Day 6 – A dazzling day
Melinda read a text that asked us to be open to being dazzled.
We went to the school and for the first time we were all engaged in the same activity. Our job was to carry buckets of wet cement from a pile on the ground up a couple of steps, across a space covered with a grid of rebar and lines of string, and dump them in the place designated by the mason responsible for poring the slab as the foundation for the new classroom. We soon realized it is hard work for one person to carry a bucket all the way, dump it, and take it back. Therefore, we set up a bucket brigade, which went much faster. According to a Haitian proverb, "many hands, burden not heavy". We all found it to be satisfying work, and a joy to see the smoothed cement take form. Fortunately, all the skilled work was done by Haitians to make sure it was done right!
In addition to our manual labor, Becky rejoiced to see the well that installed last December providing water for the school. Beth, Becky, and Melinda had fun blowing up balloons and playing with the children during recess. Beth and Duane took time out to speak with some villagers about health issues.
After cleaning up and eating a delicious lunchtime dinner we visited the garden of Moccene, an inspiring 32 year-old MPP volunteer who helps show other peasants like himself how they can grow healthy food in a sustainable way. He shared with us about the philosophy and methods of agro-ecology that he practices as well as preaches. It was meaningful to meet his family, including his father, sister, and two young daughters, and to see how they have hope for the future in the progress already made.
After walking around Moccene’s garden we got back in the vehicles to visit the waterfalls at Bassin Zim (featured in the Lonely Planet travel guide to Haiti). Moccene and his younger daughter, Daniella, went with us. At the base of the falls we each selected one of the young men to guide us up to the caves and the falls. I enjoyed chatting with my young guide, who identified himself as Steven, and got to practice my limited Haitian Creole. The accompanying photo, taken by the Atlantan Steve, shows the beautiful falls.