The heavy warm rain of yesterday seemed to take away a lot of the humidity and last night was very very good for a full night’s sleeping, and a number of us used our bed sleeping cover for the first time. We know some mention has been made about the abundance of ‘ Nature ‘ sounds before, so here we may only mention the animals seen on the way down our outside stairway : roosters, hens and their chicks, guinea fowl, pigs, donkeys, horses Technicolor geckos, crickets …. Perhaps we shouldn’t forget the late night chanting from some neighbours over the fence.
To start our chores for the day, we sorted and wrapped pain relieving medication that came with our supplies for people in the community.
|packaging pills to help with fever and pain|
This is very important because the relatively new mosquito carried disease, Chikungunya, that is spreading throughout the Caribbean, has hit Haiti and more and more people right here in Deschapelles. For example, one of Karen’s own employees showed up this morning while we were sorting the pills and his wife and child have the Chikungunya and he had to walk back to his home with these kinds of pills and walk back again to work. And these past couple of days more students have been absent and some have had to leave for home during the day. Today a teacher is off with it and Luckner had to send six students home on motos. They were too sick to walk home. For our families back home, this isn’t classified as a fatal disease, but can be very uncomfortable and painful for five to seven days (Lacee says for her Mom not to worry and not to come and get her before our trip is over ).
|Students ill with chikungunya sitting in our office|
|Students with chikungunya being sent home on motos|
When the pills were sorted, Karen drove the five new members of our Team to the market about 10 Kms away in Verrettes. We walked through the market, trailing very close to Karen, and saw many people selling anything from old used clothing to many parts of newly killed unrefrigerated animals, including goat, pig, beef, chickens, intestines and all ……. As we continued to the parking lot, we saw whole fried frogs ( I thought you might enjoy a meal of them, Mom ), fried whole fish, machetes, weaved chairs and baskets. We got to the parking lot to discover it was a gravel area with donkeys and horses tied on and not a car or truck in sight. Apparently, some of these people may leave 2 or 3 AM and walk, with or without footwear, to the market hoping to make some sales to be able to buy some rice or food products to bring back to their families and walk back again. It’s hard to put into words how grateful you are for the things you have, and how convenient it is to get the things you need after a Haitian market experience.
|At market in Verrettes|
When we returned from the market it was recess time and several of us went to the school and Todd got to meet the child he is starting to sponsor. After recess, we went back to the house to enjoy some mango cookies that Emma and Alycia had baked while we were gone to the market.
|Enjoying time with students at recess|
|recess time at school|
Early afternoon some adults and students came to pick up food packages.
|Food going home to feed family members|
Some students came for goats that had been donated. A goat can be a tremendously important gift for a family for several reasons. There had been hope of chickens being purchased today for families too, but they were not available for purchase.
|Joseph, Nashley Grade 5 from sponsor Calvin Gosse|
|Charles, Jolinda PS2 with donated goat|
Perhaps over the years, our electricity supply has had a consistency of 99 % at least on an average. Here, in brief, are some electrical problems of today. The inverter and generator weren’t in sync ? or whatever ?. Our electric supply was about nil in midday. The batteries weren’t charged and hardly anything was working – well, the kiddos were as highly charged as ever and didn’t miss a beat, and Ti Luc continued to beat all the visitors in gallery soccer. We waited on an inverter technician.
However, our Team decided to use the Haitians as role models and since they had endured slavery and earthquakes and recent cholera, our Team decided we could continue to work in the heat and continue we did. An excellent job was done with rake and wheelbarrow to clear rocks, gravel, etc out of the back garden area of the Compound and piled conveniently out of the way for further use. No electricity so no fans worked for our break, but we weren’t deterred. And we knew that our Germaine and Roselene were busy cooking up another excellent supper.
|Shovelling up cement and dirt in 40 + C|
|Hard workers lowering body temps with communal pan of cold water.|
We’d like to THANK our HATS Director for getting us that enjoyable heavy warm rain shower and cool night last night because later today we learned that that refreshing rain and cool night didn’t happen in Verrettes, less than 10 kms away, or in Borel, close by, where Luckner lives.
Until next time,
~Don and Lacee!