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  • Tom Stein

January 2020 Trip, Day 5

Daylight has broken over Villa Cana. We met Fr. Francois in the dining pavilion at 8:10 and followed him to UNDH School of Agriculture and Agronomy. We presented to 4 classes with Fanfan doing most of the presenting. Good training for him.


We are now enjoying a nice drive in the country. Very, very rough roads. We are taking the indirect path today to avoid trouble in Limbre, which is on the good road. We are cruising along at 10 to 15 kilometers an hour. It is a teeth chattering ride. Seems worse than yesterday, but maybe yesterday was just to prepare for today.  Praise the Lord we have good tires, adequate shocks, and an excellent driver. We stop often to ask directions since there are no road signs and all gravel roads look the same. 'Do you known the way to Gonaives?' Could be the title to a hit song. Just hit our first police checkpoint at the bridge we crossed yesterday. They are replacing boards across the bridge today. Praise the Lord.


The roads are amazing here. One minute you are bouncing like crazy and the next you are on a piece of real pavement. You never know if it will rumble for 100 meters, a 1000, or just the next 10. Will the next mile be like the last or will it be the worst. Twice today we hit a spot that jarred my back so hard that it brought tears to my eyes. And all you can do is ride it out. There is no going back, so you must move forward. A good lesson for life. We finally made it back to the main highway and enjoyed the smooth ride to Gonaives.


Had a good meeting with the administrator of UNDH Civil Engineering school. He had us speak to a class of third year students who showed a little interest in both the scholarship program and the project in Benico, designing the factory and housing plan. We will see what transpires in the coming months.


The most frustrating part of the day was deciding to postpone our meeting with the Salesians to allow everyone a nice break, but when we arrived at the hotel, we found out it had been since September. It took Bellegarde almost a half hour of negotiating through a hole in the fence to get them to contact their boss, who called me twenty minutes later and told me they never got the booking or the payment that hotels.com charged my card. So rather than relaxing for an extra hour or two we scurried around trying to find accommodations. It is not like in the US where you drive down the street looking for vacancy signs. We ended up finding a place two hours behind schedule and giving no one any extra rest. So it goes.


God blessed us with a nice quiet place for the night and it is time to rest. So I'll say good night and blessings on you all.

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