Long days here, but very productive. Lots of pictures on the Shutterfly Gallery page elsewhere, but no updated tonight. Here are Eva Cobau’s thoughts after Monday’s day of work.
2.17.14
Today was the first day on the work site. The day started off very productive. I was very well rested and fed a wonderful Haitian breakfast of pancakes and banana with peanut butter. We arrived at the Harry Brakeman school ready to work. We worked rigorously passing buckets of rocks to fill the foundation until approx. 11:30, and by then we were putting sand in the second portion of the classroom and finishing the re-bar on the first. In due time- we were ready for a break, and recess began- the kids were all over (hence we were working in the school yard). They were fascinated by all the blan (Haitian word for us white people lol). They were touching all over me! Their little hands were all over touching my tattoos, plugs, my hair and anything they could reach! I made the mistake of taking out my camera; they pushed and shoved to be in pictures as well as grabbing my camera for about 20 mins until I got tired of it and recess was subsequently over.
It was time to get back to work. I soon realized doing re-bar (tying wires for concrete foundation to be poured over) was difficult to do with my bulky leather gloves. I dreamed of my hot pink gripped gloves I had left in my backpack at the mance.
The water for the workers was empty so my dad and I decided to make a trip back to the mance. We thought we’d have a ride until the worker began walking down the road. Us three, two of us white walked the streets of Petit Goave, Haiti. My dad and I didn’t mind I thought in my head about the dangers posted online about walking in the streets of Haiti. I felt no danger and called ‘Bonju!’ to the people we passed called back and smiled. Well most of them at least. I had dreamed of the day I would break the barrier of us walking among the Haitians versus riding along the road in the car. It was not the glorified image in my head, as I read most of their body language and hid as they stared blankly into me – I thought they must think I’m a stupid blan American girl. Perhaps Haitians (minus the small children) are NOT fans of Americans. It hurts that they might not know we are here to help, even if we can’t undo what some blan may have done to this country some other time. Even though I was a bit uncomfortable, I am finding that Haiti is not the place of political turmoil, danger, and shady people write of online. As long as you are polite and kind you can be confident you will be just fine.
We finally arrived at the mance, we all ate a banana and some crackers and headed to Rev. Dorselys truck with two water holders for the workers. We went to a place called ‘top glace’ where all the water is treated with reverse osmosis to prevent the spread of cloquine(?) a bad bacteria that attacks your GI system. I saw him exchange from what I saw to be 50 gouds- a lot of money for filling 2 containers of water. He then loaded them into the truck and we headed back to the site. When we returned I was exhausted. After a mile walk to the mance and lifting all the rocks I was hungry even before we had left for the mance, and now I was famished. I will never say starving again because some here are actually starving. Americans do not know starving until we see it ourselves – especially the ones who have anorexia and CHOSE not to eat. Which is disturbing when you see the need here. That just will always bother me now after being in Haiti. I ate two ham and cheese sandwiches and drank a fruit champagne (Haitian equivalent to cream soda) and realized the sugar crash was real. I then decided that the sandwiches weren’t enough, so instead of overdoing myself, I decided I would cut wires for the re-bar with Joan who was originally assigned the task. I was pooped so we talked about the Haitian kids and how much fun they had with the balls the church donated, our own lives and Haitian politics, I really enjoyed that. We also discussed the language barrier and how frustrated we felt not being able to communicate with one another. It sucked to say the least. I wished I had taken French instead of Spanish, I really do. Communication is such a key thing- it’s everything, which reminds me of a paper for speech I still have to write on three things I can’t live without.
Anyways, soon after we finished the day and left we came to the mance where I saw Samuel, one of the hired help at the Dorsely household working on homework. He introduced me to his friend Ricot. They were working on matematicas or geometry in English. I helped them with their English until dinner. They both have 2 sisters and 3 brothers, I felt a connection as I have 3 brothers and 1 sister. The Dorsley girls came along and giggled at Ricot’s failed attempts to communicate with me. Soon after I headed in and saw a friend of Samuel’s setting up shop on the Dorselys front yard!! Me bringing almost $300 specifically to move the economy and help someone somehow. I bought 2 metal salamanders, a butterfly bowl, a sign saying “God bless my family,” and a heart rock. They were all so beautiful and probably priced in America for $75. I hopefully will bring them home and drag friends and family back to this beautiful country full of talent and love. I showered and had dinner soon after- I then fell asleep promptly, missing devotions yet dreaming crazy things in my head. Here in Haiti I have dreams- which never happens in America, probably due to the no a/c in our room- but still nonetheless weird. Sweat and heat will definitely become my friends here in Haiti.