6:15 a.m. What a beautiful day from the rooftop at Terre Noire. The distant mountains to the south show deep curved lines from erosive rain, half shadows forcing its reflective half. A slight breeze is blowing as the sun peaks over the third story rooftop. A large white cross welcomes its light.
I just ate breakfast, spaghetti with onions in a thin red sauce, papaya, a hardboiled egg, ¼ cup of coffee, and 8 ounces of fresh juice. I feel guilty when such poverty sits below me. I do feel the Haitians are very resourceful maybe partly because of their democracy. It seemed in China this past summer poverty was dependent upon the state.
The clatter of children begins to amplify with happy crescendos of joy. A water truck approaches with music playing “Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday dear Haitians, Happy Birthday to You”. On and on the music plays as clean water helps keep the cholera away.
“Asta e ala hatta, an matta le-ca sota,” the children sing welcoming the new day, hope for their parents, and a brighter future than they had. A hope for all of mankind.
9:00 p.m. It has been a long day. I am sitting out on a roof top writing under the stars and artificial light. There is music playing in the background and the sound of a truck is starting up. Today we worked on a Haitian woman’s house. We helped put up concrete blocks to make the roof smooth and we stuccoed the walls with concrete. We also broke up the rubble on the ground in preparation for pouring a nice level concrete floor. The woman whose house we were working on was carrying two cement blocks at a time on her head from a temporary structure nearby. She then proceeded to provide all of the water that was needed to mix the concrete. This was a lot of water she carried (over 100 gallons), in 5 gallon buckets on her head. It was amazing to see how hard she was working for her new home. We did not put that much block up but it took a long time to complete. The woman then made lunch for all the Haitian workers. You could see the eagerness and joy in her unbreakable worn face. She was proud and hard working just as much as us, if not more. It was a humbling experience. After our lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at the church in Cite Sole half of our team went back to the house site while the other half stayed at the new clinic and painted. The front of the clinic is starting to look like a real place to welcome patients.
The following was written based on how I interpreted the woman’s eyes.
They are here! I must hurry and carry the cement blocks to my new home. One, two, three, help has arrived, they are here. I must get them water for the concrete. Three gallon tubs, 5 gallon tubs, 5 gallon buckets, is eight enough for them? My house is being built, it will be my home to live in. They promised to have this done in July but then they said they had no money left. Praise God! I sleep with no roof but they say I will now have a new roof, even a new secure door. I can’t help cry tears of joy, praise God almighty, he is providing for me. What else can I do to help? More water, they need more water for the concrete. Look at what they are doing, building my walls, stuccoing the walls, so smooth. I can’t wait to touch them. I think I might sleep here tonight, who cares if there is no roof yet. I am so happy, praise God. It is time for lunch, they must be getting hungry. I must make them a hardy meal to help give them strength. They need manna for their bodies. How many meals do I need? The man laying block, his helper, the foreman making my walls, so beautiful. The young man mixing the concrete. That makes four, anymore? I hope they like my cooking, it is for them. My new home will be for me, Praise God, Praise God, Praise God!
Do you now wonder why I am here in Haiti? To see this woman’s face and how much this means to her. There are many people who have made this possible which makes me even more humble. I wish everyone living here could be so lucky. And so do they!
Beginning to start working on the woman's home.
Denny preparing to do the stucco.
The woman whose house we were working on.
The woman in Cite Sole.
The children preparing to sing.
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