Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Le Monde de Morne Bouton: School Construction Underway!

Cement Blocks pile up at river's edge
School Construction Underway, a veritable Citadel for our Mountain Community!  Thank you, Digicel!
The school, a monumental structure to be the local equivalent of Henri Christophe’s La Citadel in northern Haiti, is under construction!  That is, thanks to Digiel’s CEOs and the unflagging efforts of Principal Dieudonne (aka “John”), to bring everything together, the building materials are literally piling up at the river's edge (the Momance), awaiting mules, people or…? Trucks ? For the long haul up...
Yes - a yellow bulldozer has started to dig a road up!  
It stopped after 300 feet.  
Only 3200 more to go...

Given the difficulties of transport and Principal John’s persistence, it appears that soon a road will be dug by a bulldozer (or two), to allow for trucks to bring materials to the school site, some 3500 feet up.  And, indeed, one bulldozer made an appearance last week, dug about 100 meters and stopped.

Out of gas!  Now, that's another wrinkle...

Here’s one clip showing materials starting to pile up at the river's edge (they crossed over to the Djon Djon side and stopped just where one must start the almost vertical hike up.  Goats do well here, even mules.  And, some people.  But cement?  Sand? Gravel?  Cement blocks?  Coils of wire? Stacks of rebar?  6 tons more of it?

Are things looking up for Zoranje zone's children?

A Children's Crusade, of sorts, starts with schlepping rebar up from the river's edge.
The clip shows the route followed some 200+ years ago  by newly freed slaves - who feared the French would return - to carry a cannon up to Zoranje zone.  This is the same route followed now by child and adult volunteers, who carry rebar and construction materials up to build a school, funded by Digicel.  This clip shows the day of the "Children's Crusade," an impressive effort by tag teams of children as young as 7, who participated in the "sevis kominote" (community service).  All received a huge meal of rice and beans after the work.  The school principal's wife is in charge of cooking and serving some 100+ workers - usually not on a daily basis however.  Folks need to rest!

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