La Foret de Pins
Updated: Jan 11, 2022
Thank you, Shayla, for leaving your phone in my backpack when you got off the bus in Ganthier Wednesday. I was more than glad to take a moto back to Ganthier to give it to you! I love that road... especially coming back to FP from Ganthier. You come to a long hill, and the moto shuts off to save gas. It's quiet and you coast. You look to your left at the mountains and the sun glistening down on the lake. You see the Dr. Suess looking cactus tree things beside the road. The wind whips your hair into something completely unmanageable. And you just want to smile.
Dani went to market for Madanm Wildor while I was gone and then made us bread and eggs, and when we finally did get back to her room for a rest, were we ever tired. Gario and Maggie came for us with the ambulance. Nurse Charlotte and a couple of sisters from Oriani were there also. I pity anyone who has to ride in there while they are in pain! That road is two hours long, bumpy, and there are lots of drop offs. Dani calls them "chen pa jwenn" the dogs won't find your bones if you go off. We jabbered the whole way there again... teaching each other words in Kreyol and English just like old days.
Oriani is cold... like hoodie and legging and cuddling up in a couple thick blankets cold! But they have hot water for showers. What a luxury! We stayed in Keith's old house, right next door to Gario's, who are helping manage the clinic right now. Maggie made us coffee every morning... another luxury!
Thursday morning we went to Oriani market with Charlotte. In the afternoon we went to see a family that is going thru a really hard time. I hope I have the story straight. There was a wreck on the way to Port au Prince and a young girl, along with a lady that had a 4 month old baby, were both killed. Peterson, the baby, was in his mother's arms, unhurt. Charlotte says, "God has a plan for this baby," and I agree. Peterson's Dad looks like he could be about 22, but I'm not sure... We heard the whole story of how they sent their daughter down to Port that morning. Of how she said good-bye and even got down from the machin to talk to her dad again. Sitting there on the plastic lawn chairs, we relived it with them. To me I just wanted to say, "It's ok if you're sad! No that wasn't fair! It was awful!" But Daniela said, "Quiara, you can't be that way! They need encouragement to stay strong!" So she talked to them for a long time... She's been at Wildor's long enough to learn to preach... about how God is in control of death, and everything that happens is his will. To me it seemed a little harsh, but Dani has definitely been through hard times herself. And that is their way.
We found out that it was Charlotte's birthday that day, so she made angel food cake and Gario built a fire in the backyard. He kept adding all sorts of fuel... a couple old chairs, other things he could find to chop up with his machete. In the end he basically put on a whole tree... a huge piece of wood, and we made fun of him so he disgustedly took it off. Poor man! The hot dogs were good... lots of piklis and fresh avocados. We laid curled up in our blankets and talked Krenglish... It's the best! You can talk it whatever language helps you say what's in your head the best, or mix the two languages together in one sentence. The fire died down, it got cold, and we went inside to sleep.
Next morning we went to the bakery... No gingerbread yet for which I was very sad. They have a huge wood fire oven at the back and tons of people working the dough and cutting it into flat loaves. We stopped at the clinic to see Nurse Chancela and Nurse Charlotte busy at work, then to see Lacey. She gave us some juice and we sat in her front yard on blankets looking at the amazing view! Red dirt... green everything... more mountains in the distance... fat horses, pigs, and cows... but oh, so much suffering up there! Her husband Ilomy has a bunch of gardens so he can make a good living, but he is one of the lucky ones. One of the church brethren picked Dani and I up on moto to take us to Ben and Shelda's. They are living in the old CSI house at Savan Mouton, about 20 minutes away. I helped Shelda make American food for lunch... BBQ meatballs and potatoes. It was fun because she has a kitchen like she'll have in the states, and she's learning to cook American already but some of the utensils and stuff she doesn't even know what they're for. She has a Pioneer Woman cookbook from her mom-in-law and I don't think I saw any recipes that she would actually be able to make there, but the pictures are cool for her because she doesn't know a lot of English yet. I was kind of frustrated because I asked her how many times if the food would be enough, and she said yes, but as soon as the Haitians came in they were like, "Oh, this is only a taste! Why didn't you make more food? This won't do anything for us!" Insert eye roll emoji. We played basketball. Sat and talked. Ben wanted chicken alfredo for supper, and that time we all ended up in the kitchen. There was one piece of chicken breast and two leg quarters I think, and only one package of cream cheese. So I had learned my lesson at lunch time and watered down the sauce quite a bit with more milk. I had cooked quite a large amount of macaroni, or so I thought, but he thought we needed more. So we ended up with a heaping bowl of macaroni and just a little bit of meat. Which for a Haitian meal is just perfect. Duh Quiara. They said it was good and it was almost cleaned out. No one said anything about it not being enough. Ben took us back to Oriani after dark... all we could see were the moto headlights... lots of coasting down hills in silence to save gas. The stars are beautiful because there are no artificial lights. The pine forest seems so unlike Haiti, but it is beautiful. And cold. I was thankful that I at least had leggings.
Saturday is the day of the big market in Foray. Gario's took us down there. Maggie and us girls shopped for clothes in the huge piles of secondhand stuff they were selling. You can get really good deals there sometimes, but I didn't come away with anything. And then it was time to go! Hopped a ride on one of the vehicles going down with about 14 people and a lot of chickens and other stuff tied on top.
Down to the heat... the dirt... and the little town I love so much... Ganthier...
To be continued one last time...