Early morning Saturday walks are the best. It’s a chance to get off the compound and do a longer stroll and try different route with the older kids. Departure time is 0600 sharp but there are usually a few stragglers running to catch up with the on-time group. It was a warm 22C when we left but some people had jackets, sweaters and hoodies on for the “cool” air. We headed south, over the bridge, along the canal to the Artibonite River. The river is the longest (320KM) and the most important river in Haiti. It is from here that all the water for the irrigation canals originates.
What a spectacular sunrise with the red clouds. The water level is low now during the dry season and there are sections where the locals cross over to get from home to market. There was a lot of local traffic even at that hour and we had to share the trail with horses, donkeys, motorcycles, farmers and shoppers. At one point a bull was blocking the trail
Haiti’s chief source of fuel for cooking is charcoal. Charcoal is produced by slowly heating the firewood or other substances in the absence of oxygen usually in earthen mounds.
Karen leads the group on a good pace along the river initially and then cross country exploring the newly planted peas and potato fields.
As we were heading home we encountered a family with an elderly lady (well she was older than me – I think…) riding on a horse. Suddenly the horse bolted and threw the lady off on her back. She was winded and bruised but thankfully – we think – no broken bones. The family got her up to the canal road and I went to fetch the truck. Karen and I dropped her at the hospital with a prayer for speedy recovery. Saturday morning walks can be dangerous and unpredictable…right Joan????