After breakfast, as I was walking from the dining hall back to the guesthouse, I was reveling in the clear weather, the blooming hibiscus, the “baaing” goat, the rooster crowing, the gentle breeze – what a joy to return to Sant Lakay, the training center campus of MPP, our Haitian partner. This is my third visit – first in January of 2013, second in October 2014, and faces and paths are becoming familiar to me.
This morning was our first workday. We worked in the garden at MPP, learning how to make “good soil” for planting seedlings. I have never been much of a gardener, but now I do know the proportions for creating this soil: 3 wheelbarrows of sifted dirt from the ground; 2 wheelbarrows of pounded and sifted cow manure, and 1 wheelbarrow of sifted sand. I now have experienced “pounding poop” – beating dry cow patties into small pieces, which you shovel and sift into a wheelbarrow! It was sweaty hard work, but not stinky. It felt good to be physical.
Our afternoon was spent in conversations – first with Gislaine St. Fleur, the coordinator of the women of MPP and later with Chavannes Jean Baptiste, the Executive Director of MPP. A favorite, powerful image from the meeting with Gislaine was listening to her and Magorie sing an MPP women’s song. Mayheeda has translated the words for us, and the tune was beautiful, but the lyrics were heartbreaking and uplifting. I will post a video as soon as possible.
And of course meeting with Chavannes was a highlight for everyone. He is extremely charismatic. The rainy season officially began when we were meeting in the grass hut behind his house – it poured for the first time since our arrival.
One side note – many of us were kept awake last night by a baaing goat – and several jokes were made about hopes that it might become our dinner. And then we found out that he was to be for our dinner in another day, but they slaughtered him a day early so our sleep would not be interrupted.