This past Saturday I had a very interesting day. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. so I could go with Anne(American), her translator - Alex, and the agronomist and a guide to a waterfall that supposedly cascades at the back of a valley. Well the first thing we did was try to get the horses ready. Anne's horse had a saddle (or piece of carpet that worked as a saddle) and was ready to go. Alex's horse was the one that lives here at the creche. It took him and 5 guys to get a rope on it in the form of a makeshift bridle (the saddle was a piece of green carpet that looks like artificial grass or a putting green) and my horse was waiting for its saddle but then someone took off on it. We went to find it and did but it was taking too long to find a saddle so I said I would just ride it like that. This would not have been much of a problem riding bareback in the US but in Haiti, the animals are on their own to find food and so this horse had not been very lucky lately. His spine was a pain in my hind - literally! Finally we were all ready to go and began our caravan through the fields of Haiti and crossed a barranca of sorts that was a river at one time. We came upon the market place in TiSuess(sp?) and the sight was straight out of a movie! Massive amounts of Haitians all at market selling, buying, trading, washing clothes, washing themselves, and socializing. We continued our trek following the trickle of river and had a trail of Haitians following us. As the horses were quite uncomfortable after awhile we took turns riding and walking. At one point the three locals were on horses and the 2 "blancs" were walking. People stopped them and asked, "How come the blancs are not riding the horses?" This was very confusing to them. We zigzagged through the valley crossing the water often but alas we did not make it to the waterfall. We asked many along the way how far or how long a walk was it but got many different answers. Some said it was a 2 day journey and others didn't know...yet they were all heading in the same direction as us:-) Finally the guide and I stopped and sat down on one of the saddles while Alex went on to catch up with the others and to turn them around. We must have been quite the site sitting there. The blanc with the 80 year old man sitting on rocks in the middle of the river, eating apples together. Not knowing much Creole, somehow I was able to make friends with him. We shared not only an apple but also some sunscreen and then we sang a song Alex taught me on the way back. The song says, "One kilometer by foot, uses, uses, one kilometer by foot uses up my shoe. Two kilometers by foot, uses, uses....and on, and on. The guide sang it with me and everytime we came to the end of the song we woulld find a used up dead shoe in our path. It was fun to get the old man involved in my self entertainment.
Haiti is a place that does not lack in adventure...ever! On Sunday, Gina took us to the supermarket. It is about a 45 minute drive from here. So we are all getting ready to get in the car and then the car wouldn't start! At first we all pushed it to try to pop the clutch but after many unsuccessful attempts Mommy gave us a jump with her truck. At one point we had an 80 year old man helping us push the car! So finally we were on our way down the bumpy road and came upon a huge truck in the middle of a road with a rock stuck under it. The driver could not move the truck and so a traffic jam developed. As we had to get to the store before it closed at noon, we became a bit desperate and impatient. Finally, some guy showed us a way to go around. Now this was not a side road. It was 4 wheeling through a cemetery! Gina put the car in 4 wheel drive and we all jumped out to guide her through the rocks and dirt and weeds and tombs. Finally she made it around but only after running over a voodoo doll in the dirt! I knew it wasn't meant for me because it was green - not blanc! And off we were to the supermarket!