|Low levels of water - waiting for rain. Always too little or too much.|
|This young man was gathering drinking water in a filthy bottle.|
He told us he washed the clothes because 'manman mouri' (Mother is dead)
Just south of the gates to Sen Rafayel (.5 km if you google earth) we stopped to look at a piece of land. The land was too small for our needs however there was another parcel behind it also for sale, so we took the time to measure. When we pulled into the village, the new water supply was the site of bustle - bathing, drinking, doing laundry, filling containers. The water source has been opened up in response to the cholera epidemic. However, the water gushes out for several hours, turning everything around it to mud, making bathing a challenge. Late in the day it is turned off, and at night it sits, a site for mosquitoes (marengwen) and by extension malaria to breed.
|Jack (yellow shirt) and Auguste (cap) measure land.|
|Wensky, Vilsaint, Dahendie -Lycee Charlemagne Perault|
|Siseline and Venise sign contracts.|
Centre Classique Le Phare
|Mexene and Guerda-College Le Genie|
We also followed up with 2 of last year's grads. What a meaningful phrase - "last year's grads". My enthusiasm for this work is always renewed when I look at the results - high school graduates!! And it doesn't stop there! Louisena still wants to enter nursing but her father is dead and mother is very ill. As the oldest she feels she must be close by. There is a new nursing school in Cap-Haitien. If the diploma is recognized by the state, she'll write the entrance exams. She has had a dental problem for over a year now, so to-day she came into Cap to gather information for the nursing program and we provided a referral form and funds to travel to Milot for dental work. Louisena has been with Starthrower since before it had a name. Likewise Osner is an original Starfish. His dream is to study Agriculture. like Louisena, he has severe dental problems. 2 of his front teeth have been pulled and he is very self consciouss, so taking a picture is a challenge.
|Osner-grad 2009 - waiting|
to study Agronomie
|Louisena -grad 2010-Waiting to |
Interviews over, lists made out for staff, medical bills paid, uniform funds distributed, we pack up the truck to head out. We travel with a cooler filled with bottled water
|Djohn wraps the remaining ice many times |
to preserve it as long as possible.
and Tampico, a juice beverage as well as sandwiches made by our short order cook (me) at 5 in the morning. Jack is allergic to peanuts and Djohn to eggs and other dairy so food reflects that. We cool with ice cubes purchased at the gas station in Cap-Haitien (whenever available). Whatever bottles remain we leave for the staff, with any leftover ice. I watched Djohn wrap the remaining ice as though it was precious, which it is. In a village which only recently received a communal water supply, limited and untreated but available without charge, a cold drink is not even on the radar. As we headed out, the community was coming to-gether for water to get them through the night. The pump was due to be turned off.
|We intruded on this community scene.|
Down the mountain, laundry dotted hills and valleys. Clusters of people gathered on roadsides, talking. Sunday coming to a close. Down the mountain in record time, after tricky navigation, we turned onto our street, Impasse Soeurs Missionaires. The cleanup work begun with anticipation of a healthier place, is now in jeopardy. The canal, which the project was supposed to clean up, stands today as a festering monument to politics as usual.
|Our canal - no clean water here.|
Clean water - the gift of life - should not be a privilege, or if so a privilege for everyone not just a few. Our young people come in to our Cap center daily to fill their gallon jugs with potable water. They have to walk past this to get to it. They take it in stride as many live in situations far worse.
Electricity (another gift) is flickering. Best save before lost.