The Band – Singing the Clean Up Song


Every day the students at St. Andre’s arrive at approximately 7 a.m. For about 45 minutes, they attend classes. Then, at about 7:45, the entire school lines up for the pledge of allegiance. Before they raise the flag and sing the anthem, they sing a short song and say a short prayer in unison. Typically, the Haitian National Anthem is sung by the students. Today, however, it is played by a band which we didn’t know existed. There were a few trombones, trumpets, a cymbals and a snare drum. They played wonderfully. After the Anthem when everyone began to disassemble, they had a 5 minute marching band jam session. It was incredibly good. I couldn’t help but notice that a few if the brass instruments were missing knobs or otherwise not fully usable. The students were getting by despite the fact that their instruments were worn down. In the It might be nice to see if we can find some new or lightly used instruments for the band.

For today’s four o’clock lesson we talked about recycling. Marie and I shared a class of 52 students. We went over the meanings of the modals should, have to and must. We rehearsed and explained vocabulary related to recycling: trash, garbage, bottle, plastic paper and glass. We then came up with a dialogue and had students come up and act it out in pairs. Here it is:

“I have a plastic bottle. What do you think I should do with it?”

“You should recycle it.”

“Why not just throw it in the trash?”

“No, you could either take it to the recycling center or re-use the bottle.”

“What about the trash on my street?”

“You mustn’t burn it. Find a place to throw it away.”

“Cool. Thanks!”

The students seemed to like the idea of coming up and performing the dialogue in front of their peers. Typically when you walk the streets of Hinche, you see a pretty fair amount of garbage. It’s everywhere. It was our hope that engaging in conversation about this issue would raise consciousness. At the same time, we recognize that there is much more to be done about the issue of litter. Fortunately, two of the teachers taking the workshops have partnered with people in the community begun initiatives to clean up the streets. It is our hope that future teams that come here would be willing to continue these efforts.