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  • Tom Stein

April Trip, Day Four

Good night's sleep, but still tired and sore. Mom is doing well and preferred staying in bed this morning. We are the only guests once again, makes for a quiet breakfast. Pancakes and mango today.

We are winding down a bit today. Bellegarde will be with us around nine o'clock this morning and we will meet with FanFan and his family for the first time. Then off to Rebo coffee and Leveque and a meeting with Mel Chery. Home by five o'clock for an interview with a scholarship candidate. Going to be 91° today, so another day of sweating. We've got in 40,000 steps so far in 3 days according my app. Mom hopes for a few less today. No more mountains to climb, but we will have at least one hill.

Almost forgot, we have a neighbor on the farm who has planted hundreds of Congo bean trees on the lower portion of our farm. We are looking for others to use the land that we are not using. FanFan would like see a variety of crops, and he loves cherries. It looks like we might have another few crops to go with our grass and cassava.


We made it to Rebo Cafe and bought coffee and a little peanut butter to take home. Now we are in Leveque waiting on Mel Chery from New Life Ministry. Sitting on a corner watching all the action. Took an hour and fifteen minutes to get out of Port-au-Prince and only thirty five minutes to get here.

Not looking forward to walking the fields here. I forgot my hat at home and I'm not growing much of a crop upstairs. Needless to say I have a sunburned tet.

Every street in Haiti is an open market and every corner is Bedlam, with tap-taps fighting Mack trucks for angles and small openings. Those of us in private vehicles are just trying not to be hit. This is not a place for the faint of heart behind the wheel. You have to stick your nose out to make any progress. I think that is what we are doing down the hill on the farm. In addition to Congo beans and cassava, we are talking about coffee and maybe cherries. We will allow local residence access to the land for a percentage of their yields. It won't be much, but it will create more jobs on our unused land. Another win for the people.


Today I've been reminded of the beauty of Haiti and its people. The students in their uniforms and hair neatly combed and in place. The women in their dresses. They are very proud of their appearance. I was also reminded of the pungent odors that come from certain neighborhoods and around the markets, where rotten produce and human waste mix together in the open culverts. They're are meant to keep the area from flooding during hurricanes, but in fact just carry everything, especially plastic to the sea.

Pray for us and for Haiti.


Back at Matthew 25 for the night. My body is starting to revolt from all the trips this week. But we still have two days before the dreaded flight home. Only 16 hours from Matthew 25 to opening the front door, if all goes well. Late start tomorrow morning. An eleven o'clock trip to the metal market, followed by a visit to H.E.L.P., and another evening meeting with Johnny Brunale, a scholarship candidate.

Edris Allonce, whom we met during dinner tonight, is a pleasant young man. He has his degree from a university on the Ivory Coast, where he was stationed by the Christian Brothers. He was part of the congregation for 10 years, but left to get married. He now has two kids, a little girl and her baby brother. He wants to get his Master of Education degree, so he can have a better chance for his voice to be heard in Haiti politics. We hope to meet his family on Saturday.

Now, we are sitting outside our room under the only exterior light on the upstairs plaza. Listening to a church service from somewhere and the nightclub across the soccer field. Hard to tell them apart at times. Clouds overhead, like every night. FanFan says this is just to tease us into thinking it will rain. But the rain will come, when it feels like it. It would be nice now as the workers have prepped about 5 acres and would like plant soon.

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