Friday, August 17, 2012

Update from Zoranje Zone - the Whole Truth

1.  ACCESS TO WATER - Our pumps and solar panels have been freed from Customs, and are finally in the hands of the Port au Prince team, ENERSA,  ,
that will be installing everything by mid-September (they say.)

2.  Digicel  (Haiti's ATT) has provided materials for the school. Unfortunately, the expectation that hauling the 6 tons of cement, cement blocks, rebar, etc., is not quite realistic --- given that it is 3500 feet of rock and no road.  Nevertheless the people - and children - of the zone are determined to make this happen, so they do this the only way they know how: human labor (and a few mules that have had enough grazing land to feed on...).

3. I was up in the zone as "Resident anthropologist" again  this past July.  I note that tons of materials are accruing at the river's edge, where the path to ascend to Zoranje Zone begins.  I will attach a short video clip.  Both children and adults have been recruited to haul the materials up; even with this, and all the mules (and their guides) that the entire zone could ever assemble (mules need to rest and be fed/grazed as well!), it is hard to say when, if ever, all 6 tons of materials will make it to the building site.  Here is the 4 min. music video which speaks  - sings - to that effort:

Pastor Djon (Dieudonne) has been scrambling motivating folks and doing whatever he can to get help and mules. He built housing for the engineers and construction team, and a place to secure materials.  He obtained more land, a better building site. In fact, there was once, briefly, a bulldozer that came to start digging a road.  Unfortunately, they coud not afford gas for the bulldozer, nor, it seems could anyone construe a way to KEEP getting fuel to the bulldozer as it made its way up the mountain.   Here's 3 min. of videotape of the children working
KQPgIE6yAYo- of course, for this, they get fed a huge bowl of rice and sauce pwa, and water.  In the morning, everybody had coffee when they made the descent, and water along the way carried for the workers by other childre.  

Folks are stumped, the bulldozer is gone.  I hear that, bit by bit, children continue to carry things up, adults too.

I am awaiting an update - from my local colleague, Toma, and/or the Digicel CEO, as to when the engineers might be able to start, and what, if anything, Digicel Foundation might do to ease the literal burden on these children and their parents?

The one minute video of materials accrued at the base of the mountain:

4.  All in all, it is at least testimony to the strength and dogged determination of the Haitian people of the mountains. In the face of all this,  I am humbled, and in awe.

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