Wow! Where to begin?
When we arrived at the "mango farm" on our first day it was really a mess. I think we all took one look and thought, "Hmm. What have we gotten ourselves into?" Picture a small, fenced in, overgrown, community garden with dried up shoots of okra, squash vines running from end to end, trees growing wherever the seeds happened to fall. Dried up and chaotic. Unfortunately I am unable to upload pictures but will do so when we get home. Today, the little plot of land looks like a professional landscaping team came in and reworked it end to end.
Combi. Our Haitian liaison at the farm, Daniel, explained that "combi" is the coming together of the community to work towards a common goal. We opened the gates and invited several young Haitian men to help with the work. I'm not sure if they realized what they were in for but they grabbed the rakes, gloves and hoes and jumped right in to help. Jojo and Joel were invaluable sources of information and with Daniel's help they mapped out a working garden with beans, peas, corn, cucumbers, onions and okra. The organization that funds the plot of land also has chickens on the sight and plans for the addition of rabbits soon. Combi.
Today we visited the local community school and did several projects: art, bracelet making, and cross making. Afterwards, Karl and Joe Langley led musical worship along with our new friend Shamma (be sure to check him out on FB and YouTube). We finished up with Ryan giving a wonderful talk on how just like we came from the ground (dust) so the plants come from the ground and we must feed not only ourselves but the ground and the plants as well. All leading up to the unbelievable nutritional benefits of the Moringa tree.
We were able to deliver the supplies we brought to the Life Connection medical clinic this afternoon. The nurse there, Rebecca speaks very good English and was very appreciative of everything. The doctor will be in tomorrow so we arranged for a number of the kids from the school to be able to attend the clinic. Several of them were in obvious need.
Right now we are taking somewhat of a needed break. Everyone is hot and tired. Ryan has taken about half of the group on a walking adventure to a restaurant for a late lunch and to visit one of the Justice Water tanks. Some of us opted to stay behind and take weaving lessons from a master basket maker but as we have all learned...in Haiti your plans can change continuously. So far no basket maker. No problem. A nice cool swim and an early shower is just as renewing. Besides...the smells coming from the kitchen are amazing!!
Tomorrow we will return to the school to teach the teachers a few good planting techniques that they can pass along to the students and then we will visit the orphanage we call #7. We hope to discuss with the Pastor how we can implement a similar "garden" there.
Sorry for the lack of updates. I do not have unlimited access to the internet.