Last Haiti Post from my sister Marilyn

I felt something weird crawling on my knee at breakfast this morning!  Darned if it wasn’t Arawak, one of Nancy and Steve’s 2 small parrots (rescued as babies). Every day here has been full of surprises. Lots of Suzuki violinists at the University’s Music Dept, so I hear the familiar practice pieces from our kids’ youth. Did you know chocolate (cacao) grows right out of the trunk of the tree, has a mushy center with large white seeds that look like marshmallows and taste citrusy. Those seeds become chocolate; no way, way! Bananas everywhere; we like the pink ones best. Parrots everywhere; lots of different kinds. The cat had 4 kittens yesterday.

I’ve walked while Emily runs at the campus football (soccer) field. She has a lot of admirers!

Another great service at the Baptist Church this morning. 18 more blancs (white people) arrived yesterday from the states, to do tile work on the new clinic short stay annex, see patients, play frisbee with the kids.

There was a group hike up Don Kor yesterday, a big extinct volcano. It was terribly hot, they got a little lost, eventually were still hiking in the dark for about the last hour (had flashlights and in contact with Nancy here at the house by cell phone). They scared local people who suspect that whites (the color of evil spirits in Haiti) are werewolves and vampires. Everyone was glad to get back, drink a lot of gatorade and take a shower, and we were SO glad to see them.

I had been planning to go on the hike but was still recovering from severe dehydration from dysentery last Thursday. I had just started work at the clinic, felt dizzy, went to lie down, fainted, was rescued by Emily and the other staff, got all better after 2 liters of IV fluid. Jerry was in Port-Au-Prince with Steve. Another big story.

So I wasn’t on the hike. Nancy took me and another nurse working here on a home visit. We are in a more well off town, but there are still plenty of women raising many children alone because the husband has left. No food, no electricity, no indoor plumbing. This lady had 5 cute kids, incl a set of 7 year old boy-girl twins. No money for food; Nancy brought fruit, bread, canned goods, eggs. We took a slow walk because it was 106 in the sun yesterday.
Remember those hikers up on the mountain (see paragraph above). They were sunburned, to the ouch degree. But they all look better today; just hobbling around a bit.

Our time here is up. We’ll fly home tomorrow. 2 weeks is very short, but we are so glad we came, not least because we reconnected with our dear friends, Steve and Nancy James. Their work in Haiti as medical missionaries for so many years is an inspiration. And they are also funny, cheerful, generous, great friends.

Now back to work, to the farm, to spring, to Daylight Savings!

Love, Marilyn and Jerry
brighten the corner where you are
briye pou li kote ou ye         (Creole trans.)


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