First Christian Church had sent money to Lifeline in order for a house to be built for the Badio family. Initially we thought we would be building it but that was not what God had planned. We asked if we could see his house since we can't participate in building it and Gretchen made arrangements for Bobby to drive us there in his truck. All of us piled in the extended cab four-wheeler. I am so glad we were able to ride in the front with air conditioning. We left Grand Goave and turned into what looked like a gravel driveway. The terrain was rough and bumpy. It is very dry and tropical but not rainy like Honduras. The mountains have been stripped of their trees; which allows the rain to take the soil down to the ocean. Hurricane Noel went through last October, three months ago and caused mud slides that wiped out bridges, roads and some houses. I am sure the road we were traveling on was better before. Surely it was. But now the land was dry and hard. Several times Bobby had to switch over to 4 wheel drive to make it up the mountain.
The Haitians have harvested so many of their trees and the mountains are bare and not plush at all. Banana and mango trees are abundant but trees for houses do not exist. What trees they do have left they burn to make charcoal. It's a long process that still has me wondering how they do it. Somehow they burn the tree and cover it with dirt and then burn it some more. It smells horrible.
The Haitians are very resourceful people. There is an electric line that runs through the area. The government provides it for a fee. The Haitians can't afford to pay for the electricity so they slice into the wire and take it to their homes. Many have been electrocuted trying to find a way to give light to their dark world. I guess the government looks the other way and doesn't turn the power off.
As we drove through the countryside we asked Bobby lots of questions…I am sure he thought we were quite amusing. We would travel a ways without seeing a single person and then all of a sudden there would be a man with two cows. It was like the man popped out of nowhere. Bobby told us that if we were to walk through the mountains in the middle of the night we would probably run into people doing the same thing. The Haitians are scattered all through the forest in little communities.
A small stream of water appeared at the side of the road and we were curious as to where it began. We spotted a few houses and realized we were in a village. Off to the right was a voodoo temple. A young boy was perched in a tree picking mangoes. I thought Bobby had stopped the truck because of the children in the road, but then I saw the concrete blocks being carried to the house where men were working. The village people gathered around to see what we were doing. I asked if I could take their picture and they smiled. They love having their "photo" taken. I wasn't sure if they knew they were looking at themselves in the picture but they recognized the other children with them.
The adults along with the children would giggle at the "photo." Such simple pleasures. Children here laugh and have joy over water, food and dollar toys. Children in the US hate drinking plain water and only want to eat certain food. I guess in reality I am the same way. One sponsor sent her child US$250. That is probably more than her father makes in four months. The average annual income is US$600. That makes me wonder how much I waste on "stuff" that I don't need or even desire. I have been shopping with other ladies and because of their desire for me to buy something, I did. That won't happen again.
The men were working so diligently and it was so hot and dry. Mr. Badio was there putting his sweat equity into his house. We did not know that at the time or we would have talked to him. Glenda did talk to one of the men who was the foreman. He was from the area but had moved to New York and worked there as a taxi cab driver. In New York he began to drink and eventually drank himself out of a job. So he returned to Grand Guave and asked Mr. DeVoe for his job back. Because of the kindness and grace extended to him, he wanted Jesus in his life. WOW!