Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day One down, day two

Homecoming was worth the frustration. After arriving at the Provo airport at 6:30am for a 9am flight, I was informed that the flight would depart at noon. Noon became 2:30 and finally the plane arrived and I was home in a mere 35 minutes.

Auguste was waiting with 2 of our students - the starter has gone on the truck and we needed a push to get it going. We picked up Sherlyne on the way, heading to our place on foot. Once in the compound the dogs  barked and danced their welcome. It was quite a joyous time.  Joceline has Malaria so her welcome was less enthusiastic.

In addition to my 2 overflowing suitcases (a tip of the hat to WestJet for the second suitcase) Auguste had picked up 3 boxes which had arrived from Mme. Cindy in Pennsylvania, so we unpacked and sorted until about 7 pm. Mil Mesi (a thousand thanks) Dan and company for the backpacks - what a windfall. Cindy also sent backpacks and shoes - it was like early Christmas.  I don't know what we would do without Cindy.  Carmene hadn't shopped yet, so a litre of water and a handful of almonds became supper and I fell into bed at 8 o'clock.
Auguste unpacks and counts (kontwole) backpacks.
The night was noisy - gunfire at our gate, and voodoo drums complete with a huge bonfire and much revelry in the cemetery above our property.  I forgot that it was Fetdesmort and Fettousens (All Souls and All Saints day). Thankfully rain began about midnight, the heavy, driving rain of autumn complete with strong gusty winds. It dampened the celebrations and allowed sleep. 

Morning arrived too soon but the roosters will not be denied. I think they have radar which tells them when the job is done and everyone is up. They are persistent. Dogs and cats fed, water boiled, oatmeal cooked, there was electricity so time to check email. We were scheduled to meet Sylvia at the airport at 8:30 to pick up a laptop she was donating for Bruni.  From her Blackberry a message saying the plane was 30 minutes ahead of schedule. A plane ahead of schedule??? Thankfully Auguste is always a early for work and Lusnot arrived at the same time. Lusnot works security while I'm in Canada.  He's just finished writing Philo (last year of high school), and is filling in here where needed. This morning we needed him to come with and push the truck to start it.

Perfect timing - we drove past a truck filled with blans  (non Haitians) and a voice called out my name. Sylvia had already passed customs and was heading for Milot.  Sylvia, thank you so much for the laptop and carrying case.  Bruni was beyond happy to receive such a necessary tool. To add icing to the cake, she picked up a pair of new shoes which Cindy had sent (as did Jimpson!!) What an amazing support team  growing.

From the airport we headed to town with the knowledge that perhaps we couldn't go to the bank as it was possible they were closed. Yes - all banks closed, most schools, many businesses as well. We changed some US currency at a hardware store and headed to the grocery store. Realizing that schools were closed meant we had very little time as that always signals a busy day.

True to form it was non-stop. Venise had moved down from Sen Rafayel because her parents are dead, there is no Philo offered in the village and she had a friend who would put her up. She came tell us she had secured a place at Lycee Philippe Guerrier  so we pulled to-gether backpack (thanks again everyone), school and hygiene supplies and, thanks to the hardware store, funds for her uniform.

Venise-in the big city and headed for Philo
Bruni arrived as Venise was leaving. She is enjoying the new University and grateful to be close to home. The nursing program runs 6 days a week from 7am to 4 pm. It takes her 2 hours to get to class and 2 to return home to her aunt's tikay. Long days.

Bruni - 2nd yr. Nursing - Elated with laptop and shoes
Camiose (background) covers textbooks
Jimpson in for shoes and a meal - Fresnel dropped in to read the paper and have a snack. Weby- Schneider brought in his year end report and we put to-gether a budget for his second year of university. He looked so tired. His dad died 2 years ago of Diabetes related problems. Now his mom is ill.   He struggles between wanting to be in Cap to help out and going to school so far away (Port-au-Prince) A year seems to go by as quickly as a day.

Weby-Schneider - 2nd year university

Camiose came in at noon to cover 3 new text books she had picked up, and stayed to work the afternoon as we had other books in need of covering. She is recovering from Typhoid and H Pylori infection so was  a little tired. She perked up when I gave her the birthday present her sponsors had sent. Thanks Cathy and Ian. She told me it was the first time in her life (except for the small gifts we distribute) that someone had celebrated her birthday.  Everyone of our young people will relate the same experience. Birthdays go by unacknowledged. Edwina popped by then Myriame, and the drop-ins continued. It was really great to see so many and be welcomed back so warmly.
Camiose unwraps birthday gift from sponsors
Danius came down from Sen Rafayel to work on the truck. His university program is also demanding , his time is now limited. I'll have to look for a starter in Canada. Truck patched to-gether we sat down for an update on the building project in San Rafayel. The cost of a bag of cement has jumped $5 in the last week, so we'll buy in Cap on Friday and deliver up the mountain Sunday.

In addition to Malaria, Joceline sliced her thumb quite severly so I changed the dressing on it. In my spare time I set up the ledgers for our new fiscal year which began October 1st, then entered expenses for the past month. Did I say spare time?

Auguste and I conferred several times when young people who had written letters asking for support followed up to see if we had funds. We made an  appointment with 3 brothers (Fritzman, Jean-Woody and Raymondson) for 9 am. That's now to-day as the internet did not co-operate last night. Their mother died 4 years ago and dad went to the Dominican Republic to look for work. He has not been heard from since. They stay wherever they find space for as long as they are allowed.  

During the quiet times (again hah) we began to plan the group study sessions for those in Rheto and Philo who are unable to attend school this year in the village. Curriculum will be two-pronged as about half are studying Nouvo Secondaire, the rest Secondaire Traditional.

As Carmene left for the day she mentioned that her 2 daughters have Typhoid, one in tandem with Malaria the other with worms. I have experienced the Typhoid/Malaria combination and it is debilitating to put it mildly.

Timing is everything. Heather and the CLM team in Canada donated another case of the natural supplement Allimax, which I picked up and repacked the day before I left. Joceline, Camiose, and Carmene's daughters Magda and Feri were our first customers.

Students gone, gate closed, staff filled me in on the political situation. Our newly elected president (February) still has not convened parliament. His primary goal seems to be establishing a new military. He has also accused a senator of being a thief and had him hauled off to prison. The senator is now free, after police checked the accusations. Who needs television?

Day one down, day two has begun and the rest will blur -- I'm really home.

Kenbe fo

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails