To the Isle of Cows travel blog

Morning assembly


Fish Traps

Fighting Coxs


Government officials and Starfish board

Dinner before

Dinner after



Boats - rich and poor


Fish Lady (and my dollar)

Water taxi

Cell Phone and donkey


In the sea

Kids in the sea

Day started with breakfast of oatmeal – and my discovery that the sugar shaker was actually filled with salt. Interesting flavor to say the least – the sugar was by the coffee.

Then squealing from outside and on investigation they were in the process of slaughtering the goat that had been tied there for the last several days. Kids were quite interested (school was just starting) but the team stayed away.

After breakfast there was a school assembly and we found out they would be having a lunch of corn meal, beans, and coconut milk. Kids seem to be quite happy with school - at least they smile a lot.

After a bit we decided to go for a hike to see if we could find the top of the local volcano, Seven of us went accompanied by Dallas – the little boy who had the leg abscess treated yesterday. His mom wouldn’t let him go to school.

Walked down to the beach and along the shore – much the same route as yesterday. We went beyond the place we ended and continued around the hill – but there was no path to the top. We wandered down a road that headed to the West of the island and passed a small village with music playing and a small brick yard. A man leading his pig to be bred guided us for a while.

We pretty soon established that we couldn’t get to the top without crossing lots of folks property, so we turned back. Took a slightly different route and passed a man plowing his field with two oxen – and I had to push the ox out of the way to continue on the path. We walked down to the beach and ran into a man fixing his net and showing his son (?) how to do it.

Continued on to find almond, cashew, and guava trees all around. Made our way to the beach near where we landed and there were hundreds of conch shells! We selected a couple nice ones but most are used by local folks to grind up and put on their gardens.

Back at the guesthouse we met with the “old” (outgoing) mayor (actually governor of the island) and one member of the council. With translators we were told there would be no trouble in building a clinic and the sooner we started the better. That was pretty much it. We shook hands all around and they left.

A bit later a crew of 11 people (mostly from New York state) showed up with tons of stuff – just like we did. Helped them load the stuff and chatted – One guy who will share our room and the rest women. We had lunch together and chatted – they’ll be holding a clinic tomorrow among mission work.

Our team then loaded up on the pickup and we headed off to the Madame Barnard market. A local market with local stuff – no touristy things, but vegetables, fish, individual bouillon cubes, and other things too small to even think of as sold individually. I tried to take a picture of fish but the woman who owned them got pissed – so I gave her a dollar and she was all smiles – I should do that more!

As we were leaving we met an Irish woman from the West end of the island who ran a clinic there – one that we were never told existed. Interesting. Then we headed back to the guest house for a little break, then off to the beach!

At the beach the water was quite rough so snorkeling didn’t work. We swam and walked the beach. About a dozen kids were with us and three were chasing a young girl in a rather rude way. Mellila, who speaks Haitian, gave them what for and made them leave. Tense for a bit but it all worked out.

Back at the house we took “showers” – cups of cold water poured on our heads. Adam has decided to buy a horse and it showed up – quite exciting. It’s a mare and will be bred when he is in the states. He gets the first horse, Leon will get the second, and the orphanage the third - the rest are his.

Then had dinner with the new crew – macaroni salad, rice and beans, and this morning’s goat. The rest of the evening was spent chatting with folks from the other crew as well as having a beer or two.

Later we sat down with Nora (the initial contact) and Leon and discussed what the plans were for the future. It looks like a clinic will be built. An architect will be coming in April to look at the site and pit together a drawing and model. It's all quite exciting. Kitty really wants a maternity center. When asked, I said what I want is to put Starfish out of business - to work toward making all of Haiti self sufficient. We leave in the morning.

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