On each MFM trip to Haiti that my husband, Bill, and I have helped build homes in Bon Repos, one lady’s life has become more visible to me each time. Her name is Mita.
The first time I met her was by accident. I heard some of the ladies in the area were having a Dorcas meeting in one of the finished houses. I quietly slipped into the small living room where about 10 ladies were seated, some on benches and some on the cement floor.
The doors were open for ventilation. Although, I couldn’t understand all the Creole spoken, several ladies took turns sharing, one of whom was Mita.
She was very thin and frail appearing, but it was clearly evident that she was a leader, and her faith was strong.
On another trip to the area, several ladies and I assisted Mita and her oldest daughter wash their family clothes. They had carried water from a nearby well to fill separate containers for washing and rinsing.
We watched as Mita’s daughter took a long, slender stick of soap and sliced tiny slivers with a knife into the wash pan full of water. I wondered why she was doing this instead of using the stick of soap.
My question was answered when she formed the tiny soaked pieces into a large ball. Then, she showed us how to use the ball to scrub each shirt collar and sleeve using wrist motions up her arm. It was quite a technique, and no wonder their clothes are so clean! After the pan was full of soaped clothes, we rinsed them in two other containers filled with fresh water.
As we sat on the ground or porch working, we had a great time talking together. It was then Mita smiled, looked at me, and said, “You have a machine.” Meekly, I smiled back and only answered, “Yes.” I didn’t want to tell her I had a dryer. She only had two clothes lines with no clothespins. When she ran out of line, articles were draped over the cement wall or hung on nails protruding from the wall. Underwear pieces were carefully tied over the line so they wouldn’t blow off.
We asked our truck driver to take us to the nearest market to buy clothespins and clothes lines for Mita and other families. It was a wonderful time together!