Friday, April 14, 2006

More Market Madness

Thursday morning I left the mission with Isaac and four friends/employees. (Pastor Rony, Emmanuel, TiPap, and Mirelien) We drove down our "road" and stopped to help out a neighboring church. During a rain-storm last week, the tarp that formed their roof caved in, and much of the supporting structure was damaged. I use the word structure very loosely here.

We brought our two step-ladders, four hammers, a bucket of 16 penny nails, about eight scraps of lumber that we could spare, and absolutely no expertise. The men from the church started showing us all the places that needed to be repaired, and it was pretty much everything. The damage wasn't caused entirely by the storm, a lot of it looked like it was junk from the beginning. Even after our three hours of work rebuilding the roof frame, it's not exactly up to code. But it's certainly much better than it was. We left after running out of wood to use, and our makeshift carpenter crew went back to work on their gardens this afternoon.

Now that the rainy season is beginning, everyone is scrambling to get their small plots of earth tilled and prepared to plant. It has rained almost every night this week. Saturday is the watermelon seed planting extravaganza, from what I hear. I bought a can of seeds for some of the guys. It was about fifteen dollars U.S. Is that a lot? It seemed like it, but considering that the watermelons here sell for at least five dollars each, I'm hoping to get a cash crop and come out smelling like roses. Or just eating a lot of free watermelons.

This afternoon I went to the outdoor market in Kabaret, about 45 minutes away, to find a wedding gift for an employee here, and do some shopping for food other than bananas and sheep heads (We're all stocked up on those). Hope, Madame Maxo, Robenson, Jean Renel & Camita (the happy couple), and Lumen came with me.

Note to self: Don't ever go to the market in Kabaret the day before Good Friday. Never ever.

If the Archaie market is the Minnesota State Fair on steroids, then this was it's crack-addicted psychotic big brother having a hallucination. Words could never do it justice. I'll just tell you that when we made it back to our truck, I layed down in the back of it and fell asleep from exhaustion. We had to wait for a few from our party to fight through the crowds and rejoin us. They all thought it was hilarious that I would sleep in the middle of that mayhem. At one point, I was squished between the hindquarters of two donkeys (loaded down with a hundred pounds of goods in saddle bags) and a semi-trailer that was weaving its way through the throngs of people. I looked down and noticed that even though my feet were covered in donkey dung, at least the truck's tires were still two centimeters away and not crushing them. I'm pretty sure that's some sort of Haitian proverb.

I did buy some sandals at the market however. They are made of some sort of styrofoam material, cost about two dollars, and Tara thinks they are hideous. Exactly what I was looking for.