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Heat and Light

May 24, 2011

My skin glistens in the light, small beads of sweat exuding from every pore on my face and arms. Occasionally I feel a tiny rivulet wriggle down my back. My shirt clings to me, damp and sticky. I have aggravated the situation by starting to prepare our dinner, boiling black beans and baking oatmeal raisin cookies. In an attempt to reduce the number of bug bites on my legs I soak myself down in insect repellent. My perspiration washes it off in a few minutes and I have to reapply.

I rattle some ice into a large glass and fill it with water from the cooler, adding a splash of lime juice. I changed the bottle again last evening; that makes 15 gallons since I returned. I decide to check Weather.com. Tiny static electricity charges prickle my forearms where they touch the aluminum body of my laptop. Our Internet connection is excruciatingly slow this morning. I shouldn’t bother. Hot is hot. Why do I need to know how hot? The information isn’t even local anyway. Finally the weather comes up on my screen. A system is crossing Haiti, bringing rain. But it’s too far south; we likely won’t see any.

Evening arrives accompanied by the grumbling harbinger of rain. The old curmudgeon held true to his promise.

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Today I accompanied the installation team to the communities of Ogè and Coutaut in the Artibonite. What I enjoy most about these trips is the people. They are so gracious, so hospitable, so engaging. They almost always bring a chair into a shady spot. They are quick with a smile and what little conversation we can manage. When there was a brief shower, chairs were immediately arranged on someone’s porch for us to wait out the rain.

The faces of so many of the people I encounter radiate character. It is simply a delight to try to capture the light behind their eyes. I would love to be able to share more of the hundreds of photos I have taken, but you’ll have to settle for a few of my favourites for now.  Just click on the pictures for a larger view.

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