West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

Hammering Nails and Washing Clothes

Bon jou my dear friends,

Still busy and making headway toward the garden. We were off to St. Vincent’s at 8 a.m. this Monday morning. This is Brittany’s last day here. She flies home to go to work tomorrow. We will really miss her work and her sweet spirit. We are able to make use of a lot of the scrap lumber at St. Vincent’s. Monty is a genius at that. The gate and fence (more like a barrier for stray soccer balls) are almost done. We’ll pick up pickets on the way to the school tomorrow. Then we begin getting the barrels ready for the fish. 

The younger boys just loved helping Monty hammer and nail the boards. They were fascinated with the level. Monty was so patient and made sure they all got a turn to hammer a nail. Consequently, there are a LOT of nails in this short fence. Tess, too, was a great teacher with the tools. We asked some of the girls who were watching if they wanted to nail, but they didn’t. I suspect this is cultural more than anything else, but that’s just an opinion. Monty is one of the hardest working and big-hearted people I have ever worked with–so generous. 

Tess, Brittany and I tested about 30 of the middle-school kids hearing aids.
Tess gathered a great deal of information about the food and cooking situation with Brittany as her invaluable interpreter. Tess cooked with the kitchen staff. She and JoJo interviewed Marie Carmel about what the food needs are and what food they get now, what vegetables they want planted in the garden, etc. 

Wonderful and surprising experiences today: 
1. Tess building the gate, sawing pulling nails, driving nails, and helping the young boys hammer and use the level.
2. Tess helping to cook the lunch.
3. Brittany sitting at one of the large metal wash buckets with a ball of soap and scrubbing the kid’s clothes. I helped some, but Brittany really gets the gold star for this! The washing ladies are very particular about how this is done. How to rub the soap on the clothes, how to hold the fabric, how to hold your hands when  you scrub, how vigorous you have to scrub, how to squeeze out the water out of the fabric, how to scrub until every spot is out. It’s obvious how proud they are of their work. We laughed a lot and I’m sure we slowed them down, but they were so gracious to allow us to help. 
I managed to get a sunburn on my nose and cheeks today. The Haitian sun is not kind to my pale skin!

More tomorrow,
Much love to you all,
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