Hope that everyone out there is doing well!
Rick and Jasmine are starting to believe that they are single handedly keeping the mosquito population in Port-au-Prince healthy… despite exorbitant amounts of DEET, each day has brought a fresh onslaught of bites. Thank goodness that we are all on malaria prevention, so these are simply an annoyance rather than a concern. Long live Benadryl!
We upload general day to day pictures into the photo gallery… we invite everyone to take a look at those as well. We are continually amazed at what people carry on their heads… it takes such skill… and their ability to maneuver through the insane traffic without dropping anything. We are also constantly aware that this is still a very ‘hot’ area… there are UN envoys everywhere, with some of the coolest vehicles we’ve ever seen.
This morning we left the house just after 7am… after the torrential downpour that occurred overnight and woke everyone up several times, it was somewhat difficult to get moving very quickly this morning. However, we had a long drive out to the country to see the Caribbean’s largest fish farm production, so we all piled into the waiting taptap and headed off. We were excited to find that leaving at that time of day meant very little time was spent in the traffic jam. Of course this also meant that we were driving fast enough that we couldn’t take the random pictures that we normally do. Lol…
At the fish farm, we had a tour of the production tanks, and then had the chance to speak with Dr. Abe Valentin, the head scientist in charge of aquaculture in Haiti. The production design was interesting, and given that their goal is to build to a level where they are capable of exportation, quite fascinating to hear their long term plans. It is interesting to see that they are using genetic breeding to ensure that they do not have to deal with issues regarding disease and environmental toxicities.
Luckily, Dr. Valentin is friends with the director of the largest, most scientifically run and biosecurity conscious abattoir in Haiti, which was only up the road from the hatchery. Once there we were lucky enough to be able to observe them doing a traditional halal (Muslim) slaughter for some Turkish volunteers who were donating the meat to the village that they were working in. That meant that we got to watch and ask all of our disease control questions during the dressing of the carcass. Tomorrow we get to go see a more traditional abattoir, so it will be interesting to compare the two.
Since we were so close, we stopped at the small village where they make all of the metalwork that Haiti is famous for… bartering with them was difficult – since we weren’t really sure what the actual value of the pieces are and wanted to pay a fair price. In the end we bought little, but instead decided to see the rest of the country so that we could eventually find pieces that ‘spoke’ to us.
A quick stop at the market for vegetables and then we headed for home… we saw our first vehicle accident on the way… and then it was Jasmine’s turn to make dinner…
Thankfully with the dishes done, now all there is to do this evening is relax and enjoy each other’s company for awhile.
Hope that you are all doing well.
Love to you all