25 April - Dr. Rodney Electrical, Truck Repairs, G5 and Maurice's Story

Thursday, April 25 – Breakfast was abundant yet again – omelets, fruit, bread and local peanut butter to supplement what Steve brought. A few more people have moved into other guest rooms in Pastor Thony’s house, so we’re sharing bathroom space with another couple as well as the young man who was already here. We still have no lights in our room, even when the electricity is on for 3 or so hours in the evening. And to complicate matters, the water pump didn’t pump enough water to the roof so the taps were dry this morning and nothing to flush the toilets. No biggie – though at home we’d be totally freaked. We piled into the truck to go to the Empower Global compound to meet Thomas, a young well-educated, unemployed Haitian. His story is troubling. He worked as a translator in a large hospital in his hometown of Pinon, but he developed a tumour on his back and had surgery and a long recovery. The tradition in Haiti is that if something bad happens to you, you must leave your home and move elsewhere, but if you don’t know anyone, have an “in” you can’t get a job in the new place. We couldn’t help him, but there may be some chance of something with Empower. The other bad news was that as soon as we pulled into the compound, the truck quit. Of course, the good news is that it happened on Empower Global property, not at Dondon yesterday. Fortunately, they were able to get a mechanic quite quickly and the repair was done by noon. Meanwhile, the guys changed one of the tires on the truck, that was worn down to the belt. None of us wanted to ride around on that tire, once we had seen the shape it was in! We went to Dr. Rodney’s home, stopping at a hardware store (or what passes for one here) for supplies. Steve, Jim and Larry then made some electrical repairs and modifications to enable the family to manage their lights. Then, after a quick stop at Pastor Thony’s (still no water) we sat in on a meeting of the G5 groups. It was great to interact with some of the people who have been in the gardening program and have benefitted from it. Steve, on behalf of Tansley, presented $200 to the governing body of the G5s, to buy 2 bicycles for the volunteers who will inspect the gardens and coach the gardeners in better methods. The governing body feels ready to get goats and start phase 2 of the ACAT program. There was a long discussion about goats, so all bases are covered. This whole process is not simple or straightforward. When we got home, we found that the tinkering the guys had done had finally started the rooftop tank filling. Then during dinner it actually overflowed! Maurice joined us for dinner to tell his inspiring and amazing story of how he went from being a bandit in Newfoundland and a junkie in the Caribbean to giving his entire life and self to God. He’s an amazing guy and we were very privileged to meet him this week. We all combed through our suitcases and sent him away with everything we could for the people he works with here. Like he said – there’s all kinds of junk available in Canada, but these people have nothing. I told him I’d been trying to talk myself into going home in flip-flops so he could have both pairs of running shoes, and he said, “Well, you could, but if you don’t we could use the flip-flops too”.  That’s what he got, so I won’t freeze my toes in Buffalo. Meanwhile, back in our room, the lights were suddenly working again. Who can explain the vagaries of electricity?

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