The director of a new school in Sen Rafayel came down the mountain this morning just as I was leaving. I informed him that currently there were no funds for September, and left him with Abel who could provide all the information. The director is trying to break new ground: He wants to begin charging a flat rate for tuition, instead of charging by trimester. The fee would also include the cost of the uniform. Not having to supply a uniform would be much less work for us. We wouldn't have to go to the market to purchase material, or take the bus up the mountain to deliver it to Sen Rafayel, or arrange to send payment from Cap-Haitien to the different tailors/seamstresses in Sen Rafayel. (I have never been comfortable sending money by bus. Very risky.)
The whitewashing is on schedule. We began last week, with me giving them constant instructions about setting the ladders properly and not climbing up unless at least one spotter was holding it steady. Esmann declared that he was Haitian, and therefore did not need rules. His ladder gave way and he fell on the cement, landing on his right knee. We had to send someone running down to the street to find a taxi, then agree on a price for the trip, and navigate it up our street and into the compound, and then pick up the injured Esmann and fit him into the taxi. When the universe sees fit to provide us with a vehicle, we need a truck! It will simplify our lives.The hospital could not do an x-ray, though, as they had no electricity just then. An x-ray the next morning showed no damage. His knee is still quite swollen but the meds are working, and he is back to work.
The next morning, Julia was washing dishes after morning coffee. I heat water on the stove every morning for washing. I noticed the water had been changed. When I asked Julia where the water had gone, she replied,"It was hot so I threw it out and filled up with cold." So we had the discussion about mikwob-yo (bacteria) and the need for hot water or a few drops of klowos (Clorox)
These two incidents led to a meeting with Jack and Abel, who in turn met with all staff re: Health and Safety. They are going to have a 10-minute staff meeting every Monday at 8 a.m. to review and update.
Sister Rosemary gave us a gift of four aprons. (The seven students working on books need to cover their clothing for work.) I had two aprons here, and will search the market for one more.
The badges are a big hit. Everyone insists on wearing them when they arrive for work in the morning, saying that 'in case we have visitors, they will know our names and that we work for the fondasyon.'
We have a new neighbor. She moved into the big house beside us. She is Haitian American and speaks English. She will be coming and going as her family is all in the States. She told me about a group buying a transformateur privee (private transformer) for more consistent hydro. (This is week 4 since I have been back, and we haven't had any.) The cost to buy in to this group is $1000 Haitian ($145 US) plus the wire, which we already have, plus a monthly bill from EDH. We already pay for ice every day, as we have a fridge but no hydro, so the cost of private hydro versus buying ice would be about the same amount. Of course, there's no guarantee as to how much or how frequently we'd receive service, but it would be more than we do right now.
I am scheduled to travel to Port au Prince first of August to make inquiries for a 'permis de sejours'. This would mean I could stay in Haiti year round and just renew in Port Au Prince once a year. This trip depends on the situation there, though. Things are boiling over again with more kidnappings and daily random shootings.
Mme Cindy in Pennsylvania has sent protein powder, and Mme Carmene will make mamba (peanut butter) to mix for a protein boost.
On that note, I will close, as time is nearly up. Blessings to all.
Kenbe pa lage, Sharon