As our week comes to a close, we had planned to spend the last couple of days at the university, but when in Haiti one must remain flexible because there is always an opportunity for last minute changes to a planned schedule that just adds to the excitement of the week.
Through the many people we met this week, someone informed us that there was a man who was running a fish farming project who may be able to sell us some Fingerlings (small baby Tilapia). After a few phone calls we located the fish farmer and headed out to see him about a half hour from the university where we had spent the morning putting the final touches on the ponds to prepare them to receive their first inhabitants. The visit to the fish farm proved to be very interesting and the man who owned it was willing to sell us 50 Fingerlings. The catch was that they were a lot more expensive than the ones we could order from Port au Prince. We decided that after all the hard work everyone put in all week (especially the workers who prepared the ponds, they are the real heroes), we really wanted to be here to release the first fish into the ponds since we are heading back home on Sunday.
We had an appointment with the president of the university at noon and we were covered in mud from the morning’s work, so we had a quick shower and lunch before heading back to the university. We were greeted by a very friendly gentleman who started off the conversation with his expression of gratitude for the work we are committed to doing at the university. He was very pleased with the progress so far and promised us his full cooperation. He also mentioned that once the ponds were all set up, he would like the community to be invited to the university to see the project and see the work that has been done. “Share the knowledge” was the underlying message that I understood. During our conversation he mentioned that, “hope is like currency to the people of Haiti.” I really loved hearing him say that in a most genuine way. Hope costs us nothing and its always available to give to someone who needs it. And lets face it, at some point, we all need it.
We are planning on being at the university very early tomorrow morning to make sure we are ready to fill the ponds and receive the first fish by the day’s end.