24 April - Trip to Mountain Community of Laguille -New School & Church
Wednesday, April 24, 2013 – We are all tired, dusty and sore tonight. We had a wonderful day travelling into the mountains to visit Laguille, where Pastor Noe has his church and school. It is a very long drive over some terrible roads and even involves driving through a river, twice. Then we had to climb the last 15 minutes or so, wading across a creek twice. On the way we visited a chicken barn where about 3 to 4 thousand chicks are being raised by a co-op. It is the largest of 18 barns and this is a great source of income for many people – sponsored by Empower Global, of course. At Laguille we were greeted by the exuberant sound of a worship service in progress – it was just amazing! We felt uplifted, welcomed and embraced by it! It made us want to dance! We then met the nurse who is the steady presence of medical help in the area. The mobile clinic comes about every second weekend, but she’s always there. She is one of the nurse-practitioners like those trained at Dr. Rodney’s school. We handed over 2 bags of gifts for the children, and Pastor Noe immediately handed out some skipping ropes, which they knew how to use and a Frisbee that was a mystery. So Steve, Cal, Jim and Noe started tossing it around and the children quickly got into the act and mastered the idea of Frisbee throwing. Noe put away all the books, pens, pencils and other supplies, but the kids quickly polished off a big box of granola bars and one little girl claimed the empty box. The school is nearly completed, with 6 classrooms, office and storage space. Noe’s dream is to have a real church and to build a sustainable community. He came back from a very good construction job in Miami to take on this ministry and has accomplished so much! Cal did some soil testing too, to see why crop yields there are lower than they should be. There may be a way to improve them. The ride back down the mountain seemed much longer. We had about 16 people in the back of the truck – felt like a collectivo as we picked up and dropped off people. We were out of water and the sun was hot, our backs and backsides were sore from bouncing around back there and most of us are by now a bit sunburned. We passed many places where garbage was burning in the roadside ditch, which added to the constant small of smoke from charcoal production. We drove around the market in Dondon – a rather ramshackle place – and through rush hour in Cap Haitien. We were delighted to have seen Laguille, but overjoyed to get off the truck when we got home. Did I mention the crazy drivers? Hair-raising. Mary had a wonderful fish dinner for us tonight and chocolate cake for dessert. Noe stayed for dinner and we talked about his dream for the community at Laguille. Then we all went our separate ways to recharge batteries – our own and those of our cameras, tablets and readers.
Posted by Janice Hatt