Saturday, 22 August 2009

Eating un-ripe mangoes..

Thus concludes my cushy life in the guest house.

I got into Pignon on Wednesday evening and I was told that I wasn't going to be able to sleep at my house until Saturday because Soulange (I think that's how you spell her name) my "host mother" didn't have the food to feed me and needed to wait until market, which is Saturday, today. There was a group staying at the guest house from IIT (Illinois Institute of Technology). They were pretty great and nerdy engineers (if you guys read this I mean it with all sincerity).

The project they were working on involved setting up electricity to the town's high school. They were going to set up light and outlets, but as time had it, they only set up the lights. But it's pretty awesome since no other buildings in the town are hooked up to electricity except for a few people who can afford generators. The group needed to set up the solar panels to a battery or charger or something, and then hook it up to the rest of the school and feed the wire and set up the light switches and the circuit boxes for the light bulbs. I will not look a light fixture the same way.

Not knowing much about electrical currents and blah blah blah, I stripped wire, picked up trash and fed wire to people. I did get to set up a couple light fixtures, which I thought was very exciting.

The best part of them being (apart from their amicable personalities and senses of humor) was the weir (spelling?). The weir measures the flow of water in a stream. Without being too verbose about the experience, we drove for 40 min, then walked for 40 min, in which we crossed three streams (one we had to take our shoes off, roll up our pants and wade across), and several corn fields.

The stream was in a mini valley with banana trees every where on the sloping hillsides. The stream was about 3 to 6 feet across, and very clean. We drank from it. Oops. Everything so far has been fine.

As for the cushy life...all of my meals have been prepared by the Haiti Outreach cooks, and they did a fabulous job. The bedrooms were all furnished with Ikea bedding and towels, the showers were warm to hot and the toilets flushed, and there's wi-fi.

Today, I'm moving into Soulange's house. I'm fully prepared to decorate my mini room with my tapestry and photos on a ribbon (idea from Aria). I think Javan, the other intern, and I are going to go to the market later today. That should be interesting. Oh, and I'm going to set up a bank account possibly; not sure, however, since the line is super long and it's only open until like 11:30.

Other than that, I've been getting up and 6:30, if not earlier and going to bed at like 9, since everything kind of stops when there is no sun (no electrcity).

Kids roam freely who yell "blan" and ask us to give them something. Mostly, it's just a conditioned response to seeing white people, I think, sort of like another way of saying hello. Goats roam freely as well, and sometimes even baby goats. They are highly entertaining, as are the kids.

Pignon is surrounded sort of by moutain/hills, so not as hot as in Port-au-Prince. And I have to mention that right now I have two kids peeping in the window watching me type. It's funny because there is always an audience here. It's pretty great. But, yeah, other than that it's pretty beautiful. Such a lame description, but that's all I got right now.

I'll post some photos when I find my camera chord. It's lost in the abyss of my luggage. Ciao, for now.

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