Tomorrow hundreds of new students will be arriving on campus at Freed-Hardeman University. Among them will be FHU’s newest Haitian student, Michemana Blaise.
Michemana has lived for the past ten years with Roberta Edwards at the Sonlight Children’s Home in Haiti. She is Roberta’s foster child, but she refers to Roberta as “mom.” While at Freed, Michemana plans to major in biochemistry, and her long-term goal is to continue her education after graduation to become a physician assistant.
At just 20 years old, Michemana is mature, intelligent, and seems wise beyond her years. Her goal is to focus very hard on her studies, and one of her main worries about the upcoming school year is fast-talking professors. When asked a question, she replies thoughtfully and quietly, but is very firm and clear in what she says. She is someone that is easy to be around and you immediately want to be her friend. Although she says she is very friendly, she admits that she won’t always take the first step to reach out her hand to someone new because she is shy.
As of now, she is waiting to decide on joining any groups or social clubs until she sees how well she can keep up with her classes. Some people have encouraged her to join a singing group because she loves to sing. Another activity she enjoys is teaching children. Michemana often helped teach the younger children at Sonlight Children’s Home, and she also taught the young children’s Bible class at church as well. Teaching is something she really enjoys because she loves how little children have such excitement about learning.
One reason that Michemana is confident in her desire to go into the medical field is that she has translated for many years for the medical mission teams that travel to Haiti. She has learned so much from that process, and she says that she loves when those teams come. Another reason for her interest in medicine is that many people come to Roberta’s home when they need medical help, and Michemana has learned that she has a natural gift for helping in that way. She enjoys attending to people and has learned a lot from those experiences. Her goal is return to Haiti as a PA to put her skills to use where they are very much needed.
Michemana seems to be adjusting to life in Henderson pretty well. She says that Henderson is not as busy and does not have as many people in the streets as she is used to and that is a big change. She also struggles with . . . air conditioning! When I went to visit, she was wrapped up in a fleece blanket like those of us in Tennessee might use at an outdoor sporting event in December. She says she is just not used to the cold air, and she is a bit worried about the upcoming winter.
If you have the opportunity, take the time to get to know this very brave, smart, and beautiful young woman from Haiti. She would appreciate encouragement, friendship, and maybe a jacket. 🙂 While Michemana may be shy, if you take the first step and reach out to her, you’ll be so glad you did!