Five More Things

This is a sequel to Five Things. I’ve now been here for just over two months and I have another handful of things I’d like to share with you.

  1. Cookies- mmmm! But dirt cookies are a reality a far stretch from oatmeal chocolate chip. I recently heard about a Haitian means of tricking empty bellies. Where food is unavailable or unaffordable (as is the case for a sickening number), a mix of dirt, salt and vegetable oil are packed together then baked under the scorching sun. The scientific name for dirt eating is geophagy. It isn’t healthy.
  2. Some Haitians despise the aid and development organizations which establish in their country, fearsome of artificially raised costs of living, imported diseases and the undermining of an independent sense of living. Yet more, it seems, welcome the aid, recognizant of the possibility that the situation could be a million miles worse if it was only the hapless domestic government left to fend off the deeply engrained issues.
  3. Yesterday up in the hills around Tom Gato, I saw a hummingbird. This made me think of our lost friend John. Here’s a pic of Mitch shredding in Nakusp this summer with his fine tatty in John’s memory.
  4. November 19 is World Toilet Day. Seeing as all the readers of this site are likely to be amongst the 50% of the world’s population who have access to adequate sanitation, I encourage you to A. Consider yourself fortunate and B. Use the day as an opportunity to discuss the realities facing the other 50%. Try squatting into a plastic bag, or maybe see how it feels to not have any soap sitting conveniently at the sink.
  5. I really, really miss Cathy!

2 comments

  1. Hey there will,
    I hope you are doing well and having fun, it sounds like you are:)
    Watching the news this morning they are talking about political demonstrations all over the country. Fueled not only by the upcoming election but also foreigners in country. What are you finding that since Tomas and the outbrake of cholera in terms of protest? Are you finding that the protests are geared more politicaly or are you finding that feelings of disapproval for the presence of foriegners are spreading or deepening? What are you seeing and what are your thoughts and feelings about this?

  2. Hello there Kristie!
    Thanks for checking in. I sure am having fun, every day bringing surprises and challenges.

    There are frequent demonstrations in Haiti and the vast majority are non-violent expressions of public discontent aimed at an inefficient government. Particular to cholera, there is a belief that the current cholera outbreak was carried into the country by a United Nations peace keeping contingent from Nepal. There has been some violence between protesters and these UN troops which I hope will subside if the outbreak gets under control. In any case, Haitians are very capable of distinguishing between the UN, with their guns and white tanks, and small aid groups such as the one with which I’m working. Since the outbreak and the hurricane we have had a big presence in the community educating groups and individuals on cholera prevention (hygiene), disinfection using bleach, and the simple treatment methods in the case of cholera. The community appreciates this work and we continue to be welcomed in our work. The political rhetoric is heating up in advance of the Nov 28th election and the subsequent 4 weeks it takes to count the vote. We do expect more activity, but Leogane is historically a fairly mellow place come election time.


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