Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jeremie again: a rose by any other name is still worth $90 U.S.

A much slower day. Of course, anything would be!

We go to a medical appointment in Jeremie for Margarette, riding mototaxis at a sedate pace through the cobbled streets. The clinic we go to is obviously well funded and well staffed, although there are a tremendous number of patients to be seen. While we wait and wait for Margarette's turn in a shaded gazebo, the mayor of Jeremie stops by. He's having back pain. Of couse, Grandpa knows him too, as does Margarette. It's good to have friends.

While we're here, Margarette gets an idea and calls a co-director of a small orphanage where we are processing cases for two pre-identified children. Their adoptive parents are here in Jeremie, and she arranges a delightful surprise meeting, along with free lunch. What's not to love?

Mackendy is Haitian American, which I figure out after he suffers through some of my lousy Kreyol. He drives us to the orphanage/school complex his father manages. My clients come down the the pastor's house from the orphanage and greet Margarette with pleasure. The looks on their faces when I introduce myself are marvelous. Complete shock! Such fun. We enjoy a fabulous feast, courtesy of the pastor. This is the first time I've ever tried fried green tomatoes. I don't like tomatoes, but they're delicious like this! Much of the produce we are eating was locally grown.

Rose garden
Outside, there is a rose garden. Margarette loves gardening, and she mentions that rose bushes sell for $90 U.S. in Port-au-Prince. I see an opportunity for a substantial micro-enterprise here, propgating and raising plants! I wonder if Japanese maples will grow in Haiti? I wonder if I could get starting stock into the country? I wonder if I can find a horticulturist to join us on our Castaches trip? I imagine the answer is yes to all of the above.

We walk to the orphanage, just across the road. I noticed this building on the way home yesterday. It's very attractive and freshly painted. Inside, we are inspected the the thirty-nine children who live here. They appear to be about age eight and up. All are in school during the day, and they appear to be overall well nourished. I see only one child with discolored hair, and everyone's skin looks good. One of the two children I am placing has elbows larger than her upper arm, normally an indicator of severe malnutrition, but as everyone else looks well fed and I note a few other anomalies, I take some photos of her to send to a professional. I suspect this little girl has some sort of genetic condition. If we can identify what it is, we can make sure that we meet her needs.

It's such a treat to get to spend some time with one of my families, especially one that is already so involved in Haiti! Finally, Mackendy drives us home. We have to hope it doesn't pour anymore tomorrow, because Tortug' Air is a fair weather airline. It's pouring, we're grounded. And I MUST be at the U.S. Embassy at nine o' clock sharp on the 26th.

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