It’s payday at HATS – not for me, I’m just doing this for the fun, the food and the fellowship. So it’s also time for another Haitian currency lesson. The Haitian dollar floats with the US dollar and is presently about 8 – 1. So $1.00US buys $8.00Haitian. The salaries of the teachers and other employees are set in Haitian dollars. Problem – There is no such thing as a Haitian dollar. True story! The local currency is Goudes which is five time a Haitian dollar. So a salary of $1100/month Haitian is paid 5500 Goudes. Confused? Me too. And if you had seen the mistakes in today’s payroll you would know that Karen still gets confused too.
This is Haiti; you don’t ask why, you ask how?
Karen is no longer on the warpath – or is she? I noticed all these suitcases outside the depot:
· Is she leaving and taking all her stuff?
· Is she leaving with the kids for winter break?
· Is she sending the kids away?
· Did she fire someone?
· Did the cockroaches carry them outside?
· Is she doing a withdrawal at the bank?
· They are not for me, I am going home next week but I only have a small carry-on bag of dirty laundry. The airlines lose checked bags!!
|Who is leaving?|
A geography lesson:
I have spent a lot of time this trip with Moise working on his geography skills. Here is what we have learned: Haiti is south-east of Cuba and west of Puerto Rico. Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. HATS is situated in Deschaplles in the Artibonite Valley, 30Kms. East of St. Marc and 125Kms north of the capital Port au Prince. This Google site show the compound and surrounding area.
You have seen a lot of pictures of Karen and the kids walking along the canal. Normally the walking route takes us left and north-west of the compound. Yesterday Karen and I had a brisk (Oh my ‘lanta - that little lady can move) walk across the road and south-east along the canal. It is lush and beautiful. What a spectacular part of the country. Like most of the interior of Haiti, it is quiet, clean, scenic and prosperous especially when compared to the over-crowded urban areas like St. Marc and Port au Prince.
|Karen setting the brisk pace|
|The old wooden bridge|
|Laundry day at the canal|
|Sweet potato and rice|
|Another hazy day|