Violunteer View: Andrew Hyrcza

Newsletter issue: 
April 2014
News item date: 
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

By Andrew Hyrcza (THP Volunteer)

Volunteer Andrew Hyrcza teaches Twazyem (U.S. 10th grade) student
Raphael Cooper Derrick, Jr., as they work on a Microsoft Word tutorial together. 

      “Call me Mr. Hyrcza.”

      I will never forget the students’ reaction the first time I announced my name.  It marked a surreal moment of change.  In that instant I felt the weight of transition from student to teacher.  No longer at University of Notre Dame, I am at Louverture Cleary School teaching Rheto (U.S. 12th Grade) English, Twazyem (U.S. 10th Grade) Computers, and Philo (senior +1) Sport.

      A few weeks before I came to LCS, I rhetorically asked a friend why I had been given so much.  Why, out of billions, was I born into a loving family in the United States who valued giving me a stellar education and love for the Catholic faith?  At the time, I did not realize the answer to my questions awaited me in Haiti.

      A few weeks later, I boarded a plane bound for LCS.  Once at LCS, I quickly learned that I had not been given those gifts out pure chance or fate.  I had been given them to use for the benefit of others.  God knew I would eventually come to LCS where the work ethic, education, and faith that my family passed onto me would be fruitful.

      Over the past eight months, I have learned more than just the answer to that question.  I have also learned that God will never be outdone in giving.  It has been a humbling realization: I came to teach but, in doing so, I have been taught.  I came to Haiti with the desire to give of myself completely.  Yet, no matter how much I strive to do so, it seems I will walk away still receiving.  I have learned much about myself and of what I am capable.  I hardly resemble myself from eight months ago.

      LCS challenges me physically, mentally, and spiritually while at the same time supporting and guiding me through those challenges.  I will leave Haiti with the same sense of being blessed with which I came; however, I now understand the joyous responsibility that comes with those blessings.  I am confident the virtues I developed here will stay with me always.