Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Real Haiti

On our first few days on this trip we experienced cool, rainy weather - totally not like Haiti. There were many times I was looking for my jacket. Today, I did not need my jacket. I officially experienced the true Haitian heat. It was in the 90s and humid! I took a shower and could not get my skin dry. The water would not evaporate and I was still sweating! We painted and worked out in the hot, hot sun!!

Then we went for a walk. We left the compound and left the major thoroughfare. We went to a view a hillside where the houses are built literally one on top of the other. I get it. Use one man's roof as your foundation. Much cheaper! And when you do not have anything, you do what you can. But these structures are the ones that toppled in the earthquake.
This particular one survived but would it withstand another one? The houses are small inside; generally just a couple rooms. Our guide was so proud to show us the inside of his house. He has recently 'moved up' from a tent to this house. But he keeps his tent. He is afraid that he may still need it at some point. He has twin daughters that he cares for (his wife left them) and wants to keep safe. They attend the Christian school here at Three Angels and look just like their Dad. They are very special girls!

We weaved through passageways down, down the hill. At the bottom was a creek. I am pretty sure this was not a natural creek, but more of a sewage run-off. It was rank! It was also a gathering place for all sorts of voodoo happenings. They fly a flag as a sign of their 'religion'. It was a bit creepy, especially since it smelled so bad. I started wondering what really made that smell. Chicken sacrifices? Shrunken heads?

Then we toured a tent city. When I saw this, I realized why the families in the tiny houses felt like royalty. They use tarps and make walls and ceilings on rickety frames. But at least they are somewhat protected from the elements and have a place to lay their head at night. They even lock the 'doors' so that no one disturbs their things while they are away. It doesn't seem like it would do much good to lock a tent.

There were naked children running around {I was praying they wouldn't pee on our feet as we walked by}. There was a large concrete hole that had about 4 inches of water in it. Our guide said it was a place for kids to play. Really? It was disgusting! It was a breeding ground for disease and misquotes. No child should be allowed near it. It was such a dangerous place, especially for children. But it is their home. There were goats and chickens running about. There was a dead dog on the road that obviously starved to death. It was heart-breaking.

Now I see why Moms here give their children up to the orphanage in hopes for a better life.

But there is hope for Haiti. More on that tomorrow.

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