Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It was the weirdest thing yesterday - I have never heard of this in all the years I have been working in Haiti. I was taking Bijou for a walk and some ladies were coming down the path from up on the mountain, carrying their goods to market in Thomazeau. I had Bijou on a leash and was holding her close to me. As soon as they saw me and Bijou they started yelling "Um we! Um we!", which means "help me, help me!" and "M paka kouri, m paka kouri!" That means I can't run! I called to them that I was holding Bijou and she would not do anything to them, that they could pass this way with no problem. They screamed all the more and were trying to run as fast as they could with their loads. I told Mezo (our guard) about it and he said they think white people will eat them, They thought I would use Bijou to catch them and then we would eat them. Wow! I told him I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat meat, so they only have to worry about Tim. Anyway, it was an interesting little first time experience!
Have you ever seen a complete rainbow? I mean, the whole arch and both ends? The other day we saw this for the first time in our lives! It was truly awesome. For anyone wondering - there was no pot of gold at either end. But the splendor of God seen through His awesome creation is worth so much more!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Life is difficult for everyone in Haiti. Even if you have all of your basic needs, and more, met, life is still difficult! The youth in our education program who live in the mountain villages of Brajirois and Robert have an added difficulty. In the villages where they live with their families, there are no secondary schools for them to attend. They have three options for school: 1) Walk the 3 hours down the mountain each morning and 3 hours back up in the afternoon 2) Move to the village at the foot of the mountain and live with relatives or friends. The walk to school is still from 45 minutes to 1 ½ hours each way. 3) Drop out of school After several of the youth in these two villages asked me for bicycles to get to and from school, and as I talked with them more and understood the difficulty they faced to get to and from school each day, it was time to take action. Many of our sponsors give generously to our “Where Needed Most” fund. We were able to use some of these funds to purchase 22 bicycles the first of this week. On Wednesday we went to meet the kids and distribute the bikes. This distribution took quite a little while to accomplish. In Haiti, one has to register his/her bike with the police. So we had to find the serial numbers on all the bikes, fill in the paperwork and then have each youth sign the original and the copy. One young man, Jean-Jean Vertilus, (sponsored by Susan Lanier), was especially appreciative of this gesture towards them. He said he had been getting to school on foot and it would take at least 45 minutes each way. He said that now with the bike it will take him about 10 minutes each way! He was so happy. He said, “I thank God for the Americans who are helping us to develop, because without their help I would not even be able to write my name. I have no parents to send me to school, so if not for my sponsor, I would not have the hope of an education. I am praying for God to strengthen and encourage all of you, that you may continue helping others.” Thank you to all our supporters who help to bless the lives of these children and young people through your generosity and love.
Bijou & I went for a walk the other day. We went over to the dried up river bed near the house. Bijou really wanted to walk in the river bed that day so we went along. She was being good that day so I had her off leash. It's usually difficult to get her back in the compound when she is off leash, but this day was a breeze. She was on the other side of the ravine and I had been calling her. Suddenly she took off lie a shot towards the house with "a puppy treasure" clenched firmly in her teeth. She did not stop until she was inside the gate. She went over to the cistern and stashed her treasure. It was a goat skull (I think that's what it was). She brought it in the house the next morning and chewed it up on the living room rug. Tim is rarely ever (actually never) happy with Bijou and this day was no exception!
There are many interesting things around the "ranch". Like this ugly bug that was waiting on the porch for me one morning. It was like a crawdad with wings, only bigger. Mezo says that if it bites you it will make your body water. I guess that means you'll get a big fever or maybe because this big, ugly thing is on your body you pee all over yourself - not sure - and don't want to find out.