Monday, June 7, 2010

Where the watermelons grow.

John Deere doesn't exist in Haiti... Well, except for the bedsheet set I saw on one of the guesthouse bunks last week.
What I am trying to say is any farming equipment or machinery you farmers back in Wainfleet like to use are very rare over here. Farmers in Haiti do all their work manually. In village outtrips, it is very common to see men in their fields working the soil and growing up lush plantain trees, sugarcane bushes and all of the other mouthwatering fruits and vegetables that are emerging this season. As the rain becomes more consistent in the evenings we are coming into one of the best times for prime tropical fruits. Despite the influx in the mosquito population, this is most definitely my favourite time of year in Haiti!

So let's explain this blog title shall we? - It's time for a mountain update!
Over the past few family visits, I've been watching the watermelons grow.
The father (Poppy) of one of the families that I visit has 2 large gardens that he tends by hand. He relies on evening rains, hot sun, and a lot of sweat by day to make his precious watermelon and pumpkin seeds sprout to new life - Beautiful produce that he plans to sell at the Titanyen market to provide for his family. Every time I visit with my friend Sadrac, he escorts us to his garden and proudly shows off his crop. As you can imagine, we always marvel at the progress of the vines extending, leaves greening, yellow blossoms, and finally, baby watermelons emerging (see the little guy above my left foot)!

Sidenote - One of Sadrac's favourite foods just happens to be watermelon, so when we first found out that he would be growing a whole crop, we were pretty thrilled. I informed Poppy that we would be his best customer, but I barely finished my sentence before he insisted on giving us as much as we could eat without a fee. I know I have said this before but I need to say again how generous and thoughtful the people of Haiti are. I knew that it would be no use going against him on this issue because Haitian's love to give back whatever they can. Watermelon season starts full force in July and already yesterday we were given 3.

So in addition to a watermelon feast, yesterday we did something a little extra special. Two awesome girls from Mississauga, Heather and Tiffany, joined us on the mountain trek where we toted along a portable DVD player which Heather had brought from Canada. A few days ago, Sadrac mentioned that sometime he would like to play the Jesus movie for the kids. You are probably all aware of the well-known film, and he had possession of a kids version in Creole, so with the DVD player in hand, we headed out with a blanket and 2 cans of Pringles to have a mountain movie!

We had told the kids and prepared the parents at church on Sunday morning that we would be stopping by later on in the afternoon, so you can just imagine how excited they were about it. They greeted us with big smiles and hugs as we came into view. Sadrac set up the theatre by perching the DVD player on an upside-down metal bucket and we spread one of my spare bedsheets out under the big cactus tree. The kids quickly took off their shoes (most of them go barefoot anyways), and the movie started in full swing.

It was so fun to watch the young ones sit mesmerized and adults alike cuddled with babies in their laps to watch the show. As I sat with them, I thought about how many times this film has been shown, how many countries and viewings it has had all over the world and how together my friends and I were able to share it with this special family. As the heinz 57 puppy came and licked up crumbs while the rooster strutted about I felt such joy about how this heavenly message of love is for all of us. The humble homes of these families may not be recognized as worthy in the world's eyes, and yet the sincerity of their hearts and belief in God's grace allows them to inherit such a beautiful kingdom. A kingdom that will be far greater in their eyes than even I can understand.

I feel so privileged that they live so close to the mission and that I am able to visit them and see them at church regularly. In the sweltering heat, the kids still squeeze up next to me or pile on my lap during the service, and I love hearing their voices of welcome as we near their home.

I still marvel about how it all began on a simple walk down the mission hill. The Lord truly ordained that moment, and I thank Him for giving me this gift of friendship!

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