Merging Worlds

Merging Worlds

Deep in the heart of a mountain in Haiti lays the village of Boily. The people of Boily have a 5.5 hour walk, over dusty trails and rocky roads to get to the nearest market or medical care; to get to what we would call civilization. The villagers, of whom there are about 800, live off the land, gardening and raising livestock. In Boily is a woman named Redaline, she is 63 years old and her years of toiling in the rocky mountain soil show. Redaline raised all eight of her children by working the land. Two of her children ages 16 and 19 still live at home with her, along with her ten-year old grand-daughter. As with most Haitian families they continue to work together to support each other financially even after a child moves out and marries. Redaline reminds me of many old school New England farmers I know. She could find an easier way to live, but she loves her land. Her heart, her soul, her everything is in her land. She loves to garden on her land, seeing her hard labor turn into watermelons, pumpkins, tomatoes and plantain and her live stock of which she has very few, stay healthy and productive. my close friend here feels this way about her land. She works it, cares for it and loves it. Her land is another appendage, without it she would be lost; she would not be the wonderful person she is. I spend hours talking with her about gardening. We discuss the weather related to cutting hay and when to fertilize to the fields. We talk of her land and livestock as we would a child, which needs to be cared for and tended. I know that if my Creole was better Redaline and I would have these same discussions. Her passion for her land was explained to me by her son, who has tried to get her to slow down, to lease some of her property to someone else to work. Redaline loves what she does and won’t let anyone else work her land. Lately things have been very difficult to Redaline. The work is getting more difficult for her and the soil is producing less, partly due to a severe lack of rain over the past eight months. She has to consider the distance to the market when she decides how much to plant, this distance greatly impacts her decisions. Have not spoken directly to you the reader about what I do in Haiti. I am going to take the time to do it now. I help people start micro businesses; businesses that help a family realize a future. A business that helps them live a better life, a life out of poverty. I would like to give Redaline and her family a hand up, by helping them to start a business. For $800.00 we can help them buy a herd of goats. With ten female goats and two males they can start to make money the following year by selling the male off spring. This money will allow them to put food on the table, further their educations and receive medical care. On March 10th at the Piermont Congregational Church I am holding an all you can eat pancake breakfast to raise money for Redaline’s business. I would be honored to have you there! Come fill your stomach, learn about what I do in Haiti and support Redaline’s family move out of poverty. I hope to see you there. Please feel free to contact me about this or to engage me to speak to your group or organization. My number is 603.728.8949.

Nanny goat in Bercy Haiti

Small herd of goats Bercy Haiti

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