West Tennessee Haiti Partnership

M&Ms and a Donkey Train

Tonight at the guest house we snack on peanut M&Ms and work on Zentangles with Sonya.  We all separate tomorrow to our homes in different states, after working side by side for a week in the heat and sharing our frustrations and joys together. We talked about the attachment we feel for the other team members and how we will miss everyone.

Today on the way to the beach, the bus had a flat tire. We all climbed out and waited on the side of the road while Alphonse fixed the tire, with the help of a few passersby.  Passing by was what someone called “the donkey train.”. Women on donkeys, with filled baskets of mangoes, or coal, or palm fronds, or vegetables.  This is the sustaining element of the Haitian economy.  Women buy the produce in the mountains and bring it down into Port au Prince to sell.

Some of the other surprising or funny things we experienced this week included a sign on a local business that said Ave Maria Dipot Cimint.  Like many of the signs in Haiti, on businesses or painted on tap-taps, there are religious references.   In clinic yesterday Sherye taught us the sign for “hot flashes” so we could talk with a deaf patient about menopause.

Tonight several of us are staying up quite late, I think because we all know this is our last night.  Certainly we are all exhausted.   Everyone will be glad to see loved ones tomorrow and return to our air-conditioned lives with abundant clean water!  Leaving our Haitian friends and this beautiful country, however, feels like leaving my family behind.

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