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Communiqué #096



Things that make me smile! ▪Fresh-out-of-the-oven bakery rolls purchased at a row of four vendors each vying to be the one who makes the sale this time! ▪Putting an airline ticket from Detroit to Port-au-Prince on hold for $302 and finding the price dropped to $164 the next day when the final purchase was made! ▪Watching a 16 year old color in a coloring book with the excitement of a preschooler! ▪Ice cold Coca-Cola in glass bottles, made with sugar cane! ▪Babies in little or no tattered clothing that run up to me with innocent grins! ▪Children delighting in the flying of homemade kites! ▪Observing someone’s first encounter with a door knob or first ride in a car! ▪Eating CheeCo (cheese curls) purchased from a little wooden aqua-painted box, sold by people on the side of the road for the US equivalent of $.12 a bag ▪The joy of Haitian worshipers who are totally lost to the worries of their everyday lives ▪The contentment of an adult man riding a bicycle who has never known any other form of transportation ▪The first lick of a mango lollipop ▪The cheerful bantering among street vendors as they work side-by-side in the hot sun for only pennies a day ▪The flamboyant tree when it is in full bloom ▪The toothless grin of the “hat man” ▪The taste of passion fruit juice ▪The shrieks of fear when Haitians encounter a frog! ▪The memory of a 103 year old Cuban man living in Haiti who liked to call me “Senorita!” and would sometimes ask me to marry him ▪A book to read for pleasure that is written in English! ▪Listening to the Haitian people sing while they work!

Things that make me sigh! ▪Ants, termites, mice, mosquitoes, spiders & roaches! (Not sure you want to know the details!) ▪Neighborhood noises that begin long before I am ready to get out of bed! ▪Internet that is about as reliable as a broken crutch

Things that I just learned about! ▪A snack of boiled goat skin served from a basin carried on the heads of merchant women roaming the streets! ▪An epidemic of distemper in the canine population of LesCayes ▪A free annual dose of medication available in Haiti for the prevention of filariasis ▪Blinblin is used to make a medication to treat a variety of illnesses ▪Sea cucumbers are harvested from the ocean in Haiti to be served as a delicacy in Japan


Sea Cucumbers

Things I miss about the USA (when in Haiti)! ▪Getting a daily phone call from my daughter! ▪Being with my growing-up-too-fast grandsons! ▪The change of seasons! ▪Celebrating America’s holidays ▪Having a girlfriend who understands! ▪Soft, 2-ply toilet tissue ▪Chocolate!

Things I miss about Haiti (when in the USA)! ▪Never having to wear a coat! ▪The breath-taking beauty of Ile-a-Vache! ▪Children (and sometimes adults) calling me “Manmi Nora” ▪My husband, when he is in Haiti and I am not! ▪The call of a Haitian crow that each time reminds me of Ile-a-Vache! ▪The shore of the ocean – the waves, the rugged handmade boats, the thoughts of a fisherman’s life, the cool breeze, the prospect of finding sea glass, the people-watching ▪Fresh mangoes and bananas and abriko and kachiman and kénēpe ▪The vast array of brilliant stars on a no-electricity night


Nora Léon Missionary to Haiti & the Dominican Republic     Until next time, God willing …………

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