Today is day 6 of the month long writing challenge sponsored by Two Writing Teachers.
Deye Mon, Gen Mon
Beyond mountains there are mountains ~ Haitian proverb
It was 9 am and already 90 degrees when we left for our trek to visit the far off village at the top of a small hill in Haiti, known as Bellevue. Maybe the correct word was lost in translation because it felt like a mountain as we hiked up the grueling path in the heat. We stopped frequently for rests and water breaks and were rewarded with fabulous views of our home base and the mountains beyond. We climbed over rises and around cow paths, growing tired with each step, only to be promised that our destination was right around the next corner. After ninety minutes of sweating, we arrived at the top, our destination. The villagers were anxiously awaiting our arrival as rarely did visitors pass through Bellevue. They beckoned us to rest under the shade of a tarp that was placed over the mostly finished concrete block chapel.
The large machete came down with a whack and sliced open fresh coconuts for us to drink in the refreshing waters. The elders stood up and spoke. Our translator shared that they were grateful for the money we sent to them to help build this chapel. They apologized for not completing the building. They noted they had grown tired. What do you mean you are tired? They replied that they had to carry each block one at a time up the hilly path, sometimes with the help of a donkey, but for the most part all the blocks were carried up the mountain on their backs. The elders then told us they were so grateful and encouraged by our visit that they would finish building the rest of the chapel soon.
I had a hard time getting myself up the steep mountain path, how could anyone possibly carry a cement block on their back too! I tried to calculate the number of blocks in the
building, and think of the physical labor of the hike we just took. My mind was tired and numb and all I could do was cry at the thought of the resolve and determination of these people. Here they were, the humble people of Bellevue, facing mountains, literally and figuratively, and yet they continued on, carrying the blocks one by one up to the top of the hill. All to build a chapel.
Deye mon, gen mon