Farming can be a difficult job everywhere in the world, and wherever you go farmers will have different struggles. In Haiti we battle heat, drought, archaic practices and personally SWF (Single White Female) syndrome in a male dominated culture. I can’t tell you how many times I have had tools taken out of my hands and told “tell me what to do.” For those of you who know me, you can imagine my response…
“Gi’mme back my hoe so I can dig in the dirt” is the polite version. 😉
The truth about successful farming and gardening operations, no matter how big or small, is that at the core of it there is someone who absolutely loves what they are doing. At Bonne Terre, we have two of those people.
A little over 3 years ago I was introduced to a man who was renting land to garden outside the city of Ouanaminthe. About a mile off the main road we drove on motorcycles until a certain point where we had to hike in from there. His wife had recently found a job at the Levi factory in Ouanaminthe, so he was new to town and this was the only spot of land he could find to rent from someone. I remember thinking how far out of town it was compared to where they lived (at least 10 miles which he walked each day). We shared seeds and I took note of how organized he was, even on such a small patch of land. This mans name was Molieux.
Fast forward 8 months and Bonne Terre is in need of new staff. By this time we had gone through 4 – 5 full/part time staff on the farm ranging in age from 20-somethings to 50-somethings. None have had the love of farming that Bonne Terre needed to thrive.
With Molieux comes his intergrity, passion to learn, and care for the land and animals on the farm. HE’S A GEM. He is studying for a certificate in Agriculture on the weekends, studies everything I bring back when I am able to take a course, and will be going to his first Bio-Intensive workshop here in Haiti later this month. Being able to invest in him, introduce him to different farming techniques and his education is a blessing that will benefit us in the long run.
Last week I met a young man in his 20’s who was in agriculture school but had to drop out because of a sibling becoming ill. I introduced him to Molieux and it was great to see how the 2 got excited about talking all things agriculture. It breaks my heart to see that a decision had to be made between a child’s education and another child’s health. Of course health has to come first, however $600 USD/year is all that is needed for the next 3 years for this guy to finish school. This happens all too often here because life is so difficult and wages are way too low. One of my goals for the future is to have included in our fundraising efforts a place where we can get scholarships to students who deserve it so they can improve their lives through their own hard work. Molieux has been a tremendous inspiration in that.
This July we hope to spark a love and inspiration in our Summer student interns as they come for a Summer of learning and working on the farm. Molieux will be supervising them and be a great example for them to learn from. Make sure yiu check our blog regularly and watch the progress this summer.
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Bonne Terre Haiti
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