Meet Hee Haw. His story will give you a good idea of what the water situation is currently like on the Plateau.
As we move into March, the water holes are all dried up. The amount of “green” has shriveled up and browned considerably. Hungry and thirsty animals roam about—there is no water and there is no grass for them.
When the situation gets desperate, many livestock owners turn their animals loose to fend for themselves. Naturally, they wander to the water hole for a drink. However, a week or so ago, the mud was so thick that three donkeys on separate days got stuck as they tried to reach the water. Two of these died from weakness before anyone noticed them. One of these was Hee Haw’s mother. Our guys took the tractor to lift her out of the water hole and transport her somewhere else. Poor little Hee Haw couldn’t fathom what was happening. He tried to follow the tractor. Manis and Williamso were there, and as we would say in Kreyòl, “their hearts hurt” to see this little donkey foal trying to follow its mother. Williamso picked it up and carried it back to the DDL campus for the time being.
When Ani saw the little donkey, she immediately fell in love with it and named it Hee Haw. He wandered around DDL like a lost puppy for a day or two. Thankfully, he was already able to eat grass and other things, or it is doubtful he would have made it. When the owner of the donkeys was located, he was devastated to learn about the death of the mother. Livestock are a person’s bank account, and in the case of a donkey, also your mode of transport. Ani gathered some money she had saved and offered to buy Hee Haw. The owner was happy to have someone willing to purchase the little donkey and take it off his hands, as well as give him something to help recuperate his loss.
Hee Haw now wanders around Manis and Judy’s yard (and into mine as well) contentedly munching away on anything he can find. He follows everyone around, even tickling you with his lips or licking you occasionally.
At this point, every day makes the water crisis more desperate. March is always a very, very dry, dusty, windy month. Now that the water holes are dry, our community's only water source is the water trucks. The Ti Karenaj project (where we usually get the water) has been down since many weeks before Christmas, and we have had to go a further distance to another water system. Thankfully, we have heard the Ti Karenaj pump will be fixed soon.
We have two water trucks banging, rattling, and wheezing through life over the rough roads. In addition, we have one of our old trucks coming back to the Plateau from Port-au-Prince with a new tank on it. This should help the situation.
But the reality is, nothing alleviates the stress of the water crisis like 1) rain in the mountains which causes water to rush down the ravines to refill the water holes and 2) rain on the Plateau to cause grass and other forage to grow. Clouds have been building up and rain has fallen in other areas, but not where we need it yet. Please pray that God would fill the water holes and cause some rain to fall on the Plateau, so that people and animals alike can find relief in their daily struggle for survival.
[All your creatures] depend on you
to give them food as they need it.
When you supply it, they gather it.
You open your hand to feed them,
and they are richly satisfied.
But if you turn away from them, they panic.
When you take away their breath,
they die and turn again to dust.
When you give them your breath, life is created,
and you renew the face of the earth.
May the glory of the LORD continue forever!
The LORD takes pleasure in all he has made!