Last week brought 2 visitors to Lakay Fondasyon, Daniel our website administrator (aka webguy) and ELECTRICITY! For the first time in 12 years there was electricity daily. Admittedly it was intermittent, not strong enough to pump water from the well, provide internet access, freeze water or run a fan, but it was present.
The first day of Daniel's visit, we took it easy as the humidity of summer still lingered. It takes awhile to acclimatize. Dan jumped into every activity, travelling to town to pick up and then unpack a box of supplies from Cindy and company, weeding our garden, meeting the many new faces which kept arriving for school support, a little chat, food, medical referral etc... In short, it was a normal day. The staff carried on its usual jobs. We have had a surge in Malaria and Typhoid cases over the last 2 weeks, averaging a new case of Malaria daily. Fortunately, we have been on the receiving end of a wonderful gift - a carton of the natural supplement Allimax donated by the CLM Health Group in Mississauga, Canada. Dan picked them up and brought several packages. We have found that it cuts recovery time from Malaria in half. Many thanks Heather and all staff involved in the donation. You're generosity is improving quality of life.
Tuesday, we went to town to pick up supplies and check on bank transfers. I'll try to pursuade Dan to share his impressions of the traffic circus which performs daily in downtown Cap-Haitien. (DAN: I'll do better than that and post a video... It's not the worst that I've seen there but it will give readers an idea of the madness!)
With supplies purchased, it was time to fill the Igloo cooler with bottled water and Tampico, and pack everything for the Wednesday trip to Sen Rafayel. Wednesday at 5 a.m. we made sandwiches after daily chores finished and Auguste, Jack, Daniel, myself and our driver Jackson headed up the mountain of Grand Gilles. The 28 km trip took us 2 and 1/2 hours - including a 5 minute stop in Dondon to purchase bananas (fig yo) - AND we arrived intact. First up - visit Sister Ginette and catch up on the convent and clinic news.
With the help of staff, we found a villager to perform the ritual bathing of the body (benyen), secured his birth certificate and went to the local magistrate for the death certificate (deklarasyon). Of course, the office had closed at 2 p.m. so we would have to wait for a day. Then we found a carpenter to make a coffin (bwat), agreed on a price, then returned to the office, packed up and headed home.
Our internet at the centre has been suspended so I am writing from the dining room of the Hotel Roi Christophe. Am hoping to have it restored before I leave for Canada next week but first have to track down the donor for account information. It has been such a wonderful gift and now a necessary part of our lives.
Every one of the young people mentioned here is in need of a sponsor - from Guilene who will resume studies in Port-au-Prince to Gabriel entering 2nd year university to become a teacher. To those who support so often, many thanks. If you're thinking about it - please take the leap. We have almost 400 on our waiting list between Cap and Sen Rafayel. Please spread hope.