Monday, April 8, 2013

Shanty Towns and Mansionville

After a good nights sleep , we awoke to a beautiful morning.
We had scrambled eggs with peppers and hotdogs, fresh mango and cantalope, Haitian coffee or tea for breakfast.  I go for the strong, rich, delicious coffee.
Since I'm traveling with 3 older men who are hard of hearing and only drink decaf and two younger people who don't care for coffee. I'm generally the only coffee drinker.

We ran to the hardware store today.  As we took a new route we observed a tent city area (I missed a photo opp.) Within walking distance from the tent city there was a vast contrast of mansions, really much larger and better off houses.  To compare it to the US, it may be similar to a huge dumpy trailer park right outside a gated upscale housing development. Except that tarps, tin and tents are the "trailer" living structures here in Haiti.

The hardware store looked just like a Lowe's or Home Depot, only difference, it was surrounded by a tall fence and a gate at the entrence.

With traffic and stopswe didnt arrive at the orphanage until 11:00 am.  The bunk beds are taking much longer than we all expected.  We have to improvise with lots of different tools and supplies.

Madame Gladys would like us to build a shelf for dishes as well; hopefully we can complete that shelf by Friday which will be our last work day.

You all may find this interested to hear this:
There are no washers and dryers or water heaters. Where we are staying, they have a cistern near the front gate.  It's filled with city water.  Each morning Michlene pulls up enough water for dishes and whatever else.  They add a capful of bleach, even to drinking water.
Laundry is all done by hand.
Showers and toilet flushing, water is pumped from the cistern to a huge 300 gallon black plastic barrel on the roof.  For showers water comes from that barrel.  The temp is determined by the time of day and outside weather.  Early mornings, plan to be a little freezing, afternoon when the sun has been heating it, the water will be luke-warm.
The story I'm leading too, I think you'll find humorous, we all did.  The other day, MacKenzie was showering.  The water stopped running and she was covered in soap, whith no one in ear shot.  She stood there for awhile until Ryan came and knocked on the door.  She said, " Please get Bec, the shower stopped working.:  I came in, she told me what happened, I went downstairs to Leny who flipped a switch in the kitchen.  The barrel had apparently emptied and the switch turned on the pump that refilled it from the cistern.  We all had quite a laugh over it.  It's like a lottery, who will be the next chosen one?

Complacent means: staying aware and alert of the possible dangers even after becoming comfortable.
 Ayla in the book Valley of the Horses became complacent when she had settled into a cave and she established a routine; yuntil one night hyenas attacked and she fell asleep before stoking the fire.  She also became lazy about keeping her sling shot on her.  Her attempt to scare hyena's away was done by screaming into the dark, frantically feeling for rocks or her sling shot.
As we all become more and more comfortable with our surrounding we are reminded to not become complacent.
Rick & Vern's room.  The electricity is on, so they are happily staying cool!

Vern brought a few soccer balls.  This boy on the street saw them and asked if he could have one.  His day was made by the gift of that ball.  He kissed it and had the most beautiful smile ever.  Vern even showed his "foot-ball" soccer skills by knocking the ball off his head to the kid.

Happy boy!

Part of the shanty town

Lenny, Rick, Vern and Jim coming out of the hardware store.

MacKenzie and Ryan standing up in the back of the pickup on our way to the orphanage.

A women walking her burro with saddle bags filled with something for sale.

Myself and MacKenzie drilling a bunk bed side.

Jim flipping the boys upside down.

Jim picking the girls up by their ears. 

They have the lottery here too.  Want to waste some money?

Sugar cane in a wheel barrel for sale.  We tried some the other night.  You peal off the dark outside layer and bite off a chunk.  Suck out the sweetness and spit out the inner bark.  It's quite tasty.  Not as sweet as I imagined.

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