As promised, this is the second part of Sr. Vicky's latest email from Haiti. I know it made me all too well aware of what it's like to live in settings far different from our routine. Sr. Vicky describes herself as an "unseasoned" missionary but it seems to me she definitely has a missionary heart and spirit!
Living in Haiti, especially in a remote farming village, means continual interaction with wildlife. It’s beautiful in that there is such a oneness with Mother Earth but it is also quite a challenge. Either way, it’s always a learning experience.
When we got back here, we were greeted by quite a few tarantulas in our house. Sr. Fidelis is pretty good at getting them but one showed up in her bedroom—and then escaped. I asked her the next morning whether she was able to sleep knowing there could be a poisonous tarantula somewhere in her bedroom. Being the seasoned missionary that she is, she had no problem. That wouldn’t have been me!
We also came home to find a family of “ravet” (cockroaches) lliving in the kitchen cabinets in the visitors’ house. It has been quite a battle getting rid of them and we’re not finished yet. Being the “unseasoned” missionary that I am, I’ve let out a couple ear-piercing screams when they’ve jumped out at me unexpectedly. One day I screamed so loudly that some members of the
leadership group who were meeting in the classroom next door came over to see
what had happened.
We’ve also had a couple of “krapo”( frogs) who decide to move into our water cistern outside. Needless to say, this was not a good situation for obvious reasons. Fortunately with the help of our neighbors, we were able to relocate them to another area. Then we had to put a whole bunch of extra chlorox into the water to purify it. Yesterday Dr. Seneque who runs the clinic in the city of
for dinner and a tour of the visitors’ house.
While we were showing him around, we told him about the frogs and asked
if their presence in the cistern was dangerous to our health. He laughed and said that
he didn’t know for sure but if it were, he’d be dead by now because they have
to deal with that problem all the time in Pestel. Pestel
Dr. Seneque and Sr. Fidelis
The other day friends of Sr. Fidelis came to visit. She has helped them for many years and to show their gratitude, they brought her a rooster to eat. Unfortunately he was still alive! She had him tied up in Sr. Jo’s bedroom (Jo is still in the states right now.) when I walked into the house. The rooster gave out some rip-roaring cock-a-doodles and we both got to pet and hold him. It was obvious that he is used to being handled by people. There was no way that we were about to kill this little guy. We decided to give him to our neighbors who were very happy to receive him. I know that eventually he will become someone’s dinner but at least we lengthened his lifespan for a little while longer. Since most of the roosters look alike, we won’t realize when he’s gone.
Sr. Vicky and the rooster whose life was saved--at least temporarily!
Yesterday our neighbor’s dog, Curly, gave birth to seven puppies. Never having lived on a farm or having had a dog, I was thrilled to see the little enclosure prepared for Curly from leaves and sticks. The babies were all lying there so helpless and she was very solicitous in caring for them. However, one of them somehow got outside of her little enclosure. Elmina, our neighbor, got Curly’s attention and pointed to the baby. Can you believe that dog went right over and tried to pick up the baby with her mouth. She was having a hard time so Elmina finally sent her back inside the little enclosure and then put the baby in there with her.
Curly and her pups inside the little enclosure lovingly prepared by the family.
When the sisters were visiting Curly and her pups, a friendly villager stopped by and joined the photo. The children are Regina and her little brother who is hiding behind that big leaf. They are part of Curly's "human family."
I was happy to see how kind the family was with Curly and how excited they were about the babies. I used to think that the animals here were neglected because they’re so bony and the people don’t give them the attention we do in the
However, that’s not true. The people really do care about their animals
and take care of them as best they can.
They are so poor themselves that sometimes they just can’t afford to
feed themselves and the animals which is heartbreaking. Initiatives are being taken to try to fight
hunger here. We hope and pray that they
will be increasingly successful. U.S.