On Tuesday, May 27th, the day after we finished the workshop at Luxène's home, we walked down, up, over, down and around and around to Serge's home, about four hours of hiking. The project mule, "Patience" carried our luggage and some tools. We carried the A-level and a pick handle.
When we reached Serge's house, after resting an hour or two, we walked out to the field where we would be doing the workshop.
This is Serge's first choice for a field to install the SALT system. It was land so steep, it terrified me just to try to stand there, let alone swinging a hoe or pick. This is Herve coming down from that field, on his bottom.
As I told Chavannes, the director of MPP when I saw him briefly the day after we finished the workshop, "When you work with rural farmers in Haiti, and you let them lead you, you really never know where exactly you are going to end up."
In the end, what are we about? Was this workshop really about starting a new agricultural revolution in the Léogâne mountains? Not really. What it was really about was about transforming lives, starting with my own.
Part of that transformation is recognizing the enormous gifts present among the farming communities in places like Bwa Nèf Matye, or Yeye. There is strength there, and a great deal of good humor. And skills--so many skills. What do I have to offer than can compare with what they already have? Not much, actually.
As a team coming out of MPP's long history and tradition, we can share a good idea or two, maybe a key scientific principle that turns some things around. With the training I have from CHE, we can offer honest and sincere Bible-based reflections that will shine a new light on what being a Christ follower is all about. But in the end, the best thing you or I or any of the team I work with can do that will make a difference is to find and keep the faith. Part of that is the faith that these communities already have the answers for their challenges today and their children's challenges tomorrow, deep inside of them. Believing too, without doubt, that God the Creator has always been present and has never abandoned them, nor ever will.