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a317: trip andeyo to LaTonnelle (fwd)

From: Jedidiah <his_voidness@yahoo.com>

In mid-December I vwayaj'd up country to La Tonnelle (sp?), the
little village above Leogane and Darbonne where Bob Corbett
supports some activities.

I went with Dokte' Phillip, who was dispatched to La Tonnelle
five years ago or so. Dok Phillip has not left Hayti since
arriving nine years ago. His passport has expired, he has
no visa, and is a real back country dude. I met Dok Phillip
four years ago at St Josephs Home for Boys, whence he gets
his mail. Luckily he was arriving at Delmas to pick up mail
shortly after I visited there. I was hoping that my gift of
Avicenna's medical text from the high Islamic empire would
have arrived in time, but that Amazon.com shipment was slow
to arrive thru the Lynx Air maze.

So, Lucianne and myself were to meet up with Dokte' Phillip
in Darbonne at 7am on friday morning. As this is quite a ways
from Centre Ville we drove my haitian motocycle to Leogane to
stay in a local hotel the night before.
Ah... No hotels in Leogane, incredibly.
Stayed in a nice Haytian beach hotel back up the coast about
10 klicks. Cost 95 $ht.

We met up at the donkeys in Darbonne, just 100 meters from the
nice new soviet sugar plant which has been sitting idle since
once test run in the summer. They say that the haitians did
not like the sugar. Too 'dirty'. I assume that means not
white enough.

Met up with Phillip and Tomas and Clotilde. Tomas works with
Phillip, learning animal husbandry and medicine.

Up the river we go, Phillip and I on the moto, crossing the
river twice and drying it out afterwards. There is a house
at the bottom of the mountain we are to ascend where Tomas
keeps a bicycle. I park the moto there, along with Helmet
and tool kit and chain. Much weight left there.

Luckily my backpack is going up with a donkey train, along
with a new treadle sewing machine, four 55 gallon barrels
and many other supplies. The gwoupman which Phillip works with
now owns 11 donkeys ( used to be 12, but the pregnant one fell
off the side of the mountain, incredibly ) and one horse.

The machine part of the sewing machine goes up on a donkey,
but the table part of it is too awkward to load, and goes up
on a gentlemans head. We meet up with him later. He walked
four hours up the mountain, hauling a treadle sewing machine
base on his head, for 10 $ht: 50 gourdes, which is $2 USD.

>From the well and little settlement on the river we commence
walking. Up. UP, that is. Three hours sees us arriving at the
front gate of La Tonnelle. A short lunch break at a nice shady
saddle of the mountain was in there. Pig tongue sandwitch.
Bon Appetitte!

The 'front gate' of La Tonnelle is actually quite nice, a
well shaded crest on the mountain, with a dozen or more
houses within a hundred meters. The roots of a tree make
a very appropriate chaiz. Bon chaiz.

The front gate is, however, still two crests and hundreds of
meters below the hillock where Dok Phillip and Tomas make
their abode. The house of Mama Tomas it is. Clotilde has come
down from Morne Boutton to be miz Tomas.

Oh, Leogane has Haitel cell phone service now, with a signal
up on the morne. My ComCell phone does not work at Phillips
house, but a climb up to Morne Boutton give a view over
Morne Opak and a clear Comcell signal. We called Michel
Geilenfeld from there to check it out.

More later, running out of time at this cyber cafe....

J. David Lyall,

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