This morning we had to make some different plans because the riots had spread. So we went to the poorest school nearby, Ganthier. Over 350 kids attend here. It looks like a blown out WWII building. This school was about to be shuttered until Love a Child took it over. I continue to be amazed at how respectful these kids are.
We then drove out into the bush. When I say bush, I really mean the bush. If you’ve ever watched the Discovery Channel and seen pictures of the African bush, this is just like it. Miles and miles of scrubby thorn trees … as far as you can see. I was in the back of the pickup and after riding for 30 minutes and dodging two inch thorns hanging from trees we can upon a 20×40 foot lean-to with a metal corrugated roof. 125 kids had packed into this school with six “classrooms.” The blackboards were old pieces of quarter inch pressboard with ripped edges and holes (see the photo). As we drove up they were singing at the top of their voices. At every school they sing with great joy and vigor.
When they served the food, everyone waits patiently until the last child gets his or her food. Then they pray in unison and eat. It’s a bit convicting to think that I get impatient when I have to wait more than two minutes in the drive-through at McDonalds.
On our drive out we saw the first UN vehicle with three blue-helmeted soldiers. Under UN mandate, the soldiers can do almost nothing to stem riots or defend the innocent. The saying around here is “send the blue hats home and give us 20 marines.”
The President of Haiti gave a speech today in hopes it would quell the violence. The food prices have jumped astronomically and the people can’t buy food to feed their families. The pent-up anger has spurred these riots.
Thursday, several mission organizations planned to come out to receive Feed my Starving Children food but that has been cancelled because of safety issues for these missionaries traveling with food.
Again, we are safe, but continue to pray for a resolution to this issue.