Rays in the Garden
Earlier this morning, before collecting some thoughts for this letter, I was pulling water (yes, up with a bucket and rope) from the cistern to fill the drums that will be water for the day for washing and bathing. I have been thinking a good bit about water lately. Last month while doing clinics with the Penn students in northern Haiti we had a cow to be vaccinated and dewormed that had was without a rope and needed to be caught. After she toyed with us in the open field for a bit, someone brought a bucket of water, as we might use a bucket of grain. She eagerly drank, and a rope found its way over her horns to keep her for the unwanted exam. A few days later I looked out on Cap Haitian as we left Haiti and a bit later looked out on Miami as we descended from the clouds. Two cities, a few hundred miles between, but worlds apart.
Returning to Haiti for language study, I’ve seen folks and their livestock living high on arid mountains long ways from the nearest water source side from the rain. Many of them, both people and animals, live in a state of persistent dehydration. This is one reason cholera has had such devastating effects in Haiti.
Here in the central plateau it is common to see donkeys or mules with ten gallons of water on each side in hand woven palm frond saddle bags carrying it from the well to homes. Sometimes, you see mounds of cane bouncing along, and only as you get closer do you see there are donkeys underneath. The paths (roads) they are traveling take you past fields of heavy earth plowed by oxen teams sprouting in beans, bananas, or sugar cane. Goats are seen along these roads as well as in the village streets and yards. So many of the people have animals, not only dogs and cats, but livestock as well.
As someone used to turning on the tap, participating in life here certainly gives new perspective on the importance of animals to so many people and the life giving importance of water to all. Even though I am used to working with animals and animal people, many of the stories and examples found in the bible are given a new clarity here.
With Joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:3
We have many blessings to share. I am excited to have the opportunity to draft this update from the central plateau of Haiti! I am here spending five weeks concentrating on creole language acquisition. I am fortunate to be able to share the home of Moussanto, a Haitian veterinarian, and his family. Moussanto has started an agriculture school with a farm here in central Haiti with the support of his church. Before getting to my current location, I was able to visit with veterinarian Kelly Crowdis, see our future rental home, and see the ongoing physical progress at AgHorizons Veterinary Clinic and Training School. What is even more cool is meeting graduates of the first “vet agent” class here in the country side who are excited and finding work opportunities to help provide for their families.
We are so blessed that your support has enabled us to meet our minimum monthly budget to make the move to Haiti! Thank You!! For those who may still feel called to be part of this project, your monthly support will help us fill gaps in times where actual support falls below pledged support. And, individual gifts help meet unplanned expenses. We are so appreciative of all your support and God’s blessings!
By the time you read this I will be returning to NY and am looking forward to reuniting our family. Please pray our language learning will continue to grow and that I may retain what I learned here. We will be working on final logistics for the move. We appreciate your prayers as we travel to the CVM office in Seattle in September for pre-field orientation. Due to lack of prior availability, we head to North Carolina as a family near the beginning of October for four full weeks of training in working and living in a different culture. Then the much anticipated move! Pray that we will be spiritually, mentally, physically, logistically, and financially prepared for the journey ahead.
Distant thunder is rolling along the mountains, perhaps more rain to fill the cistern with roof water?!
Not this time, only thunder, maybe tomorrow.