Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bonsoir! Into the Mountains

We went on a tourist adventure yesterday.  We rode in the back of Lenny's (Pastor Wilson's son) pick up.  You could sit on wooden bench seats but better yet we could stand holding onto the bars on the sides.  Wind and sun in our faces as we headed up into the mountains  We could breath better with the fresh, clean mountain air.  For Jim (the overall coordinator) the cooler the better.

All of us "buffos" (crazy) people are quickly becoming friends. We laugh and joke with each other.  We pick, tease and when necessry are honest with each other.  What a great gropu of peole to be on this trip with.

As we drove out of the congested city, we visited Lenny's home that he's in the process of building.  His grandfather lives there and Lenny's house is being built onthe top of his grandfather's house.  Two full time masons with the help of friends, in 6 months his house will be completed.

In the country there is no need to have safety walls and gates for protection because no one comes there to "mess with the people, " said Markenz (one of the permanent residence at Pastor Wilson & Glady's house).

From there we had lunch at the Baptist mission and did some shopping.  Haitians like to bargain, they enjoy the challenge, I guess and enjoy having "blan" (white) people pay more for things than they are worth.  It's money in their pockets, so that makes sense. 

I was able to bargain some paiting today.  The seller started out as $30 for one.  I said how about 2 for $10?  He said no, no, two for $25.  I said how about two for $12?  He said, no, no I need to make money here.  Two for $20, that's it, you take!  I paused, thought and said the highest I"ll go is $15.  He said ok, $19, yes!  I said $15 is all I'll go.   He said, "you are a hard bargain, ok, I'll take!"  Yeah!  My heart was racing and I had to think clearly in the midst of my inner nervousness!  Thanks to my dad for staying near me.  In this culture, the women are vulnerable.  I needed a male to stay near me.  His being there helped me to not be too haggled.

Vendors would approach the back of the truk with bread, baskets, sunglasses, etc.  "no, merci, no merci"  we say over and over, which mean, no thank you!

I felt like we reached the top of the world today.  We stopped to do more bargaining and there was a beautiful view.  We could see the ocean to the Morth, all of Port au Prince, Carre four, Petionville, City of Soleil and beyond.  I learned today that City of Soleil is the most impoverished part of Haiti where raw sewage runs down the streeets and people food is covered with flies.  I am grateful we are not staying there.  The population of Haiti is 10 million.  500,000 people died in the earthquake.  Those are immense numbers.

One other thing I found interesting is the name of Haitian money is goudes.  At the Baptist Mission there was a small museum type space that went through Haiti's history.  Gourds were originally used to carry water, their money was named after gourds.  In case you were curious like me.
Standing up in the back of the pickup.  Thankfully the roads were fairly smooth.

An entrance to someone's house, with a metal door and huge natural stone walls at the entrance. 

The rock base of Haiti is made out of basalt, limestone and volcanic rock.  The limestone makes for a good ingredient for making cement structures.

We stopped at the mechanic.  No fancy garage, just a small building and several older men who knew what they were doing.

Beautiful mountains!

From the Baptist mission you can see the amazing hill side growing plots, houses and roads.

This pictures doesn't capture the vastness but still beautiful.

A plaintain tree.  We ate some fried plantain the other night, slightly bland tasting but I enjoyed them.

Avocado plant.

Look closely you'll see little green, unripened lemons.

Coffee plant, the flower pods were just barely starting to open.

We saw cabbage growing, spinach or swiss chard and beets. Very nice neat raised beds

My girls, this lizard picture is for you.  He was cute and told me to tell you bonjour. (good day/hello)

Another mountain shot, the clouds were setting low, we knew rain was on it's way.  We were going to get wet, no matter what.

The dirty water and piles of trash further up the road, just ran down hill after is down poured.  Thankfully for just a short few minutes.  It was a nice warm rain.

Au Revoir (good bye, until we meet again)!


  1. I am thinking you need to put your pictures and words together in an album or book of some sort. Love reading your descriptions and seeing your pics. God Bless, Linda

  2. Ugh I love reading your blogs, so when I get on and you haven't been it is so disappointing, But you keep do your mission work and I will check back in again tomorrow. God Bless