Monday, June 21, 2021

Earth, Water, Sun, Sky, Coffee


Earth, Sun, Food, Water - and Coffee:

Am I dreaming? It seems my neighbors drink a LOT LESS than we blans (visitors) do. Indeed, folks also eat a lot less frequently, but also a lot more when they do eat -- huge bowls, if not platters of mayi moulin ak sos pwa, pou egzanp. When my Haitian friends and neighbors eat, they eat down to the last drop.

And me? I drink like a fish and eat like a bird, BUT one rule of thumb has been: LOTSA coffee!

And:  Do not speak to me in the morning until I have had my coffee! So that's what I insist on maintaining.  My few "Princess" routines...gotta have that kafe le matin. So, a huge chodye is prepared with coffee, and then poured into a HUGE thermos that is the size of a three year old Haitian child...This too is a little business, provides a job (and coffee!) for the families involved. Ok, ok - it's it's my ONE luxury, will you allow me that?

Work options for paysans, farmers, moun ki travay te (those who work the land) would be to form "kombite" - work teams, work collectives, and take turns as a group working in one another's large plots of land. There are few such large land owners these days - what with inheritance patterns being as they are, with all children inheriting equally, boys and girls, most owned land are small plots scattered here and there, bits and pieces from a mothers' side, a fathers' side, and so on.  That trickles down.

The "trickle down" effect has resulted in land plots being a small trickle, quilts of plots that one hikes to (or not), that one plants (or not) and weeds and perhaps, hopefully, harvests.

No, there is no irrigation, and little watering of gardens here. When it rains it pours, and if it doesn't rain, farmers and their families are, well, sunk.

There are occasional surprises, however. Like once, one summer, Madame Jean produced some tomatoes! 


        Keyword:  Once.

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