Great Haiti Adventure: Day 9
Up early for the brand new market in Buchan Richard. Not as early as tomorrow’s drive to Port au Prince, but I’ll write about that then. We get fresh coffee about every 4 days and this morning was one of those times. I prefer the flavor of my coffee at home, but I definitely appreciate the coffee here. The ladies literally roast the beans over an open flame and then use something like a mortar and pestle to grind them. Then they boil the grounds in water before straining the coffee into vacuum sealed containers.
On to the market at around 8. The market is meant to support 2 of the nearest schools and both school directors came to make food purchases for the week. I was enthralled to be right in the middle of it. I counted as cups of grains and beans were poured into sacks. I watched as the ladies argued over prices and the ripeness of the plantains. They regularly pointed out foods to me and told me the Creole names. I was pleased to realize I have already learned several of the words! Being at the market means I was also able to capture the cost of each of the food items. This will be incredibly helpful in my analysis of how to get the best nutrition for the least amount of money. Had this market been even one day earlier, I wouldn’t have been ready to engage so fully. Definitely a case of divine timing.
The rest of the day was dedicated to packing and getting the apartment ready to lock up for the next few months. I went through the deep freezer (which is plugged in for a few hours a day and used as a fridge) to see what ingredients we need to use up. I made some egg salad for our drive tomorrow. If Dad hasn’t missed Denise’s cooking by now, he will tomorrow! It’s pretty mediocre!
I then asked Dad if I could walk down the road to buy some bread for the egg salad. He hesitated because it’s outside of the compound. It’s only a 5 minute walk, but he’s been pretty protective so far. He finally agreed as long as I would take the pepper spray...and as long as Berman agreed. Berman lives here at the apartment when Dad and Denise are in town. He makes sure they are safe and helps with simple translations. Dad asked Berman, using the Creole/English dictionary, and I finally received clearance! Yes! I have so loved my time here and I’ve appreciated all the precautions, but I’m typically incredibly independent and mobile. I’ve had neither of those in 8 days.
So, I took my credit cards out of my phone and headed down the driveway. I was about halfway to the gate when Berman realized what he’d agreed to. He jumped up, waved his arms, yelled and told Dad I couldn’t go alone. So, I hung my head and walked back to the apartment. Berman put on his shoes and escorted me to the bakery. In the end I’m glad he did because I got to go in and see the baker and the equipment he uses. I spent 20 gourdes (just over a US quarter), and walked away with 4 rounds of freshly baked bread.
I think I will spend the rest of the day reading. I am pretty much packed, and I know that it may be another decade before I have this kind of time to really relish a book. I’m on my second one since I’ve been here. Life is good.