So, what exactly is normal
Today, Saturday, was our first day without a team here so we will start to discover our ‘normal’ day to day life. Still lots to figure out. We will be officially starting our language training Monday morning. We are excited for this because there are SO many people we want to share more than casual greetings with…Bonjour, Bonswa, Koman ou ye? (how are you?) Mwen kontan we ou (I am happy to see you) Bondye beni ou (God bless you) Bon whit (good night) We tell the cooks, “Mesi, bon manje” (Thank you, good food).
We made our first trip to Market in Pignon as shoppers rather than sight see-ers. We found one gorgeous pineapple, some cute little potatoes, a jumbo bag of macaroni, a can of SPAM (eeeewww), some perfect sized cans of tomato paste for the macaroni, a jar of RAGU brand spaghetti sauce!! A bottle of some kind of saucy seasoning, we needed 2 marmits of sugar for juice, and we got a big can of powdered milk (a request from the cook) AND fresh bread in a SLAB from the bread baker. There is Haitian peanut butter available but that is one thing we did bring along to eat…some crunchy Jif!
It has been HOT of course. There have been some amazing down pours of rain as it is rainy season now. The road we travel from Savanette to Pignon (about 4 miles) is THE WORST! We are navigating the motorcycle around, and over and through mud and rocks and huge puddles (more like ponds) of murky, muddy water. Craig is getting more comfortable each day with the motorcycle…as long as we aren’t out just after one of the amazing down pours! We were in the taptap (truck) coming home from Pignon the other day and it was pouring. The road was just like a river flowing. Our friend Zeke was driving, weaving about, spraying the cactus with the muddy water on either side of the road as we sailed through the flowing road-river.
The next day we were headed into Pignon on the motorcycle and came to a spot that was slippery, slimy mud across the entire width of the road. I got off to make it easier for Craig to navigate but then a friendly Haitian had sympathy for us and drove the motorcycle through the mud for Craig. We tiptoed across and got back on and away we went. Coming back home it had dried up enough and there had been many motorcycles passing though so we could find a dry path and made it on our own.
Earlier this week there were 2 moms with babies at the MH4H compound that needed medical attention for the babies. Craig and I took them to the hospital in Pignon, Clifford was our driver that day. Both babies had tests done and then were given prescriptions to be filled. It took a good part of 2 days to get that all done….and then there are 4 different meds that were prescribed that are not even available in Pignon. SO…there is a health agent that works with MH4H that is trying to get these medications from one of the larger cities. WOW! Nothing is easy here. We got lots of practice with the money system those 2 days…..paying for the tests that were done, paying for some prescriptions, buying some food/drink for both of the moms as they are nursing the babies, and extra water in a bag to mix with one of the prescriptions.
The main program, Thrive for 5, that has been going since September is on a break now. This past week we organized a food distribution for the families enrolled in the program. Each family received 25 # of rice, 11 # of beans, 50 bouillon cubes, and a gallon of oil. This is to help supplement their food supply during the break. Part of the program is to provide a meal for the kids, and pregnant moms and nursing moms enrolled so now they will have food during the break as well. The program requires a parent to come each day with their child. The break was requested by the parents because they said they need to stay home a take care of their gardens. I have a couple of pictures showing the moms as they head for home on foot carrying ALL the food plus their babies! There are some grandmas that bring the grandchild…they also would carry the food the whole way home. (some walk for 1 ½ hours to come to the program.) One younger sibling was carrying the rice, beans, bouillon and it could have weighed as much as she did. Unbelievable! AND it was NOON and HOT!
We are doing well. Love, C&C