“Sunday is a day of rest”
After our lack of sleep last night we are a bit sleepy today and I think many of us could use the rest. We wanted to go and visit the Fesi Pottery and the Lourdes Grotto today but there was some confusion in our schedule and it never happened. We had also hoped to see the children drummers from the local church but that also did not happen. I did some administrative work for NSWB and around 2 pm we walked to the local carver, Papa Bones and Billy the Tailor. The students are buying and ordering some wood carvings and also getting some fabric for dresses to be made. The day is quickly passing and after a brief session at our meeting spot across the street we make the 1+mile hike to Shine and Bernard’s house. We have been invited to supper. The students are amazed that Maura and I made that walk every night in the dark. It is treacherous in the beginning due to the auto traffic and treacherous at the end due to incredibly uneven terrain. I am again amazed at the air quality here. It is such a poor quality due to burning and engine emissions. We are all feeling in our lungs and most of us have a dry cough. Our clothes and hair seem to absorb these smells and there is a huge drying effect upon our hair and skin.
We have a great meal of Pasta and Sausages which reminded me more of a spicy Pad Thai and fried Kielbasa. We are all very weary due to poor sleep last night. We leave and journey back home. I try to take some of the walking time to get to know some of the UML students a bit better. They are all lovely so far and I am enjoying my time with them. We walk past the dim and dirty shack where Hannah (age 6) Michael (age 10) and their mother Edith. We have gifts for them and we bring them to their home. They are so appreciative. Edith wants us to take pictures of her officially receiving the gifts. She is also talking about a plan that she would like us to set up a school in her village which is further away. We are constantly overwhelmed by needs that this country has but we tell her that we do not have the resources to start a school.
As I near our guest house I have one last stop. I must meet with my new friend Foster Dominics, who is trying to enroll at UML in the nursing program. I have given him some admission information and he has to wait now to take the SAT and TOEFL test. That will not happen until December 2010. Until then he plans on working and saving money for his dream to get a US education. I told him I can assist him with making connections in the US but I cannot be a financial sponsor of his education. He is a gentle young man that appears to have the intellect and desire for a nursing education. He has a twin sister, Fostine and his mother died about a year ago. I told him I will do whatever I can to help him with this processs.
As I type this my eyes are very tired from lack of sleep and also the effects of the smoke in the air. I am going to bed. Tomorrow is our first day in the clinic.