Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Travels in Haiti & What I am up to !

Tap-taps are the main source of public transportation in Port au Prince and they crisscross the roads as they pick up and drop the 16 or so passengers that manage to squeeze on board the benches the owner of the tap tap has judiciously constructed on the back of a small Toyota pick-up flat bed.  Their vibrant colorful displays and religious or profane writings are an endless source of enjoyment for me.  I quote a few from this morning crazy ride through the utter chaos that are on the roads of PaP.( there are no rules of  the road, except that it is the gutsiest driver who wins the right to advance, no traffic lights or very few, no right of ways, few stop signs, and if traffic is too slow in one direction, drivers feel free to drive in the lane where cars come in the opposite direction, so eventually you find yourself facing someone trying to use the same road space as you but going in the opposite direction! Can you even picture that?  The only resource is to laugh…hang in there.. and pray you make it in one piece.
Anyway, tap tap. Because you tap somewhere on the car when you want to get off.
The quotes: Jojo chérie, Les 2 enfants, Vibration, Love is all we need ( in Eng.), Jesus was be there ( in Eng.) Merci Jesus ( thank you Jesus), La fidélité de Dieu ( God’s faithfulness), My God ( in Eng.), Toujours son jeu ( always his game), Patience Zanmi ( patience friends) and Full Power… and thousand out of four car is a tap-tap.

The day before I came back from Hinche in a toy plane (6 seats) piloted by a baby pilot ( he told me he was 26).. well…. We landed with barely a bump, and the flight over the country side was mesmerizing.

By the way, that is what I am up to. Now that the craft center has been started I am putting construction projects together; construction with training, so by the time the workers finish the building they will have been trained to be carpenters, cement repair men or painters and will have learned enough English ( my job too) to work for foreign NGOs . Four young men trained this past spring have already been hired by Heart 911.

On the list , the center for micro-enterprise with the Bishop in Jérémie, the Maternity Center or High Risk center at the hospital St Therese in Hinche, ( good news Global Health Networks, and Engineers without Borders are also on this project for which we are getting funded by a German government agency: Sign of Hope ( in English, Sorry I can’ t reproduce the German).

Today I am in Leogane, the earthquake epicenter location, to assess the possibility of building an addition to a clinic that is the only one treating lepers.  New cases of leprosy are seen every day; the consequence of the abysmal misery people live in that has been exacerbated by the earthquake.

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