Saturday, January 30, 2010

Zabriko - Part 1

This was the focus of the entire trip. The money raised in the past year went to provide clean water to the "area" of Zabriko. I say "area" because kids walk for miles to attend school there, and the people walk for miles to get clean water. The huts are very spread out. There is a small, central area with a couple dozen huts, but most are a distance.

Before I begin, let me show you the only icky bug I saw during my whole stay at the MPP compound. I stepped on another one the night before, but this guy was huge! Note the comparison to the door hinge...........
For those who haven't seen one before - it's a cockroach.............
And speaking of bugs, they weren't the hug, icky kind, but they were not at all pleasant. I'm speaking of my very rude awakening the morning we went to Zabriko. Because it was so warm at night, I had been sleeping with just a sheet covering me. I got up, shook out my shoes (of course!) and moved something at the end of my bed. It's 5:30 AM - early start - so I am using a flashlight to find my stuff. When I moved the "something", the whole end of the bed came alive! Tiny fire ants - EVERYWHERE!!! I screamed. I threw the "something" to the floor that I thought they had congregated in/on. Don't even remember now what it was. I looked back at the bed, thinking I had moved the problem to the floor - but NO! They were in my daypack! GROSS! I threw that to the floor. Pulled out the insides - a bag containing my snacks! Of course. The ONLY food that I had brought from home! No candy, though. Some individually packaged bags of Veggie Sticks and a zip lok bag of peanuts. That's what they liked. I had some packaged peanut bars and some gum, but they weren't interested in those things. I dumped the backpack out and shook it out - outside - as well as I could, then repacked it for today's trip. Swept the bag of nuts and Veggie Sticks outside with all the ants that would go along.
Mark had arrived to pick us up, but he wouldn't be able to go with us to Zabriko because his baby daughter, Keila, was sick and he and his wife, Jenny, were going to take her to the hospital. He had rented a truck for his trip so we could use his truck for the rough road. The truck he rented, however, had 2 flat tires, so they were being fixed. We had some breakfast, then went with Mark to Hinche to meet Fines, the driver, and drop off Mark. We dropped a couple of Papay residents for market. Even so early, town is very busy.
We picked up Pauleon, then Reynauld - our interpreter - at their homes in town. Reynauld is almost finished getting his law degree at a local university and works as a teacher at a school - but doesn't get paid.... This is Reynauld coming out of his home.Then, off toward Zabriko, which is SW of Hinche. Yes - this is the road - through the river, up the other side
down a dirt road and across the river again..........
Then south on a dirt road, passing many small settlements. This is now several miles from town. People are on their way to market, to school, to get water, to trade with neighbors.......
After several miles of road that was totally impassible the last time Susan was there because it was the "wet" season, we finally headed up the trail. Remember, the people in the area may walk this trail daily or at least several times a week.
One of the huts along the way, just down a narrow trail off the main trail.This guy is at least a mile from the nearest water, yet he is planting sweet potatoes on this rocky hillside. He will carry the buckets of water.
This is how they trap all the water possible for the crops, by building a little dam with rocks on the downhill side of the planting. After about 2 1/2 miles of trail - up and down, over hills, across streams, all in what was now getting to be the heat of the day, we finally started down the hill into Zabriko - school (left) and market (right). I expected to get photos of the market on the way out, but we stayed too long............ This is Pauleon, the MPP water engineer, and a local man on the left.Our little church in Central Oregon contributed to the Drink Water For Life campaign and we figured it was about enough to purchase this special pipe to bring the water across the river to the 3rd tap. Pauleon proudly watches as his project is completed. More about this later.
This is tap #2 - by one of the 2 schools in the community. Before we hiked up to the spring, we sat under the granary at Faustin's home. He is the MPP representative for the community. This woman is preparing congo beans - for our lunch later. We were served some of the good, traditional Haitian bread and some sweet coffee.
This chicken was tied to the ladder to the granary. Would be later decapitated and cleaned for lunch. Talk about fresh!! They are loading goods to take down to the truck so we can take them in to town when we go out.
But the load kept falling off. They laughed and started over. Finally got it to stay and the load was at the truck when we hiked out later.This is Faustin. Nicest guy and a great smile!!
Following our snack, we headed up to see the spring and the reservoir. I said "up" didn't I? It was all up - about 1/2 - 3/4 miles. On the way, saw these people going to their huts which are spread out. There are also various crops planted on any flat or almost flat areas. Finally - the reservoir - 4400 gallons of good, clean water.
I'll take a break for now - more to come.

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