Our destination was unexpected - the now unused L'Hopital Ste Croix. Another 'first' experience for Auguste - sleeping in a hospital bed. The guest house and home of our hosts, John and Suzi had been destroyed, sparing their lives, although another story of heroism and rescue is there to be told. Part of the hospital is structurally sound, so they have set up shop inside, welcoming us and showing us plans for rebuilding the hospital, making it once again a vibrant part of the community. But for now the community is in tatters.
Our nursing students, Alland and Wisly on the left, Gaby and Brunie on the right, welcoming Auguste and myself in Leogane.
The juxtaposition of sleek new buildings (the school is being used for classes) and tents took my breath away. How and when will this ever end? I talked with some of the children in their tents, signs of malnutrition obvious. An 11 year old doing laundry as mother is ill. A cooler filled with items for sale but no ice or electricity to cool anything. Curious goats and a "plein aire" art gallery.
We will revisit Leogane - it seems to be calling to be the home of the southern post of Lakay Fondasyon Sant-la. The faces of the young people - proud, defiant, fearful, joyful - still young but aged irreversibly by the events of 2010, are calling out.
And this being Haiti, the hydro left at 3:15 a.m., as quickly as it arrived. Morning now, a little solar energy before I start up the fridge, time to let go of Leogane as staff and students arrive. Thank you to Jane in Georgia for connecting me to the HSC Guest House, John and Suzi for taking such good care of us, thank you to Jamille and Michele, nurses from Pennsylvania who gave so much to our kids at the nursing school, and to the amazing Mme Hilda, Doyenne of the school, words are insufficient to thank you for the care and encouragement you have given and the courage and leadership you demonstrated through these past 6 months. You are truly one of Haiti's heroes.
7:20 a.m. someone is knocking at the portay - it's Paulaine on her last day of school. She has come to pick up the icing sugar we bought for her baking test, to present me with the pizza she made this morning as a thank you, could she please take a shower, and do I have a tooth brush and toothpaste as her's are finished?
I am having pizza for my 65th birthday breakfast.