Monday, January 25, 2010

News from Juampas

I just spoke with Jessica (on Nathan's phone) for about 30 minutes.

She's good. She's tired and dirty--there's just no way to stay clean, apparently--but she says she doesn't really mind.

Today Nathan and Jessica distributed medical supplies to the clinic. Then they played games with hoards of children who were amused to no end by the hand-slapping game that Jessica and Nathan taught them, and by Nathan's antics in particular (I think she said there was butt shaking involved). Jessica replaced whatever piece of garbage some of the girls were using as jump rope with a length of clothes line that I gave her, and did some twirling herself. Later she did her best to keep up with the women who were washing clothing (by hand of course, with bleach), but her middle-class-conveniences-soft skin was no match for the professionals, and her wrists are chafed and sore.

She's using what little scraps of French she recalls to communicate as best as she can with the locals. She's sweating and running out into whatever rain falls at all hours for a free shower. Some of the locals point and say "blanc" when they see her and the kids swarm to touch and braid her strange soft, straight hair.

As we spoke, Nathan and Johnston, a local who crawled to safety from the earth quake wreckage of a collapsed school building, were in the next room discussing God, naturally.

It sounds like the experience is powerful for her. Juampas, the village where Jessica and Nathan are stationed, is located, as Jessica puts it, in the most beautiful landscape she has ever seen--"more beautiful than Hawaii," she says. However, the poverty is also worse than anything she has ever seen, and this is, apparently, one of the better-off villages.

And she's never met friendlier people.

Tomorrow they head down into Port-au-Prince with the two trucks that HopeH is purchasing for $400 to round up as many orphans and pregnant women as they can who are willing to relocate to Juampas, at least temporarily, with the promise of the kinds of resources and medical supplies that are running dry in the devastated capitol.

Jessica says that her initial anxiety about the trip has dissolved into frustration that she can't do more to help.


  1. Please keep this updated as often as possible. I pray for you and those you are with. Maman