Monday, April 18, 2005


(by telephone)

Mud, mud and more mud -- it's been raining since Friday. Laundry that was done then is still not dry, and the satellite link for the internet cafe is still down. Many roads are giant puddles and everyone is covered in mud. You just can't avoid it. Usually it's around Christmas that we get this type of weather. It's very unusual for this time of year.

At Lakay Fondasyon, we're getting a steady stream of visitors as more people are becoming aware of Starthrower, and that we are here much more of the time now. The other morning around 7 a.m., an obviously malnourished woman came to the door. I offered her something to eat, but she refused, saying she didn't feel well. I asked her when she had last eaten and she couldn't remember. I asked if she was able to cook at home, and when she said yes, I sent some food home with her to cook later. I then asked her, "What do you need?"

She told me she wants to do commerce again, and that when she used to sell goods in the street markets, she had been able to support herself and her kids. (She must have done well -- it's not easy.) But years of carrying heavy loads on her head was hard on her neck and shoulders. I explained that we needed the money for the kids for school, and although I couldn't just give it to her, I would lend it, and she could repay us once she got going again. She signed the book, as they all do.

One of our students came by to say her father had died, and that she wanted money to go home. Then two of the mechanic apprentices came over. One of them, Jetho, said his dad had just died, but I explained we had no money to pay for his funeral. So many deaths every week.

And, they said, the owner of the garage where they were apprenticing was now in hospital. It seems the car he had been working on had slipped off the jack and landed on him. With their apprenticeships, in effect, over for the year, Mirabele, the other apprentice, asked if he could instead go back to school in September.

I'll stop by the internet cafe every day and keep trying to get through. Until then, kenbe.



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