Sunday, April 27, 2014

Mouvman Peyizan Bayonnais (MPB)--Farmer's Movement of Bayonnais

Lucien Joseph (middle) giving advice to Rose Marie (right) with respect to her bed of Moringa trees. Lucien is a former member of the Road to Life Yard crew and frequently works with Herve Delisma and myself, providing technical assistance to the yard garden participants in the various organizations. Ovilien, another member of MPB's Yard Garden team led us to Rose Marie's house, about a two hour walk away from his home, where we had just provided similar advice.

I returned this past Saturday, April 26th to my home in Barahona, Dominican Republic after two weeks in Haiti. The first week, Holy Week, I spent catching up on some administrative work in Papaye-Hinche. The second week, I went with the Yard Garden team to continue our introduction of the program to the Farmers' Movement of Bayonnais (MPB) in Bayonnais, Gonaïves. (The organization's center in the community of Quatto is located at 19.425440, -72.513220)

It  was, as always, an intense week of work, but very good. Only three months after we held the first formal workshop, we found participants applying the new techniques to small, well-protected areas of their yards.

Perhaps what is most special for me is the people we work with are becoming more and more real to me. This was our second round of visiting people's homes, one by one, sharing food and in two homes, spending the night. The hope there is in this crazy work is when people start feeling like friends we are going to visit and share with, rather than "beneficiaries" who need us to solve their problems.

MPB is the most recent of the organizations with whom we have started working. The work continues in Léogâne and Verettes, where I also managed to spend time between Friday, April 18th and the 25th.

The Creole name for this flower is "Yam Zombi", the Zombi Yam. It has an inedible white bulb which vaguely resembles the edible root crop called tropical yam (genus Dioscorea, not the North American yam). It would seem to be seasonal (a "Spring" flower) and perhaps found only locally in the Bayonnais area (???). In ten years of working in rural Haiti, it is the first time I had seen it.

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