Part of my job is to enter reports. Each time our national team goes out to repair pumps, they have to fill out a three page report. It has lots of great information-exact location including gps coordinates, information about the village (like how many people live there, how many use the pump, what they do to earn a living, what religion is present there, etc) they also fill in what they say when the LWI national team shares about Jesus, and a little about health and hygiene. All that being said, they usually do do about two pumps a day, and so I keep busy entering the reports and downloading the many pictures to go along with it. I love being able to see what our national team is doing through these reports. I love that they are the ones out fixing the pumps, they interview people from the community, and they take the photos. Since we don’t need to go out with every repair, doing the reports is a great way to see, know and read about how the repair went. My favorite part is seeing the photos, and coming across the occasional strange explanations. The main Haitian who writes the reports speaks only a little English. Currently the reports are in English-we are working on translating them-which makes more work for him. He has been doing it for a while, and so knows what each thing means. However, I think it’s hard to learn a new language, and especially to write that second language. He really does a great job, and for the most part, I can figure out what he means or what he’s talking about.
But, the other day I came across a report I have to share with you. We have a box they are supposed to fill out called “unique about this community” and it’s used only for when we used certain materials for the job. But, sometimes they forget that, or something so strange happens to them, that they write it down in this box. Today, the box read, and I quote, “Somebody asks me about the horse meat! How you think about it?? And I say, naturally, it’s a good meat. How many do kill per day?” I about fell off my chair laughing!! It was so casual, so normal, it was hilarious!! It’s as if the community needed to know his opinion, and he thought it perfectly normal and great that they eat horse.
A little background: Haitians eat horses. In Cap Haitian, it’s just as casual and normal as Americans eating cows. However, not all Haitians eat horse, just like not all Haitians eat cows. We had a friend eat dinner with us who was from the far away, La Baie,-he came up here to help us move from Port de Paix. We were eating spaghetti with meatballs, and he was devouring them, until someone asked what meat the meatballs were. I said cow meat. This guy looked up, horrified. I can imagine it would be the same look you would give if you were eating this delicious meal only to find the meat was horse meat! You just don’t eat horses! Well, he thought, you just don’t eat cows! And, as hungry as I know he was, he stopped eating and pushed his plate away from him! We have yet to officially try horse, although in this country most of the meat we eat is of questionable origin, so I am sure we have had it.