What’s going on

Man, has it really been a week and a half? Seriously? Sigh.
The blog break was not intended, and actually quite accidental. Sort of a series of circumstances that just all piled up on each other. Last Monday we were in court and then Tuesday was a Manba day. I always feel like Manba day means a day or so of catching up, so add that with Monday gone as well and you can see why the week kind of wandered away.
This last week, same thing. Monday our internet was less than stellar because someone, ahem, went over our internet download limit by watching videos of the space station on YouTube. He has been reprimanded and put on space station watching restrictions.
Tuesday, was again Manba. It was a good day that ended up heavy. The one HIV positive baby that we see was our last consult of the day. He was running a fever this week and Dad is desperately trying to find someone to look after the baby during the day so he can work and get on his feet, but has only found one person that is willing to look after the boy, but only if Dad can pay a bit. Since he has no money right now that won’t work. We’re doing some research and looking at some options to see if there are ways we can get the little guy stabilized and Dad can work for a few months to get his bearings. He’s trying so hard to do a good job and wants to parent this little guy. Pray that something works out in this situation please. It’s heavy.
Wednesday Chris and I went back in to the court house so he could see the investigative judge who is starting to work on our case. I get my turn next Wednesday. It’s interesting to see the legal system at work. We tried so hard for so many months, and now we’re at a stage where if the judge summons someone, they have to go. If the judge sends out the arrest mandate for the other two guys we believe are in this the police have to do it. It’s going to be a long process, but it’s starting, so that’s a good thing.
Today we’re going to bust out of the mission with all of our staff and treat them to a bit of a party. They’ve been so fabulous over the months that this has been going on and we want to let them know we appreciate them. We like to keep them on their toes so we just told them that they needed to bring clothes to “benyen nan piblik” – swim in public. What they don’t know is that we’ve worked out a deal at Club Indigo (the old Club Med) so that we can take them there for a few hours and swim in the pool and on the beach, and each person is going to get $5 in tickets to spend at the snack bar however they choose. The fun thing for Chris and I is that we know they think we’re just taking them to one of the local beaches that anyone can go to. Tee hee hee. After we told them this morning that the party was on the work yard was full of noise and happy people all day long. I love that :)
Olivia had one of *those* days today. Seriously, the kid was into everything. The salt and pepper shakers got emptied onto the table, the raisin bran got emptied onto the floor, she whipped off her diaper and pooped in her bed during a time out (for the raisin bran I think), she mauled an umbrella, threw her shoes in her laundry basket, made our room look like a cyclone had passed through it, put a bunch of toilet paper in the toilet, and pulled out half of my cilantro seedlings. And that’s just what I can remember off the top of my head. Oh, she also ate some crayons today too. Yeah, I know she’s really cute and all, and that a bunch of you come here just to read about her and her cuteness. Just let me know when you want to babysit, okay? ;) Today was one of those days where I found myself watching the clock from about 4:30 pm on wondering if it was bedtime yet.
Today was market day, and I realized that I never did follow up with our milk experiment that I told you about a month or so ago. We have been buying fresh milk from the market for over a month now and we’re LOVING it. Pasteurizing it is so simple. As soon as it comes home I pour it into a big pot and let it heat up until it’s steaming. It only needs to get to 160F for a couple of minutes to pasteurize. I stir it gently with a whisk and then pour it into the milk jugs, and set it in the sink in a cold water bath. Our cold water isn’t super cold so it takes about an hour or so to bring the milk temp down a bit. After that it goes in the fridge and the next day I skim the cream off. Haitian cows aren’t all that chubby so the milk isn’t high fat, probably similar to 2% or so. It’s just so nice to have fresh milk again. And, it’s saving us money. Last time I went to get groceries in Port I was amazed to see our grocery bill go down simply because we weren’t buying the carton milk. We use 2 gallons of fresh milk each week now and it costs about $5 US. To buy the equivalent in the UHT carton milk we were paying $22! Crazy!
Also, I haven’t shared much about my roof top garden experiments. Some things are growing SO well, and others are a bit frustrating. After Chris got back I had all my flower seeds that I had ordered and we found some cheap plastic pots at Eko Depot for about $.10/each and picked up a bunch. I now have a little “nursery” up there and I love to go up every day and see what’s new, because there’s always something. I was amazed after I planted everything because a few things popped up after only 3 days in the dirt!

