Report by Scott and Genia Traglia
I have been a very active person for most of my life, but compared to the Haitian people I now feel kinda lazy, or at least very privileged. We went to the market yesterday and were completely amazed by just how much labor and effort is put into a task that would equal a simple car ride and filling a shopping cart for us at home. We drove in Gabriel, the military truck, up and down several steep and rocky mountainsides, passing numerous Haitian people as they walked for miles on the rocky rubble with loaded baskets on their heads, arms full of bagged goods and live chickens, and some with livestock in tow. We arrived at the market to find what appeared to be a parking area for many donkeys awaiting a load to carry back home. The trading area of the market seemed to be about half the size of a football field and was packed full of trading booths that were made of sticks holding up a couple of pieces of metal roofing material. The booths were about 6×6 foot, and some of them had several people in them as well as the goods they were selling, because some women had several children or other family members with them that had helped them make the long walk to market. As we walked the very narrow path between aisles, we saw large bowls of goods like lye soap, pasta, and beans, which were sold by the scoop. Other booths sold rope, smoked fish, hygiene products, matches, clothing, and just about anything a family might make use of. We had passed by this market the night before that now was hustling and bustling with hundreds of people. The contrast was incredible compared to what we saw today. The night before it looked like a deserted and abandoned field with small flimsy shelters standing on it. We couldn’t fully grasp the concept of market until we actually saw the people gathering.
Today, as we readied ourselves to paint the new portion of the school building, the Haitian kids eagerly awaited the opportunity to help. They picked up the rollers and brushes and worked as a team to improve the look of their own school. It is really humbling and we feel blessed to be a part of all of this.