Well, it is hot here all the time. At night it feels cooler, maybe mid-70s but the humidity stays. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but it stays.
Everything about the trip and getting here worked. Planes were late, only one lost bag for a short time, but everything for the most part worked.
PAP airport is difficult right now, as the main terminal is off limits. Earthquake. So everything is done through a huge machine shed-like building. Immigration, customs, luggage. Very hot in there with no air conditioning and 500 people or more at a time. Once out of the airport, it is a crowd of people, some wanting to help with bags, some trying to get you to ride in their “cab”. Short distance to another terminal, where the process is simpler for charters or local planes. Wait wait wait, pay for your flight, crowd around your space in the building with your group and your stuff, wait wait wait then go go go. Finally in the air, the short ½ hour flight over the mountains to Pignon.
Once here, we got settled, ate lunch, later went to work making chalkboards for the La Viktwa school, and dinner and a movie. With a projector on the white board and a laptop. Then a deep sleep until breakfast at 7, painting and cleaning at the Pignon school, and the witnessing of one of the most amazing things. The roof of the school was flooded. The scuppers that drain rain were plugged with paper and trash and stuff. About 4 inches of water covering the entire school roof. As soon as we unplugged one drain, and water began to pour from a spout, one kid stripped off his clothes and ran under the shower, shouting and howling naked under the pouring water. Several more drains opened, and soon maybe 25, maybe 50 kids found their way to the school, dancing naked and singing and shouting and shoving and playing under the shower of water that went on for an hour as the roof drained. One of the most amazing sights I have ever seen. Truly. And yes, a few of our group ran under the showers of water as well the heat of the day bore down upon us all. No one brave enough to strip down and dance or sing, though. I must say that one of the college students and I did get a group of kids going on a rousing game and song with Hokey Pokey, though. You put your right brain in, you put your right brain out…
Painting, clearing out a room, cleaning and sweeping, painting a ceiling as well, and watching the children play.
Later walking around town. Found a place to have a beer. Went to see the big catholic church in town. Arrived in time to listen to the choir rehearsing. Beautiful Haitian music, a band with guitars and a keyboard and drums in the church, and some sat in and played, some clapped hands with the music, some just listened. And as the magic waned, we moved back outside and walked home the two or so miles for dinner. And a movie. And a sound night of sleeping as the donkeys called, the dogs barked, the singing of someone in the distance came through the window, and the ceiling fan in our room challenged the heat and humidity.
This morning, Sunday, is a day of rest, with a trip into town for pumpkin soup this morning, church for many, lunch, reading, journaling, then to Neil’s house for the World Cup game (a big deal even here… of course). There are two college students here working on various parts of degrees in Environmental Engineering and the Pignon water project, a young guy from France here leading the project (he went to IIT and got to know HO from the chapter at the school) and many many people around to meet and talk with, from employees of HO to people just coming by out of curiosity.
And oh so much more to see and describe and learn and understand. A beautiful country, incredible culture.