When I left the internet cafe last week, I turned the corner on 12th Street and nearly walked into a riot (manifestation). It had gathered in front of Comcel (the phone company). Because the new owners are changing over one of the exchanges (431, the one we use), those who recently purchased phones are up in arms. Each day, 500-1000 people are packed in the street for 2 blocks in front of Comcel's small shop. Rocks are thrown, cars are overturned and people are beaten. I am going to wait out this mess and quietly purchase a new phone in the new year. Apparently ours will not work after March 31.
One of our girls on the waiting list for school died yesterday. Flaudna Joseph was 15. Her mom and dad are both dead. Her older brother, Williamson, is one of the students we sponsor. He has been trying to keep the rest of his family together, and we have been feeding them all, but it wasn't enough. He needed $1200 Haitian dollars (about $170 US) to pay for the funeral. Unfortunately, I only had $350 Haitian (about $50 US) at the house. I will send the rest in January.
If you remember, Benjamin Cadeau died last July in the same situation. I am going to put together something more substantial for these two families of orphans, but it is difficult to do 'long distance' -- I am still unable to travel to San Rafayel for safety reasons.
There are so many young people knocking on our door each day asking for support to attend school that I am going to hire Abel Auguste to work in the office with me. He is the young man who came last spring asking for help to attend Philo (school). We were unable to send him there, but we did sponsor him to Auto École. As he has now completed his certificate, we now have a chauffeur, although no truck or car.
Two of our cats have disappeared: Lucy, our fierce mother cat, and Charlie Brown, our big cuddly father cat.
Last week, when we had the first hydro since I have been here this month, I made my way into town via taptap to purchase an iron I had seen in a little store. When I arrived home, the hydro had gone out again, but it was back on two hours later. Jack and Dieugrand came in from the yard, Carmen stopped work, and Rosenie, Micheline and Marlene came in from the gallery to watch me iron (pase). Only Rosenie wanted to try it -- the others were afraid of the steam. I now feel quite unrumpled, although I had to iron at 2 a.m. yesterday when we had hydro for an hour.
I am by myself until Tuesday (December 27). It's the Christmas holiday for our staff.
Wishing everyone joy and peace.