several weeks prior, Saturday lunches had been a variation of my dad’s chili recipe, but this weekend we had run out of beans, tomato paste, tomatoes, and chili powder. No problem. Using the remaining ingredients we whipped up a soup for the usual group of approximately 20 Volunteers and Haitian staff. Then we learned that the 12 students who helped us all morning would also join us for lunch. Fortunately, there’s one thing we have yet to run out of around here: white rice. With help from the staff, we made the largest batch of rice I’ve ever seen. In the end, there was plenty to go around. And we did, indeed, prosper. As the students worked, enthusiasm for the project could not be contained on the four pillars. The entire cafeteria received a makeover with a fresh coat of paint, sparkling windows and a shining floor.