On the left are some devils trumpets, mixed colors of canna lilies and those fuzzy looking things on the right are red cypress vine for the fence.

My lettuce is doing good, which is so funny to me because out of everything I thought that would be the thing that would be the hardest to grow, but nope, it came right up and looks like it’s getting close to needing a trim so Mama can have some baby greens salad :) The carrots and bell peppers have NOT been cooperating. I planted the first batch at the same time that I did the lettuce and nothing came up. I realized that I had them in a spot that was too shady, so I moved them and tried again. Still nothing. I think I’m going to try planting some of the bell peppers in the little pots that I mentioned to see if I can get them going that way, then transplant. I have a couple of tomato plants coming up. I did plant several varieties and again, not all of them have showed. I think I might try some of those in the little pots too and see what I get. Someone also passed on some jalapeno seeds and I planted them on the whim that I might get salsa one of these days. I was feeling really disappointed because all that was coming up in that pot was weeds – until today! Yesterday there was nothing, and today there are 5 seedlings! Haiti is so crazy like that. It gives me hope for the other peppers :)

Future salad and my gingers.
Chris bought 3 big plastic tubs/planters and threw down a bunch of papaya seeds, and some grenadias (passion fruit). The grenadias are doing great, but the papayas have gone CRAZY. Over the last week or so he’s been making a papaya bed down in the big garden and transplanting a bunch of the seedlings. While he was away on his vacation he asked me to transplant some of the seedlings from the first two tubs that he had planted into the third one that he had just filled with dirt. When I did, I also snuck in a couple renegade melon seedlings that had come up in our compost on the roof. The melon is growing like crazy. I’m sure it’s shooting out at least 8′ of vine every day. That particular tub is almost above our room and we’re hoping that not only will we get good fruit off the plant, but that the vines will help shade the roof a bit for us and make our room a little cooler.

The renegade melon. I took this last week and it’s almost twice that size now.
Seeing how well the melon plants are growing inspired me to get some cucumber seeds. I think I might try tying some chicken wire along the railing and putting a tub in front of it so they can grow that way and not take up space on the ground. There are so many great varieties out there and some are designed to do just that. Chris wants beans too so I’m looking into that. Roof gardening is fun! We’re liking the fact that we can move things around and find good spots for them. Chris actually moved his fruit trees up there too because they were having a hard time down in the garden. They seem to be liking their new tree nursery.
And, because you would all be disapointed if Little Miss O wasn’t here somewhere… *helping* Mommy and Daddy do yard work by watering the grass with her sumo hair.
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This entry was posted in garden, this is haiti, this is life by Leslie. Bookmark the permalink.

About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

3 thoughts on “What’s going on

  1. Great update! Thanks!
    As per gardening, please as you figure things out spill the secrets because I tried bell peppers as well with no luck. Although I am by no means a green thumb!!

  2. Just wondering how your solar water heater has worked out. Also how does Olivia get up onto the roof — can she climb the ladder by herself yet?
    Your Olivia and our Lucy are a lot alike. Now before you get offended that we are comparing our grandchild to our standard poodle puppy, just know that they both love to get into everything, they are super curious about the world around them, they have boundless energy and they thrive on attention. We had to put an electric fence around our koi pond to keep her out. Hmmm —
    Love,
    Gramma Rolling

    p.s. Did you say you're getting a puppy? HAHAhahahahaheeeheeeee

  3. Hahahahaha! I am still chuckling about your DAY with Miss Olivia. People always look aghast at me when I register the Peanut for three days per week of summer camp, even though I'm off for the summer. Puleeeeez–a pre-schooler? All day? NO way! BTW, How is her language? Can she chat in English and Kreyol?
    Anyway, you have impressive gardening skills. Love to hear about your successes as a modern back-to nature kinda' gal.

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