So it’s been a while… I will try to be a more diligent blogger but internet access much less electricity is hard to come by. For those of you more detail oriented and curious, you might wonder how electricity works here. If you have electricity in Ouanaminthe, generally it’s because you have a generator or solar panels. Someone donated to the sisters two solar panels which provides energy for the water and sometimes for the lights (about 2 hours worth a day). The generator is used sparingly because it uses a lot of gas. Sister Marie Mercy did point out on one trip to Cap Haitien some power lines that are being built along the road that will eventually make a path to Ouanaminthe. It looks like this construction plan is actually making progress. In Ouanaminthe, they are still waiting for road construction. It’s been ten years.
Back to electricity, you might wonder how people get along. For most Haitians, they have a necessary talent of working and/ or walking in the dark. At a lot of small vendors, they will have a solitary candle which lights up the candy or soap they are selling. I seem to be the only one who carries a flashlight with me at night and then in my room I use a karosene lamp. Sometimes I read Pride and Prejudice by candlelight- romantic right? Although with a lack of electricity, almost everyone here has a cell phone and Haitians are always on a lookout for an outlet. Generally before Mass starts, there’s a race to the front of the church to the open outlet to charge their cell phones. You might wonder how do they pay for service plans and minutes. Well, there is no service plan. You buy a cell phone and then you can buy a card with minutes on it.
If there isn’t electricty, you might think cooking must take a looong time. It does. Every morning as we (the sisters, aspirants, and I) walk from Church back to school, we pass by a woman in the restaurant business. Every morning, she has to start the fire with charcoal, walk a good distance with a five gallon bucket to fill it with water, walk back with the full five gallon bucket. Once she has the water in the pot, she gets the water boiling while in the meantime she plucks the chickens. Putting the chicken in the boiling water gets rid of the rest of the feathers. Then she butchers the chicken and finally fries it. The sisters say she’s doing pretty good in business from the number of chickens she has.