After a good 10 minutes of driving up hill, I arrived on a hot and beautiful day at Las Algodones, the Haitian batey. I got out of the car and a little boy came to see who I was. He was adorable, wearing rain boots and a big t-shirt. Here's a youtube clip Liz took- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dd4TryDkR0&feature=channel_page
We walked around a little and saw the batey and the progress they are making at improving the lives of those who live there. There is a nice clinic, church and school. New houses are being built for the people, much better than the shacks of tin they live in. Still poverty thrived there, work was limited and because of their Haitian identities, they are underpaid. I also got the impression that they are very isolated. I'm not exagerating when I say they live WAY up a hill. The kids where funny and one little girl caught my attention. She came and sat next to me in the church service and told me her name was Isabella. On my lap was little Jesica, a little baby that loved to be held but didn't smile. She looked weak and slept through the entire service. Her nose was runny and her hair fragile, I was scared to touch it as afterwards I would find little pieces in my hand. After the service was done, I handed out donations of toys to the kids. Note- don't bring bouncy balls. Even after I clearly explained ot them it was not food, they ended up in their mouths! The boys loved marbles and I only had a few sets and gave it to one boy because he said Please. After a while, they caught on and for a good 20 minutes "sivouple kate!" was all I could hear. I gave Jessica a little hair kit and that she liked. She whispered in my ear giggling "i'm bringing this home, don't leave!" She ran off and came back. When she came back she told me she was hungry. I'm they all where. When I asked the missionary there, he said the kids receive a meal if they go to school, which she does, so she should be good. I still am trying to figure out this whole concept. Many of the teen girls also suffer from anorexia, or they call it that. It's not so much a physcological disease like here in Canada, but they literally eat the same thing everyday- white rice. They get so sick of it, their bodies start rejecting it. The human body is not made to eat white rice everyday, once a day. I remember being in grade 9 class, cooking, and we did a 'food' quiz. Apparently, I didn't eat enough 'wheatat products' and my teacher went on to describe why I need more. Fruits, veggies, meat, bread- rare in the batey. I'm almost positive if they had a better diet, they would not get sick as much. Many people infected with HIV are also 'sentenced to death', because their weak bodies/immune system can't fight off any other illnesses.