Monday, January 5, 2015

Palm Tree Mechanics

We kicked off this morning with a trip to an area market, but we were early so that lead to a hike through a tropical setting to some irrigation gardens. We will return to these gardens later in the week to pull soil samples and analyze. We then made our way to a community oven where every four days bread is baked in a brick oven. We then returned to the market area where activity had picked up. Everything was being sold from sandals to vegetables to meat. We even witnessed a livestock auction!

After the market we went tractor shopping. We made our way a couple miles down the road where we found a Veniran tractor that was manufactured in Iran and needed a little TLC so we went to work checking things over. It was decided we needed some additional tools and a battery so the palm tree mechanics decided to return later in the day.

After lunch we had a session with the agriculture students to learn about agriculture practices and determine challenges facing Haitian agriculture. Many interesting points were shared and discussions had. One main point discussed was the need to invest in agriculture from society to the government to farmers. Instead of wealthy Haitians investing in Haitian agriculture they are buying products from other countries and reselling in Haiti.

After our time with students we once again enjoyed a cold pop under a shade tree reflecting on our session with the students. Next it was time to return to our roles as palm tree mechanics. We grabbed a battery, tools, and loaded up in the Land Cruiser. On our way to the Veniran we came across a John Deere 4020, but after inspection found out it was not for sale. Therefore, we found our way back to the Veniran. With a little work we had the engine cranking. We will return with oil tomorrow and see if we can get the engine to fire.

We wrapped up the evening hanging out with students from UCCC playing games, line dancing, and sharing each other's company.

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