Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Back in Cap-Haitien for the Summer

Hello Everyone!

I arrived back in Cap-Haitien safe and sound via Ft Lauderdale. I was up at 3 a.m. to get to airport by 4:15, then the flight was delayed 45 mins but no explanation. Jack and Auguste met me at the airport here.

Auguste weighs about 65 pounds after his bout of malaria. Jack's wife, Angeline, and 2 daughters all have typhoid, so he sent them by bus up the mountain to Sen Rafayel, where family can care for them.

I noticed quite a difference coming in from the airport: The streets are so clean now (in comparison). But I fear the price is too high -- the further marginalization of the poor from lost income for those not allowed to sell on the streets.

Rosenie and Dieugrand were at the house waiting for me. Rosenie had made a beautiful paper flower centrepiece as a welcome home gift. We opened the house and began to clean, and Rodney M. arrived about 10 minutes later looking for work.

No electricity, so Jack and Rodney went looking for ice for the fridge and for potable water as we were out. In the meantime, Elorge arrived from Sen Rafayel. He is writing finals beginning Monday, and needed money. Everyone who writes must go to another centre, and he has to go to Grand Riviere du Nord. He worked for a few hours, then Jack bought bananas and bread so everyone ate together.

Auguste also writes this week so Rosenie will work in the office in his place.

Hydro just arrived (it is about 6:15) but a storm is brewing -- wind, thunder, some lightning. The cats (our natural pest control devices) are also happy to see me as I brought food. I think Lucy 2 is with child so more kittens on the way.

Our first three days have been memorable. Rosenie is working in direksyon this week while Auguste writes (konpoze) exams for Philo-a (7th and last year of high school).

Monday morning, we had 15 students arrive before noon, and we went through 20 gallons of potable water that day. (I look forward to the day we have a water purification system on our well so we can distribute to our guys.) Eight of those who came were looking for summer employment.

We have not started to process text books yet, as Claudy and Louisena have to track them down in Sen Rafayel, then arrange for transport down the mountain. Claudy telephoned this morning (Weds.) to say that they had started. It is easier here in Cap as everyone brings in their books when they bring in their report cards.

Those who did not ask for work asked if we could send them to summer school. Marlene is going to study Francais Intensif as she will be writing an entrance exam somewhere for medical school.

We paid the registration (inskripsyon) fee for Deles at the University in Limbe. He then writes an entrance exam Aug. 3. If successful, he will begin a 4 year program studying Agronomy. The fees for his program total $1400 US per year (subject to change in the following years but not by much), which includes room and board for the two semesters as well as transportation to and from Sen Rafayel. It would be great if someone, or perhaps a group, could take on this young man. He is a very hard worker and will not let you down.

Deles and Marlene were our first graduates, completing high school last year. Due to lack of funds, they have spent the year tutoring and studying computers while generally just waiting for support. Marlene wants to become a doctor, as does Frantzy. He will finish this year. They both need support for this undertaking. Elorge (his photo is on the website home page) has a sponsor already for medical school.

I am going to begin by registering them at the University of Notre Dame in Haiti, as I do not have the energy to gather information for schools out of country. Perhaps we have someone reading this who could gather all the info needed for us to make a decision should they not pass entrance here (Cuba, Caribbean, Dominican Republic,specifically). We need to know the cost of everything (tuition, room, board, books, travel etc). We also have to send someone to Port-au-Prince to begin the passport and visa process.

I will provide the cost for medical student(s) in Haiti in the next update.
Rosenie and Marlene were put out of their ti kay (house) yesterday morning. The owner arrived as they were leaving for work and said he wanted them out by noon as he wanted the house for a relative. If they did not do so, he was going to bring the police. So I sent Jack with them to move their possessions to his house temporarily. The going rate for a one room shack (no water, no toilet) is between $1500 and 5000 Haitian ($210-700 US). They found one for $1500, and we loaned them the money.

M Brutus arrived at 6 a.m. today for the rent money. We will begin construction on opening the kitchen staircase out to the room next week, after our visitors from Windsor leave. We will be finished (maybe) by the time David, Kathleen and Marc arrive Aug. 15th.

Modeline came for pain meds as she now has pain at the site of her surgery. She still wants to attend summer school, however. She also has to rewrite finals 30 July as she passed the trimeste after the operation, butnot the 2 prior.

On a lighter note:
On my first night home, I'd gotten into bed when I realized I'd forgotten my flashlight outside the netting. As I reached for it, I knocked over the glass on the bedside table, and it fell and broke. Then a small fragment of glass that had landed in my sandal cut my toe when I put it on, so I went into the bathroom to wash and bandage my toe. There, I was met by a 3-inch cockroach and a much larger tarantula, who were doing a welcome dance for me. It's very difficult to vanquish unwanted guests with a wind up flashlight!

Will send now as hydro very iffy.


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