Thursday, April 22, 2010

Volunteer Reminded of "Home"

It's Thursday evening at 1800 hours, a not so very busyAdd Image day ended with my visiting L'Escale. L'Escale is the area where the dorms are located and it's about a 10 -15 minute walk from the Hôpital Albert Schweitzer - Hanger clinic.

It is a very scenic walk, although some might find it very difficult to appreciate. As you walk along your senses are enticed to be more aware of the surroundings. The landscape is mostly dry, dusty, barren-appearing land, that craves a good rain fall. The outside marketplace is built from nothing but pieces of zinc, and some palm or coconut branches that make up the thatched roofs.

Along the road as you pass the private homes of the villagers. Some of the houses are very well built, while others are nothing but shacks, appearing as if ready to fall over.

The nearly dried-up canal that runs along the market place seems to collect anything and everything, except water.

The sun is very bright and very, very hot. As you walk, whether quickly or slowly, the sweat drips down your face and back, forcing you to make the effort of drying off with a hand towel.

In the not-so-far distance, you can hear the chattering, laughing and going-ons of the women in the market, as they buy and sell. The young children, not yet in school, laugh, play, and sometimes work, while moms monitor with watchful eyes. The goats, pigs, chickens, dogs and cats all roam freely, with not a care in the world, all trying to get their fair share of whatever scraps are left over in the market.

The smell of the different kinds of food cooking can either have your mouth watering or have you wondering what is that smell? In the background the music blares - at times too loudly - a mixture of pop, Michael Jackson singing Billy Jean, reggae and of course Haitian calypso.

The constant tooting of the horns is a reminder to get out of the way as cars try to speed over unpaved very, very bumpy roads. The motor scooters, bicycles, Tap Tap (taxis), cars, jeeps, and oh yah, the horses, donkeys, mules, pigs, cows, goats, chickens, pedestrians, etc. all try to get their fair share of traveling on the road. You name it and they are there.

So reminds me of my country of birth, Jamaica. Aaah memories...

Thanks for reading-Project HOPE volunteer Joy Williams

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