Up at 5:30am to work in Floyd (van). Morning worship with Victory Compassion of songs and prayer time. Pastor Rod came over to pray for Kendra and I. We cried. Then Xiomara came over at the end and cried with us too. We've been through a lot and these people have no idea how harsh Haiti truly is. Hot breakfast of oatmeal and fruit, then Dr. Xiomara took out Laurel's stitches.
On our way to the village, the UN trucks were blocking the entrance. Stopped to talk with them then ended up in a caravan with a large machine, UN semi truck, Japanese security, security truck from Jordan, Floyd, then more Japanese security and a truck full of Victory Compassion (VC) volunteers.
|Beginning of the work on the garbage pit. Check out the cows in the center of the photo.|
The "watchers" of the land told the land owner that the trees were being knocked down. Right as we were leaving for a meeting with the Mayor of Croix-des-Bouquets, the land owner's husband - Gilbert - came out to say a few strong words that turned into a 45 minute conversation about a "misunderstanding" through the doctor.
Land ownership is a very serious thing here, so serious that we've learned people kill over it. Kendra handled herself beautifully and the guy warmed up to us. At first they said we had to fill in the hole, then the wife said she would call the co-owner and see if we could use it. We shall see.
A few times the little boy who hurt his foot has shown up. Only one time have I seen him with that wound covered. Dr. Xiomara got our her medical kit and cleaned the cut once again. At this rate, it will take forever to heal unless he takes care of it.
To Croix-des-Bouquets to pick Johnbern and Carter but we got majorly lost in the downtown area. Through the market to a dead end, turned around, stuck in traffic, and a dump truck driver got out, moves the small items 2 ladies were selling on the street. The driver then proceeded to have us run over the shoes one lady was selling and the potatoes of another. Crazy!
Picked up Johnbern and Carter, dropped them off at a restuarant to get lunch for everyone really quickly. Girls went to UN Log Base to fill out a petition for supplies and to pick up Ali from IOM to go to a camp with us to interview families. Because of traffic and other craziness in the streets, this 30 minute drop off for food turned into a 2 1/2 hour trip. Wow!
To camp in Croix-des-Bouquets that was very far north from town. President of the camp had already selected 10 families that we decided to interview. Kendra and Carter interviewed half while Johnbern and I did the others and Xiomara was in charge of copying National ID cards.
|Ali from IOM, President of the Camp, Johnbern and Kendra|
While interviewing, some of the women really shared their experience - one woman losing a child during the earthquake and others close family members.
Can you imagine living here for 18 months?
On a not so serious note, one son of a woman I interviewed was wearing a Relay shirt. I've seen quite a few, but got very excited. Johnbern translated to let him know that's where I used to work. The guy even let me take a picture with him.
The attitude of these people is much different than the attitude of people from other refugee camps we've visited and talked with. After all the interviews, we got the group together to read to them the contract or "protocol" before we help them move. Arranged to have a truck come at noon tomorrow to move them. Got Ali back to the UN Log Base by 6pm, then headed "home". On the way we had a "team meeting" - Kendra, Carter, Xiomara, Johnbern, and I - ending with a prayer when we got "home".
At the house, I immediately began sorting all the interview notes, ID card copies, and photos on each family. Xiomara made spaghetti for dinner in the dark. Called Dad to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Slept with socks on. I'm trying it out because the Mosquitos still eat through my net and love my ankles/feet. I have so many bites it is getting a little riduclous.
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