So...my evil husband has tried to oust me from my position of power, has he? I would expect nothing less.
The internet and phone service here leaves something to be desired. But, except for not being able to talk to my husband, the sound of the Caribbean Sea makes slipping into unconnected anonymity very easy.
Today is my last day of training. I just finished my last session on structure. It went very well, considering. We got together at 7:30 am. In Latino time, that's like 4 am. Very impressive. Roberto is now training on a topic I'm not involved in, so I've usurped his computer.
After lunch at about 2 or 3 (11 for you in CO), we'll go to Santo Domingo for just an hour or two. Yesterday I did jump in the ocean for about 1 hour, the only chance I've gotten. About 5 or 10 minutes after I jumped in, a huge storm came up. There was no lightning or thunder, so I figured I'd just stay there. So I huddled in a little ball in the surf and enjoyed the warm bath water below and the cold rain above. It passed after about 15 minutes, then I splashed around a little more. I did it for my husband, because he would disown me if I didn't.
In the morning yesterday, we went to a Compassion project on a batey. A batey is an old sugar cane plantation. The mill has closed, but the people who used to work the mill still live there because they have nowhere to go...but there's no work left.
Picture of a girl at the batey
When we arrived, the kids mobbed us. Being one of only two women, I was popular. I had about 3 girls hanging off each arm, like little monkeys. They all loved having their picture taken and then looking at themselves. It's challenging to take pictures with 6 children hanging on your arms though. The project did a dance for us. And we walked around the community and saw the old sugar cane mill. Then I went alone with Roberto to visit one family's home.
The mother had 6 kids, from 6 months to 18. Their home was one big room, with sheets diving it. On the back side, there were 3 twin beds (a lot for them!) where the 8 family members all sleep. In the main room, is a stove, a tv...lots of pots and pans. The mom kept it very clean. As I tried to take a picture of the family, I backed toward the stove and stepped in a big mud puddle. Though the mom kept it clean, the floor was just ground, so there were mud puddles in the "kitchen" from the rain.
The mom's hope is to finish the home. The home is just scrap wood, cardboard, and corrugated metal sheets. But the metal sheets are old and rusty with large holes, so rain gets in very easily. The little girl who is sponsored by Compassion used to work with her brothers, selling lemons, gathering trash (to sell to recyclers), and other things in teh market to make money. Now that she's sponsored, she doesn't have to work anymore. The mom has hope for her daughter that she didn't have for any of her other kids. She says it's "too late" for them.
As we walked to the home, there was a huge line of clamoring people with empty jugs. The water truck hadn't come in two weeks. The have had no water for two weeks. So everyone was lined up with their jugs to get water. People were fighting (verbally), because they were desparate. As we left, some women sat on the ground. They asked me to take their picture, because they were the ones who had gotten no water.
Hmm...what a depressing end to my post....tomorrow I'll fly to Haiti. I probably won't have any internet or phone there. I miss you all and love you!