Today started a bit late for me. Last night I received a 135 page report on a company my team is studying, and will present to, in China. Though I’m enjoying my time down here, my world back there is still spinning, so I’m trying to keep up. Anyway, I spent a few hours on that report, which caused me a late wake up. How late?

Well, Liette got up for the 6:30 walk with Karen and the children, I did not. In fact, if it was a 10:30 walk, it still would have been 30 minutes too early for me. But once I got it it in gear, I was good to go. Though I missed breakfast, Germain (the cook) put a big bowl of fruit aside for me. I love her!

No school so we had an early morning walk

 

Stretching exercise with Liette after the walk

I’ve come to realize that Karen has passed an odd gene down to her daughter. It’s the “Operate at 120 mph (that’s 193 kpm to you Canadians) and don’t let anything get in the way ” gene.  Shortly after I awoke, we put all the gifts and donations together so they could start pulling out the stuff for today (Moise, JJ, Karena, and Vladimy) and put the Christmas stuff on the side.

There’s a party once a month for all the children born in that month. The kids all receive a few gifts from Mama (Karen) and Papa (Luckner).

Four birthday people

 

Leica and Djemima ready for the party

 

Birthday hugs

 

Party Time

 

Partying.

 

Magdala snuggling with Rick a the party

Anyway, their 120mpg genes collided head on while plucking gifts, and it was a glorious sight to witness. Complete Canadian diplomacy, mind you, and lots of fun.  (And yes Liette, I was recording when I told you I was not. Never trust an American). Anyway, the party was great and everyone had a good time.

A bit after a few of the boys and I watched the soccer/futbol games at Luckner’s place. Brazil played (and beat) Austria, and Portugal beat Argentina . What I didn’t realize was that we’d be watching the game at  the radio station that Luckner runs out on his property. I’ve been there once before, as he interviewed me on my last trip. This time I came to find that he has the game brought in on 2 tv’s where people can watch, and has an announcer that calls the game in Creole for his radio listeners (estimated to be 600,000).

Came back from the soccer game and dinner was ready. Given the extreme heat down here (btw, did you know it hit freezing in at least one point of all 50 States today? Yep…) soup didn’t seem ideal. Let it cool a bit and found some of the best chicken soup I’ve had in my life.

After dinner Liette returned. While I was watching the futbol games and Heather was playing with the kids at the compound, Liette went to visit her friend Rigaud in Deschapelles, roughly 30 minutes walk away. I met him on the last trip, and he’s a very nice guy. He works at the hospital (Albert Schweitzer) in Deschapelles in their Maintenance Department. It was dark when she left, so he and his son Malachi walked her back to the compound. Haiti’s a pretty dangerous place after dark, especially for us blancas. Anyway, score for me – I got to see him again and meet his son. Every now and again you meet someone that emanates kindness, and Rigaud falls into that bucket. I had some questions about the market and such (he has some land he farms next to his house), as well as his pigs and horses. Apparently some sort of pig virus tore through Haiti, taking out all 3 of his pigs. It killed pretty much all of them in the country at the time, but anything born since has been immunized. Of the 2 horses he had, one died, for some unknown reason. As he said to me (through Liette translating), “It just sat down in the field and died, it wasn’t sick”. It was also pregnant.  And so it goes.

Before he left he said we’d see each other again on Saturday. I’ll look forward to that.

Another interesting aside. Malachi is married – to a Canadian. They knew each other when they were young, and she married him on a trip back here. He finished school a year ago, but can’t find work. He’s awaiting papers to move to Montreal with his wife, which should help with work too. He’s never been there.  Can you imagine moving to a country you’ve never been without so much as a visit ahead of time to see if you like it? He’s never been out of Haiti before.

That’s it for me. Heather’s on deck and will be launching tomorrow’s blog. Stay warm North America. Stay warm….

~Rick