Thursday, March 31, 2016

Pig Does Not Fly in Haiti

Sunset in Mon Bouton

A source of peace comes at sunset here in the mountains. Skies fade from turquoise, orange and fiery reds to purple. Palm fronds frame the scene spectacularly, sharp and distinct. If I step out on the promontory near Sove’s house, I can see Gran Riviere, I can follow it towards Leogane, I can see, far away, the lights that are - that can only be - Poprens, the capital.

I look forward to this time. Looming black birds - Sonel tells me they are “hawks” - begin caw-cawing —children are playing (still!) noisily in the flat yard. I hear the singing, from down the tricky path from the latrine, through the igname, sweet potato vines, huge manyok, taro leaves and fallen banane.

Free of burdens, the girls are strong and their voices rise to meet the top of the kokoye.  Their bare feet pummel the dust as they jump rope, an de, twa ansanm, the three youngest girls vie for first place.  First Dieula, then Wozanna, then Jezi.  An, de twa, an de twa.  Nana joins in, breaks the rhythm, all giggle.  Ou pedi, ou pedi!  You lose!

Drawn by their chants and giggles, I carefully descend the path.  It’s a hazardous descent - I must not fall - but worth the effort. I am party to their childhood, in the hills of rural Haiti; it’s is a surprise to me and I feel honored. Golden tinctured moments few others share, with the families in the mountains.

But of course, the girls want photos, want to see themselves, and I get to share in their squeals, their delight.

The boys jump in as well - well, maybe not as well.  One after another, they rotate as rope turners and jumpers, just as I remember from my own girlhood in Brooklyn, New York.  There, we played on cement, on hard pavement, watching out for cars. A world away, light years. One, two, three…A my name is Alice…

There is only a little light left now, and the children reluctantly leave off their games.  Squabbling, who won the most, who jumped the most, who lost. Jezi grabs the rope, winds it on her arm. They scatter, down to Kay Madame Jean, Kay Gistav, up to Kay Sove’s. 


Jaden pou toulemonde!

Kiltivate Premye Klas!
Last summer we sowed the, cleared the land, readied the soil, burned some brush and followed Mesye Nelis, first-class gardener and tiller of soil in our mountain zone.

Gwo gwo betrav!
Gwo gwo chou!
The cement tank, storing water from the spring, does need maintenance and cleaning. Nelis monitors and maintains water quality and smooth running of the apparatus.

Met Toma arranges the flexible solar panels and adjustable tripods.

Carrots, among other vegetables, need reliable watering.  For that, Mesye Nelis tapped into our tank, our solar powered pumps, and some 400 feet of kawachoute, aerated hose as well...

And everyone works, everyone helps, young and old.
Hard worker, hungry worker
Input from the mountain community

Ti Eli is a valuable member of our team

Gran Dodo gets it done!

Everyone works, mwen menm tou!