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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A glimpse into Haiti - Part 3



It's morning and I have discovered there are banana palms in the eating area! Love it!

We all slept well, but our mattresses were so thin, I took another one to pad it. Actually, I moved two thin mattresses to my bunk, and then slipped the pillow under the hip part to cushion me even further. Jackie and Sharon called me a princess and I said I would put a pea under my mattress. Tessa had not heard that story. We were cool last night because the air-conditioning. After breakfast we walked down to the job site. 
The area looks very similar to Cochabamba, but much more rubble and dust. It took us about 30 min. to reach a man's hut that was beside the small garden of Swiss chard, okra, corn, melons, and other vegetables. The man's home was tarpaulins and woven leaves under tin roof. 

He had a few chickens in the pen, plus a few chicks loose and a rooster whose leg was tied to a small rope. Immediately we began to break up a square of about 12 X 12 with pickaxes and created a trench around the outside. 

Like in Bolivia, cement and small stones were poured into the trench. I marveled at how well our two groups worked together, especially with the bucket brigade moving small boulders. Cliff Temple's minister of missions, Wes, is a natural leader.

As we were digging out the center area, we unearthed two small tarantulas. I even touched one. With gloves on, of course. But even  a fear of  spiders won't stop me from the desire to build a home. I'm so proud of the way we're working.

We mixed cement and stuffed small rocks and such into our footings. Naturally, the locals were curious and stopped and watched us, with various children slipping into the area. 
One cute little boy with just a shirt on, (and nothing else!) stuck around. His red shirt was ripped and had been resewn. He kept grabbing things, especially Tessa's earrings and her dreadlocks. When we had nearly completed the footings, we left for home for lunch, walking back a different route. Surprisingly, the weather is cooler than I expected and cloudy this morning, but after lunch it really got hot.

Lunch was chicken, rice and beans and vegetables. I've discovered that Tessa is a vegetarian, but we had brought flatbread and peanut butter, and we found some jam and washed it all down with Coke or 7-Up.

After lunch, it was naptime, but before that, we gave away T-shirts with our group logo to the compound staff and sewing kits to the ladies in the kitchen. The man who runs the compound, Jean-Faucher, took the little girl dresses that some of the ladies of the church made, and brought in to our dormitory about half a dozen little girls. So we got to present them to them. And of course pictures were taken.

We walked back to our worksite past some vendors, and I asked Junior, a young man who was in charge of us, to ask how much a dress I saw cost.

We finished the footings early. On the way back, Junior asked the store lady how much the dress cost . She said $20 US. I said no, but Junior said bartering wasn't appropriate. She lowered the price to $15 US and since Rhonda had a 20 US dollar bill, I borrowed it and she got some Haitian gourdes back. The dress was a pretty blue-and-white one with smocking at the top. 

We walked down to the river where the town was installing a mesh embankment. 

We got back to the compound, I took a shower and wash my socks as they were filthy. The other group invited us to the rooftop for devotional, and we have agreed to do two of the nights. Wes says he's interested to learn 'Canadian doctrine'.

We have a mango tree here in the compound and Allan says he'll get some to eat. Our supper was a macaroni casserole with big glasses of water. Which was good thing, since the food is very spicy. We ate crackers and flatbread. After we went upstairs onto the rooftop for a nice devotional. 

When that was done, we all went around the corner to a smoothie shop, where the lady takes evaporated milk, fruit, sugar, and ice and blends it altogether. However, she only has three flavors, papaya, potato and breadfruit. Yes, you read right, a potato smoothie. Tessa had that one. They were all rich and sweet. We had a good long day, a productive one, and I'm bushed and off to bed.

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