While in Chantal, I found several women in my neighborhood with new babies. At least three or four women had given birth since I had left last year. Only one was married. The children are adorable, but I have no idea how these women can support a child
. The family usually takes care of them: the parents of the woman. I do not know how they manage it, but some how they get along. Some wanted a baby, others, needed money and if you are in a relationship with a man here, he supports you if he can. It would not be called prostitution, but financial support for sexual favors isn't exactly what we would call a good relationship. Sometimes after a child, the man leaves the woman. One just never knows. The women do have the possibility to work, so often if they are not married yet or their husband died, they are forced to rely on others who may or may not take advantage of their situations. Since Chantal does have a health clinic where the ladies can take their children for medicine, they most likely will all live. Of the four, I think only one had not already had some problem with sores, illness, or fever. At least one child has HIV/AIDS, though the mother has never been tested, it is most likely positive.
One thing to note. Haitians do not usually hug people, the common greeting is a kiss on the cheek or handshake. I received more hugs than I had for the whole two years, in the few days that I visited my village. Everyone thought I had forgotten them. When I showed them part of my scar from open heart surgery, they were surprised, thanked God that I was alive and understood my waiting to visit. This also helped them understand why I didn't bring them anything, as I couldn't work due to surgery. Yet some, still asked what I brought them. Sorry, nothing, but myself to some time to talk.
The visit was good and made me want to spend more time with them on my next visit. When? They asked. "Le Bondye voye'm anko" (When God sends me here again). They nodded and are praying for my return.
I too pray for when I can go back to visit them again.
Down south I spent some time with missionaries down here and we went to Ile a Vache, a beautiful island with crescent sand beaches, for a time of relaxing. The Haitians walked around with us, joked with us, and found coconuts to eat. The wind was strong every day we were there which didn't help the dryness of no rain. There are not many sources of water, and without the rain, the wells were even fewer. Many mosquitoes also makes this island not as much as a paradise that it seems to be. There is a library there, though not all can read. Several of the children asked for money for school. Since I didn't have much with me, I could not offer them any help in this matter.