Monday, September 5, 2016

Centre d'Agriculture St Barnabas

CASB is the school where Mitch and I work with the Episcopal Church diocese of Haiti.  There are currently less than 20 students who attend the school, to learn more about farming and agriculture, along with other skills such as English (which Mitch teaches), French, and other business techniques.

The program is a 2 year program, where students have access to hands on experience farming crops such as corn for feed, peppers, eggplants and other vegetables that help support the school financially.  In the future we are working on growing plants such as Soy beans and Bananas to expand the schools crop variety, as well as one day expanding to aquaculture and poultry farming.

Side note, if you are interested in following Mitch's blog also, you can find it here.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Trip to Dajabon

Yesterday Mitch, St. Ange and I went to the Dominican Republic to price-check some hand-tools in the city of Dajabon. St. Ange is the Field Operations Manager of the school and oversees all agriculture projects. Mitch is a fellow missionary that lives with me and teaches English at the school. The hand-tools we were looking for were weed whackers and chain saws that are greatly needed to help clear and maintain the land at the school.

When we arrived at the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the scene was chaotic. Cars and people moved quickly over the small bridge that crossed the river into the DR. We decided to park and walk across the border due to the shear mass of people going through.  Even then, the walk was intense. Motorcycles and people squeezed along the sides of the bridge where the larger vehicles weren't taking up room. Traffic was so close that, at one point, St. Ange got his shirt caught by a motorcycle flying by.  Fortunately, it pulled loose just in time.

Once in the DR, we headed strait for the tool supplier. The language spoken most in the Dominican Republic is Spanish, which neither I nor St. Ange speak. Luckily, we had Mitch. At the time it did not occur to me just how impressive this small feat of shopping was.  But thinking about it, it was really amazing to  have Mitch communicate using two, nonnative languages.  First, he received the price in Spanish and then he translated it to St. Ange in Creole.   With Mitch's expertise, we got our quotes and had enough time to grab some lunch at a nearby restaurant. With full bellies and an accomplished mission, we headed back home.

Now to see about actually getting the tools and clearing the land.