Chicken Little had every right to squawk when it seemed the sky was falling. Sunday morning was without incident until the concrete which was holding up our eaves trough gave way and came crashing down a few feet from where I was doing laundry. In a country where small quakes are the norm, I squawked. Call me chicken little.
The number and intensity of anti-government protests have increased in the country. Our security coordinator Dieugrand has been trapped every time as have we. The further up the mountain, the more deadly the protest as police cannot intervene when protesters are perched on a mountain top, throwing bottle and boulders and firing guns. Boulders are the deadliest. Again we waited for PNH, the National Police Force.
After several hours as hostages, we were on our way but not for long. Bananas purchased in Dondon, we were 30 minutes from Lakay Jasmine when we got a flat tire. So near and yet so far. Being 'anpan' (broken down) on the mountainside is an opportunity to see a microcosm of Haiti pass by.
|Kids attending schools in the village of Dondon walk miles|
|Upon arrival we are not out of the truck yet and student Angelene appears at the window. She woke in the morning with a 'bouton' on the side of her face and it had grown into a crater about an inch across. Unpacking waits, Angelene is in distress and has to write an exam. Clutching Allimax and calendula gel, she heads off. Monese is sitting, patiently waiting for us. She has found a teacher who will arrange one of the sewing machines donated and shipped by Jasmine Foundation, so we unload supplies and load up and deliver the machine.|
|Loading sewing machine for Monese. Kids and dogs!! The puppies are almost 8 weeks. |
Everyone is in study mode, from our dog walkers at 6am to the last to leave at 5 pm. We changed our hours as it is just too dark and too far for the kids to walk home. I have seen these great passenger carts/motorcycles around which hold about 10 people. On the wish list. Angeline studies for Chemistry , text book packages
prepared by Edeline ready for distribution.
|By 4 pm its too dark to study so solar lights the way for Cassimilia.|
Jasmine eats as she studies - her only food that day.
For most of the 3 days we were on site, Edeline and others showed their winter finery. Although day time temps were between 85 and 90 (31 C), everyone was cold. Night temperatures dropped to a comfortable 50-55 (11 C) but not comfortable if you're Haitian and sleeping on a concrete floor.
|Dressed in wool toque and winter jacket, Edeline boils 60 eggs at a time.|
I couldn't resist snapping this 3 year old outside our gate, reading/singing a page she found out of a magazine. Always one to encourage life-long learning, I scrambled to find some primary easy read books and passed them on to her mother.
|Our neighbor loves to read and sing so we're|
looking for more picture books for her and
others in the neighborhood.
Heading down the mountain provided more surprises-- ruts so deep the undercarriage of our truck was damaged -- twice-- and we were moving at a crawl. We made it back just a little late for the staff but they waited for us without complaint. Next day we had home visits scheduled. That's another blog - perhaps Sunday.
To update: with our support, student Paudeline did make a Rape complaint to the National Police and had a thorough exam at Justinien Hospital. Results will be ready in January. Possibilities of Aids, STD, pregnancy etc all weigh on her mind.