Two weeks ago, I arrived back in Cap-Haitien to a raucous welcome- 5 dogs and 1 cat doing joyful, delirious dances, each vying for attention. Were they excited because the plane was on time AND my suitcase had arrived as well? Or perhaps they were trying to tell me we had a new boarder. It was about 10 minutes into the reunion when the new resident mouse poked out from under the fridge. We were probably making too much noise. All energy turned into evicting him and then we got down to business. Auguste updated information while we unpacked supplies.
Our Cap-Haitien center had been without water for 2 weeks. The thinking was the generator wasn't doing it's job. If only ... It took 4 days to find a competent technician and to get him to make a house call. Good news - the generator is working. Bad news - THE WELL IS DRY. I've mentioned the lack of rain, the low water table on the river and the water being shut off in Sen Rafayel. Climate change is here. This presents major challenges.
We have been without electricity since before Christmas. It does appear during the night sometimes but I just acknowledge its presence and stay in the relative safety of my mosquito net.The good news is the electric company has not forgotten about us. We received a bill for last month from EDH - $256.USD. If we don't pay, the counter will be cut off leaving us with no potential.
Our inverter, which picks up some of the slack, had developed leaky batteries, although they were only 2 years old. Danius came down from Sen Rafayel, went shopping with Auguste, showed him the difference between new and recycled batteries, helped purchase 8 and installed them. They give us about 6 hours of electricity a day, dedicated to the fridge and freezer. We will add another 4 at month end.
Two of our pups, Ti Jo and Sablo had developed a skin rash so we worked in 2 emergency trips to the only person with veterinary training in the North of the country.
Last Monday morning, Jocelyne and I were working in the kitchen getting ready to cook for Sen Rafayel when the propane stove exploded into flames. We were startled but unhurt and managed to contain and turn off. It took the rest of the day to find a technician, replace worn parts and finish what we had started at 8 am.
From time to time I do ask myself if I'm having fun yet.. Everything cooked, truck packed and gassed up, we head up Granjil mountain. So much had gone wrong in such a short space of time, everytime we passed a spot on the mountain where our old truck had broken down, Auguste would say "Mesi M. Benjamin, mesi Mme Diane" (donors Jasmine Foundation). Our new truck continues to provide safe travel and although purchased in July we still do not take it for granted.
Upon arrival at Lakay Jasmine, we had not yet unpacked the truck when coordinator Edeline rushed Auguste into the depot to look at the bouret (wheelbarrow). Although newer than the truck, it came with no warranty or service plan, so we had to find someone to repair it as it is the only mode of transportation if we are not there with the truck.
|Adelaine prepares kasav.|
|Lunch between exams for those in uniforms.|
Those out of uniform are finished exams.
As soon as Adelaine finished her preparations, nursing grad Gaby moved into the Chanm Devwa (homework room) with his study group (revizyon) for Retho. Chemistry. Not only do we use every bit of space we also use it every minute. Scheduling is very important as everyone wants extra prep for exams.
|Gaby is a natural teacher|
|Everyone has the opportunity to ask|
(Consienne - sponsor Daniel)
|Chemistry student Wilnise (sponsor Patricia)|
Gaby is prepping for his State National licensing exams for Nursing which he will write in June. In between trips to the university in Leogane for course work, he has been staying with his parents in Sen Rafayel. Good for us - he is available. Each day he arrives well prepared, dressed for success in long sleeved shirt, dress pants and shoes. 100 degree plus temperatures do not get in the way.
We stress the importance of balance for our students and breaks for recreation are built into our study groups. Each group has a different idea of what it means to 'take a break'.
|Although our lakou (courtyard) is small we can still play|
ball. The am group likes movement. (Consienne, Angeline, Wilnise)