Written by Cody Hiles, member of Lutheran Church of Hope team
Today the house started to awaken at 5:00 AM. I, along with 6 others from our group, began the day climbing Mt. Pignon. This was not an easy activity, but the feeling of accomplishment made the journey well worth it. Dosley, our guide up the mountain, knew some of the children that lived in the area and they decided to trek up the mountain with us. It was so fun to watch these boys run circles around us the whole way up and did not break a sweat. It was also a great experience that as we started our hike hardly any communication was exchanged as there was the language barrier between us. However, as we reached the top and had a moment to enjoy the view and share our granola bars with them, the language barrier had become no longer an issue. The kids joined us in our “selfie” session we had to celebrate our climb to the top. We also laughed and joked with them as we made our journey back down. It’s really cool to think about how we had overcome the language barrier and built a little friendship with these kids.
A view from the mountain.
After the hike we met up with the rest of our group at the Pignon house where we would change clothes and get ready to go to the market. The market was unreal. People who have traveled miles by foot and by donkey from the surrounding communities packed the market. This is where people come to make their living. They’re selling everything from spices, produce, livestock, to household goods and clothing. And it was hot today! It really makes you think how well we have it. We complain about the 10 minute drive that’s turned 20-30 minutes because of traffic. Let’s not forget this ride is likely heated or air conditioned and the jobs we are traveling to will also be heated or air conditioned. These things are nothing compared to an hour and a half walk in the hot sun to the market where it is likely that you may not sell anything.
We wrapped up the day with delivering a goat to a handful of families in the area. Upon agreeing to accept the goat, the family agrees that they will pay it forward by giving the first-born goat back to MH4H to provide for another family. It was awesome to see the faces on these people as they were given their goat. You could see that they were very grateful for what they received.