Wednesday, July 25, 2018
Day 4 - A mural, a row boat and a goat named Viola
It’s 10pm on Day 4 of our trip and I am finally able to sit down and jot down a few thoughts. It is hot. Haiti hot. Hard-to-fall-asleep-at-night hot. Two-showers-a-day hot. Sticky. Sweaty. Hot.
A good morning at the Azil. Tyler is working on a mural of a church that will be scenery for a play. The tall, slender, French nun, Sister Schwe, is full of ideas. She wants to do a play. When we had arrived, a young boy named Stevenson was putting together some flattened cardboard boxes to make the wall for her theatrical church. Man, good thing we brought 10 pounds of duct tape with us! You just never know when it will come in handy. Tyler used the duct tape to shore up the cardboard backdrop. If you glue brown paper bags to the cardboard, voíla - a blank canvas. Sister Schwe was so pleased to learn that Tyler makes murals. I am sure she thanked God for sending this lovely young man to her at this very moment.
We mostly held babies and younger children because that is what you do at the Azil. We have grown fond of the little one that was rescued from the latrine. We learned that a woman passing by heard some crying and convinced some others to help her rescue the newborn baby girl. When she was brought out of the latrine, she already had areas on her body where the worms were starting to eat her flesh. We decided that our name for her should mean value and, thus, we named her Valerie. There are 110 children at the Azil. Even the staff and nuns who totally know each child’s story don’t always remember or know their names. We are happy to name them for the short time that we will know them.
In the afternoon, we went to visit Magdala and Pastor Jude. They live off a rocky, dirt road, on the outskirts of town. They have a lot of land, including 2 man-made lakes, one of which includes a fishery. Their own children are grown but they still care for 10 orphans and support a school of 200 children. In the past, they have offered up part of their land to use as a Cholera Quarantine Encampment. They have plans to build a birth center on their land next year.
Magdala is one of the original Midwives for Haiti midwives. I haven’t seen her in a couple of years because last year she was sick and had traveled to the US when we were in Haiti. Pastor Jude is committed to the notion that she was sick with a “Haitian problem.” He thinks that someone hates her and put a curse on her but since he believes in God and has faith in God, she got better. Magdala tells me that she had a bone infection and thyroid issues. Nonetheless, she is on the mend and we were very happy to spend the afternoon together. We all made duct tape wallets and flowers for the kids, Matthew and Daniel attempted to row an inflatable boat around the lake, and we hiked to see Viola, the goat. 4 years ago, Pastor Jude named two goats after Viola and Tallulah. We’re happy to say that Viola the goat is doing very well!