Saturday, September 24, 2011

Expeditionary Mission Semi-Accomplished

I came down to Haiti ahead of my family to accomplish and secure very specific tasks to the best of my ability.
  1. Find a home.  Check.  Pierre Jabouin’s. God had that one all planned out before I got here, 
  2. Food. Check. Madame Tililene, and I know where to shop for food in both Cayes and Port Salut, as well as the open market in Valer.  I know when they open and when they close, where to buy bread, and when to go looking for Judeline and her awesome patte; Monday mornings, 9-10 am.
  3. Water.  Check.  I have the gravity water filter in proper working order, as well as an artesian well about 6 miles from here that I can access via Adrien for good drinking water.  Just have to know when he’s heading that direction, and plan for when he will be away from Ti at his other missions.
  4. Transportation. Semi-Check.  While for my family of 4 a car is ideal, I can’t get anyone here to work with me besides Maxon. I liked his Sidekick, but the mileage was just too high on the engine (193,000) and it was an automatic transmission.  Every other deal has been a setup for disaster.  Muscle men that look like Mike Tyson arriving at my door, in gold chains, speaking broken English and doubling the price of the car.  First 8000, then 7, then 10, then 12, then a ‘special price’ for me, 6....  All followed with a specific method of negotiation.  Confusion, Misunderstanding, Sorrow and Hard Times, then occasionally, Intimidation.  After 4 different tries to buy a car, literally losing almost a full day each time, I gave up on that option.  I just don’t think it’s possible for me to achieve this task being a solo missionary.  You really need an organization, or another Haitian, dealing for you.  As of today, I thought I’d own a motorcycle.  Not some souped up Harley, not even a Honda.  Not anything that’s gonna do over 45, and not anything that’s gonna climb the mountains I want to climb, but something that would get us to and from the markets, to and from water, and in emergency, to and from the hospital in Cayes. When it came down to buying to though, I just couldn’t justify it.  So, in a sense, transportation for my entire family is still up in the air.  I can see us having an issue when Adrien is traveling, which he often does.  Somehow we’ll have to figure out how to transport water, which won’t be easy on a motorcycle. I guess we’ll just have to tell the kids no more water.  You can drink from the ocean  ;)
  5. Last of all, Security.   I know this isn’t something I can truly provide.  This comes from Christ, really, but I can do what is in my ability.  Living here alone has shown me the vulnerabilities of our home, and I’ve talked with the owner about fortifying a couple of areas in the wall and the house.  By the time my wife and kids are here, security to the best of my capability, will be a chec
Be prepared for about 1.5-2 months of serious rain, in which I’m told nobody goes anywhere thanks to the river and the wet.....otherwise....
Do your best to come to me quickly! 

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