This morning Simon and I left Dottie’s about 8:30 to go buy a few more groceries and exchange some money. For some of you who have never heard of me talking about changing money, it is just like in the Bible days of money changers–they are in certain areas of town on the street corners. I have a Haitian friend named Frank who I call, and he meets me wherever I ask him to, and he brings whatever amount I need. He wears long pants and knee socks, where he hides all his money. He has it counted out in large or small bills, however I need it. It always feels like you’re doing something illegal when you’re sitting in your car counting thousands of dollars, looking around to make sure no one is watching. We make these quick transactions and Frank is on his way, as I am mine.
After exchanging the money, we called Blanco to see if he wanted to help us today go to the market and buy food for the Pastors’ Conference. As always, he is ready to help, so we picked him up on our way to Z’Orange. When we arrived, I had Blanco check the differential fluid, oil and water on Gabriel before we took it to Cabera (a village about 30 minutes from Z’Orange).As some of you know, we are sending Blanco to mechanic school, and he is making super grades; he loves to work on trucks, which a real blessing for me.Maybe my days of being a mechanic are getting close to being over.
When Blanco was finished checking out Gabriel, he went with Simon and me to Cabera, where we bought all the food for the Pastors’ Conference. We had never been to the market there–it is huge! We had to do a lot of walking around, but we found rice, beans, corn, flour, sugar, spaghetti, ketchup, herring, cooking oil, and other things that were on our list. We also had to buy some 2x4s (they are actually 2 inches by 4 inches) for Pastor John Renel’s chicken coop. There were several of us last February who gave him money to get into the chicken business. We also bought some tin for him a couple of days ago. He assures me I’m going to be eating eggs and chicken when I come back in April.
We returned to Z’Orange about three o’clock and unloaded all the food. The little kids could hardly wait for us to get it off the truck so they could help carry it into the depot. They love to help us, whatever we are doing. Pastor John Renel grabbed the 2x4s and started working on his chicken coop. By this time we were hungry, and Madame Do had made us a kabrit (goat) stew with potatoes, dumplings in a red sauce. This is the first time I had ever had this, and it was delicious. She is always making sure I eat when I’m here.
When we finished eating, I started working on the projects that we need to do around the mission house–there is so much to do. One of the main things I wanted to do was install the sink in the ladies’ bathroom. Karl had completed two bathrooms and had put in the shower and commode in the ladies’ bathroom, but didn’t have time to put in the sink. Simon and I found all the parts we needed, and we got it installed. I had had Simon buy some mirrors for the bathrooms, and we got a mirror up in the ladies’ bathroom. I also bought some LED lights that I have put in each of the bathrooms, so at night after the generator is off there will be light.
By the time we finished this, it was time to clean up our mess and get ready to shower and relax. It was a great day. We will stay at the mission house tonight and get up in the morning to work more on the bathrooms. Tomorrow afternoon we will go back to Port, and I will stay at Dottie’s so I can pick up part of the team on Saturday morning, and the others who will come in the afternoon.