Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Random Thoughts

Random thoughts/observations from the last two days:
  1. Susan & I have been given the responsibility of being teachers to what has grown to 80 - 100 kids 3 - 15 y.o.  We tried to make paper airplanes today - but much was lost in translation.  I have a grand, new-found respect for teachers in overcrowded schools.
  2. Did I say that the house we're staying in has a moon-shine still in the back?  Burning & brewing 24/7
  3. We're having two meals each day at the Pastor's childhood home.  Lots of rice, beans, plantain, goat & chicken.  Meals take a tremendous effort to prepare for us.  Everything is cooked in wood burning ovens, juice is picked fresh & hand squeezed, salt comes in rocks.  With no refrigeration, everything is prepared fresh and consumed at once.
  4. A very clear & definite division of labor.  Women do everythign involved with meals, cleanup, housework and child care.
  5. Pastor Carsel said the living conditions in Haiti were much better under Duvalier, the dictator that ruled Haiti thru the 80s.  People had electricity & running water, the streets were maintained and the country was cleaner.  Definitely a two-edged sword.
  6. The earthquake destroyed the tax dept in PaP which had the only records pertaining to property ownership.  So now, if you live on the property or work that land, it's yours unless someone disputes it & can prove that it's theirs.
  7. With some of our donations of cash from friends here, we paid $150 for food & transportation of 24 boxes of rice/soy meals provided by a group call Feed My Starving Children.  Today, the women prepared a hot meal for our 100 or so students.  Even the smallest were given portions that filled most of a dinner plate, certainly more than Susan would eat.  And even the smallest ate the entire meal while sitting quietly in the classroom.  This scene was in stark contrast to the near riots we started by handing out crayons & markers.  Seems like the kids were afraid they wouldn't get any, even thought we had plenty for all.  With the help of two young Haitian men, Jean & Josenel acting as interpretors, we have done much better.  The kids are so happy, cute and really seem to be enjoying this time.

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