It was soooooooooooooooooo hot today. Luckily we got up super early to take a walk along the canal. 6:30 a.m. is a beautiful time in Haiti. Some of the older kids joined us, and we enjoyed the quiet stroll and greeting locals.
|Early morning walk|
|Our Judel knows how to tie his laces, but is not letting on. He wants attention from Beate.|
|View on our 6 30 a.m. walk|
Thank you everyone for your encouraging comments, both on the blog and on Facebook. I want to repeat a Haitian saying that Dickie quoted on yesterday’s blog comment: “A rich Haitian is one who knows where his next meal is coming from.” I really don’t know how to explain life here. We see people in tatters, with no shoes, and clearly no energy to move in this heat or from hunger. Yet many, many people who look so very poor have a cell phone (Karen explained that they may have come from a relative living abroad who got the phone for them so they can stay in touch, but most can’t afford to use their phones much locally.)
I’ve also noticed that the daily routines of life may not be all that different from ours, except that the tools or conditions are different. I mean, we hail a taxi which is a 4 door vehicle…Haitians hail a motor cycle and cram 4 people on it, plus goods. Both get people from A to B. Same with the bus system…crazy different types of transportation, yet the job gets done. Then there’s the wee pharmacy we visited today. It sold some familiar products such as diapers, right guard deodorant, colgate toothpaste, hair gel, cosmetics. However, the building of the Haitian pharmacy is in shambles compared to let’s say a nice new air conditioned Shoppers Drug Mart. We have Tim Horton drive through and other such food places, and Haitians cook at the side of the road and sell to passer-bys that way. Once you begin to get over the shock of seeing the “chaos, rubble and dirt,” it’s incredible to really “see” that life in Haiti is actually “same, same, but different” (they say that in Thailand all the time).
It seems that the only way people can get ahead in this part of the country is to open up a wee business. This could be something like making a pot of food and selling it on the side of the road, or selling a few bags of chips and some candy. We have talked a bit about what our HATS kids will be doing when they reach an age to move on. Karen would like them to learn a trade or two and/or get their teaching qualifications. One thing is for sure, these kids will most certainly have a chance in life… And they do know where their next meal will come from thanks to everyone’s generous support.
We had to run some errands today and trying to get gas was one of them. We needed to fill up three 65 gallon drums to keep the generator going since our power is currently out again. Guess what? They wouldn’t do it! We checked at 2 gas stations. You see, the government made an announcement a few days ago that gas prices will be going up Monday. So the gas stations hoard their gas in order to sell it at the higher price to make a greater profit. This tactic is exactly what they did right after the earthquake. People were desperate for gas, and no one would sell it because they knew the prices would skyrocket.
Did I mention that today was HOT? Okay, even Vivienne said she was feeling hot today (this woman wears full pj pants to bed with a light jacket, whereas I am trying my best to be decent with the minimal clothes!!!). I have never felt a heat such as here…oh wait, yes I have…in a sauna!!!!
We stayed indoors a lot today. Vivienne had a great time with Ti Luc and showed him a few new Apps on her Ipad, including Instagram. She taught him to take some really cool shots, and we are posting them here. Yes, he took these all by himself by maneuvering the Ipad and pressing the button all with his very own 2 feet.
|Ti Luc Composition # 1|
|Ti Luc Composition # 2|
We ended up whipping over to Vierettes to show Vivienne the market. Ah, the familiar smells of the market were greatly enhanced by the heat of the afternoon. I felt so sorry for the people there who had to sit or stand crammed into their tiny spots with plastic or cloth pinned up for shade which stifled the air even more. Some vendors have a decent 5 x 5 foot spot, others sell their wares from their baskets. I can’t imagine a life like this. Getting up at 3 in the morning to trudge my goods to a market, setting up my little patch, with my make-shift tent made from tarp and sticks that I had to lug in. then staying there till well past 4 p.m. in the thick of the heat or having the torrential rains douse me and what I own. I admire the Haitians. They are remarkable people, and we do have a lot to learn from them too.
|Children spend all day in the heat at the market with family members|
|Late afternoon. Market parking lot almost empty|
We got back and tried to cool off with an unsuccessful nap. So we gave up and watched a movie with the kids. Now it’s time to get ready for bed, as tomorrow will be a very big day…an emotional one as we say good-bye to those precious kids tomorrow night 🙁
~Beate and Vivienne