We’ve had a lot of rain here in Jean Rabel over the past week and our only hope is that the people who have gotten new corn and bean seeds will have had the chance to plant them and that the rain will have helped their growth. If they haven’t yet planted them they will likely do so over the coming days now that the rainy spell seems to have passed.
These seeds are their life line to survival over the coming months as their crops and animals were destroyed during hurricane Matthew.
But despite this damage to their livelihoods the Haitian people continue to go about their daily chores such as going to the market, ensuring their children get to school and going to the river for water or to wash their clothes there. The water they take home is far from clean, having come from a river that has made its way through the muddy riverbed full of debris since the recent hurricanes and heavy rains. In places in order to get to the river many walk barefoot as it’s the easiest way to reach the river as routes have turned completely to sludge.
Shoes simply get in the way; they slow you down and make the task so much more difficult. It’s easier to just walk barefoot along the edge of the river and rinse off the mud when you reach the water and the some again once you get home.
It reminds me of slush after a heavy snowfall at home, as it melts and becomes slippery and slimy. The mud is everywhere and as motorbikes and cars drive through it it becomes soft, making manoeuvring the vehicle a treacherous undertaking. But the local drivers don’t seem to mind and continue with their taxi run, with some motorbikes carrying up to 4 passengers at a time, and arriving safely to their destination.
It’s important that when they transport water home they treat it in order to avoid illness and diseases caused by drinking untreated water but often people don’t treat their water here and thus illnesses and diseases spread among communities.
It’s hard to believe that people don’t have the money for such necessities but once you’ve been here a while and have seen the surrounding areas and communities and how they live on a daily basis you can understand that ensuring you have a suitable treatment product just might not be your main priority.
Hurricane Matthew’s Path image courtesy of Time Warner Cable News