I woke up at 5 am to make sure I would be ready at whatever time the group of women would pick me up. The sisters and I prayed and had breakfast. At 7:45 I had my suitcase by the door and called to find out why the delay with the group. Therese could not call me because she had left my number at home. They had just passed- the Digicel indicator ‘welcome to Anse-a-Veau’ and there was a sign saying road closed for the one leading to the convent. The sisters asked Harold to carry my suitcase for me down the steps of the church; they also provided food in a cantine for the group–rice and beans with lanbi. The car was packed; we placed the suitcase in the back between Therese and me. We passed by Mrs. Leblanc and dropped off a bottle of liqueur for her.
It took us about an hour to reach Petit Trou de Nippes. There was no one there under the choukoun. About five ladies came within a few minutes of our arrival.
Before the meeting began, I started talking to a few of the women trying to get some information about the region. The needs for the community are to establish an alphabetization center (which is essentially a literacy center), a health information center, and professional development center. Petit Troue de Nippes offers: fish, ‘mazoumbel‘, coconuts, lam veritab, bannann. There are two hotels–1) Soley Trounippois with 5 rooms managed by Mario Cotty. 2) hotel in construction by Ernest Jean Charles. There is a library in town with Mrs. Michele Felix as librarian. In town, there is a medical center, primary schools–national, Bethseda, presbisteral (Ks), a vocational school sponsored by Pasteur Figuaro which offers sewing, ebenistrie, maconnerie, cooking, and patisserie, and a community radio. Untapped resources: Grotte Mame (a cave which would make for a great tourist spot), and the ocean, for obvious reasons.
Although a rural place, in Petit Troue de Nippes there were about 30 people gathered for the presentations. Ruth Pierre Louis welcomed everyone in the name of the organization and gave an overview of the scheduled talks for the day. First presentation was done by Joanne Goin on History of the group Lig Pouvwa Fanm. Second presentation done by me was on the role of volunteers. The third presenter, Mirlande Alexandre, talked about the rights and responsibilities of individuals. The fourth presentation by Therese Guilloteau was about March 8th and personal image.
After the presentations, the floor was open for questions or comments. Several people acknowledged the need to get informed on the different topics discussed today. The participants acclaimed the work of the group to empower women. The Magistrate of the town, Roberta Lafortune, a young woman, thanked the organization again for coming all the way to the Nippes to meet the people of her town. I was very much surprised when Lig Pouvwa Fanm presented me with a plaque for being ‘un membre sympatisant’ involved in women issues and community building. The picture below is me with the Mayor of the town.
After the rocky path from Petit Troup de Nippes, we had some smooth and enjoyable roads with magnificent views, unencumbered by people and traffic.
Before we reached Carefour Dufort there was a scary incident that could have turned tragic. At a distance from us we noticed spare tires laying on the right half of the road and large rocks on the other side blocking our passageway. All nine of us became very quiet probably doing a silent prayer, I was. We were concerned it could be an ambush because there were a few young men on both side of the street. There were two other jeeps pulling behind us. The driver immediately behind noticing the situation did not slow down as we had, he sped up pass us and his car hit the rocks and send them flying to the side. Our driver followed his lead and immediately drove off after him. We were so thankful he had opened a passageway for us. The tensed moment had passed and we resumed our way wondering what could have happened.
It took us about 4 hours to reach Jacmel and visit a reception area in Meyer for a possible fund raising for the group before going to our host house.
Finally, in Therese home we were able to eat a bouyon tètkabrit. I was really exhausted.