May 1 is ‘Fet Agrikilti e Travay’, Agriculture and Labor Day, a holiday in Haiti. This is a special day to celebrate this very thing as a nation!
Friday, April 30, MH Chaplains and Agronomy department together offered a special day of activities for hands on learning for all the students on Many Hands campus. Approximately 100 students started the time together in the Equipping Center by hearing from Pastor Jean Ronel who encouraged them to honor God by clapping their hands to acknowledge God created all things including the fruits displayed here: Mango (Mangoes), Seriz (Cherries), Papay (Papaya), Anana (Pineapple), Tamaren, Citron.
Jean Ronel led the students as they learned and recited Hebrews 11:3. Se konfyans nan Bondye ki fe nou ka konprann se ak pawol Bondye te kreye tout bagay. Li sevi ak sa je pa ka we pou li fe tout sa je ka we. Ebre 11:3 Haitienne (My translation of the Kreole version is as follows…. It is confidence in God that makes us able to understand it was God’s word that created everything. He uses all the eye cannot see to make all the eye can see.)
The English Standard Version translation says this… By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. Hebrews 11:3 ESV
Agronomist Claudin taught the students that agriculture includes work with vegetables and animals. He helped the students realize the importance of Agriculture in economic development by stating that many countries that have economic success have strong agriculture. The proclamation, “If you don’t work, you don’t have food”, is commonly heard in Haitian society. With the help of the teachers, the students were able to sample each of the fruits featured today.
In an orderly fashion, the students transitioned to the shade house where class by class, Claudin helped them see and understand this beautiful growing environment. Food produced here is part of lunch that is prepared and served during MH education programs.
The next stop, the newly prepared space for planting nearly 100 papaya trees. Agronomy workers had pre-dug the holes and Claudin demonstrated how compost is added into the soil when the trees are planted. This compost is called ‘bagas’ and is decomposed sugar cane stalk which is leftover after the sugarcane goes through the sugar cane press.
The sun is HOT at this point in the morning but the kids and helpers, including Ag Tech David Alcina, persevered to bring the ‘oh!-so-important’ WATER to the newly planted trees.
A precious gift came at the end of the day. Each student went home with a Papaya tree seedling to plant in their ‘lakou’, their yard. The teachers were excited to also be blessed with some seedlings to take home: Papaya, Sweet Orange, and Avocado. The teachers were encouraged to ask the students on Monday if they planted their tree at home.
David was on MH campus Saturday morning. His task… water these papaya tree seedlings. Rainy season is nearly here. Hopefully a couple weeks of watering and rain will take over that part of his job.