- Toby Banks
The New Additions
The week of January 16 was a big week for us in Haiti. Gina and Ronise had both reached the age of 18 and decided to join their sisters in our growing Haiti family. Ronise’s younger sister, Berlinda, wanted to stay with her big sister so she was signed out to Ronise’s care. There was a lot of joy in the house as the girls were reunited. I traveled to Haiti at the end of January and stayed around 2 weeks to get them the things they needed and to help them settle into their new normal. Reconnecting, laughing, and sharing some stories took a lot of our time, but we also needed to accomplish some business since my time there was limited.
We had the three girls’ school level assessed and decided to start them on an online program. Starting mid-year, basically on a different planet, would not have set them up for success. Their online program is helping them catch up and work on grammar and language skills. Reading is part of their everyday routine to help with vocabulary and understanding as well.
We also decided that setting up a routine for housekeeping and meals would help everyone. We poured over Pinterest and some cookbooks to find some easy and affordable recipes to try. They eat dinner and take a vote as to whether that meal stays on the menu or not. Josh and Paige were thankful for this as well. They all eat dinner together most nights but it saves them from having to think up something every day. We laid some ground rules around housekeeping duties as well by making “The Dreaded Chore Chart.” Now everyone knows what they are responsible for each day. This eliminates the “but I just did that” and the “ask someone else, it’s not my turn” discussions that arise when unpleasant chores need done. It has helped to promote peace in the house.
We are still working to raise funds for the truck that works for the gang. Next comes driver’s training. We are hoping Josh survives this added stressor in his life. He is a great teacher and a very patient man (mostly thanks to his wonderful wife Paige) and we would hate for his head to explode teaching all these girls how to drive.