Sunday, June 19, 2011

N'ap kembe -- We're hanging in

Cap-Haitien

By 7:30 am the temperature in our courtyard (lakou-a) was 47.8 celsius. Inside was a comparatively balmy 37. Couple that with saturation point humidity and even the dogs, cats, goats, pigs and chickens move as litttle as possible. Only the roosters remain perky. Although we hear on the radio and read in Le Nouvelliste that the state and EDH (Electrique d'Haiti) are working to-gether to bring more electricity, there is as yet  no proof in the pudding. Apparently they are going to plant trees. Great long term project with job potential for our 2 agriculture students who have 1 year remaining for their degree. Short term, no electricity = no fans to move the air.

After a night of feral cats yowling,  katye dogs snarling, our own two dogs coughing and sneezing, Lucy the cat vomiting, 3 house choirs competing for airspace, 2 fiery pastors exhorting their congregations and voodoo drums holding pedal point, I am as wrung out as the laundry I just finished (hand laundry, of course).

Seemingly in one day we moved  from incessant rain to punishing summer. Our young people in 7eme, 8eme, 3eme and 2nd (1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th years of high school) started writing exams last week, the rest anticipate State Nationals. Everyone drops in looking for a place to revive with food and a cold drink. Some take a break from studies to chat, play dominoes, read the paper.  If I'm a puddle of perspiration with the luxury of staying put, little wonder our young people arrive and collapse.

Vida - gathering energy to write Reto in July

Mona (reclining) and Edwige take some time before writing 9eme end of June

Gabriel -explains a thesis -  2nd year university -Education

Jean-Ritot - readies for Reto without benefit
of professors
In Cap, Jean-Ritot, Malaensia, Dialine and Viola in State Lycees are doing what they can to prepare for the Nationals, having had little or no instruction due to the absence of teachers. Frustration abounds because once placed in a stream for secondary (Nouvo Secondaire or Original), one needs the written permission of the school director to change schools. Once that hurdle has been crossed, try finding a school which 1) offers the same stream which 2) has an opening and 3)will accept you.

Edwina- takes a break from Reto studies to
catch up on the news
Dialine -also no teachers

Sherlyne (lt. corner), Myriame, Rosema, Ganel, Kinston (standing)
Auguste and Paudeline. A game of dominoes.
Occasionally a game of dominoes provides distraction from studies. Sherlyne (bottom lt. corner) reminds me of myself. Even in a social situation, she can always be found with her nose in a book. Last week she asked for candles for studying at night. I found some in Kokiyaj, our newest grocery store which sells a bit of everything. Kinston, (standing) came in looking like Micheline did with the measles. Visible skin was covered with mosquito (marengwen) bites. There was one new  net (moustike-a) remaining , so we air it in the outdoor change room for the required 24 hours and passed it on to him.  Kinston came from another organization and has been drifting from friend to friend for a night's sleep.  He is now with his grandmother so we'll be visiting this week. His new glasses arrived this week just in time for exams. A significant item I often take for granted.

There are approximately a dozen on our new waiting list for mosquito nets. Gabriel came in just after Kinston, with the same bite coverage. If you have the time, click on his home visit video to see where he lives. It provides a clearer picture of why mosquito nets are so important.

video


Sen Rafayel
The story in Sen Rafayel is very different. Of our 63 students  in State lycees, 32 will write Nationals, having the best preparation possible.

Earlier to-day, Jack came in from the Sen Rafayel building project with news that rain and flashfloods destroyed the bulk of the current corn and banana crops in Dondon on Wednesday. Thankfully the rain was not as heavy in Sen Rafayel as they had just finished manually digging out (fouye) the septic beds (fos pedi) and foundations.  Some soil was washed back in but not enough to significantly set back the project.

Wednesday Auguste and I will head up the mountain (Granjil) with a truck load of cement and an igloo cooler full of ice. It will be our first visit since the purchase, providing the track is passable.

In closing

If you're in the Orangeville area, this Thursday, June 23rd  at 7 pm , Acheson's ,  78 First Street (519 940-4719) is hosting a mini fashion show with proceeds to help cover the shortfall incurred by our nursing students as a result of recent price increases.  Thanks Diane and Cindy.  Sorry I'll miss it.  What a dynamic duo.

If you have an idea for a fundraiser, small or large, please contact us.  Every dollar makes a difference. We still have a dozen waiting for post-secondary support, plus an evergrowing waiting list for secondary. More later.

Mil mesi pou soutyen-w (a thousand thanks for your support)
Sharon


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