|Meeting the Jean-Pierre family.|
When I was young, I remember hearing stories from my parents about how easy we had it relative to what they had growing up. It was a running joke among kids my age that everyone’s parents walked miles to school in the snow, and it was uphill both ways. Well, the people of Haiti never walk miles in the snow—the country is a sauna—but they certainly have to go to great lengths to try to get ahead in life. Take Lourde Jean-Pierre's family, for example.
|Lorde's daughter aspires to become a nurse.|
A family of four (Lourde, her husband, and two children ages 11 and 14), the Jean-Pierre’s don’t let obstacles get in their way. Their daughter wants to become a nurse. In an effort to make that dream a reality, she walks two hours to school each day. Lourde’s husband, Jwa-Laisse, is a fisherman. Unlike most of his peers, he doesn’t use boats and nets. He finds that he catches more fish by diving with a mask and spearing them. If he can’t find enough fish in the lagoon, he swims out to the Carribean Ocean. Sometimes he swims so far that he accidentally crosses into the Dominican Republic. When he does, they arrest him and send him back, but he is not deterred. He will do what it takes to provide for his family.
Jwa-Laisse told us, “Our old house was made of mud and metal sheets for the roof. It leaked so much. It was like Jesus himself came to build this new house for us.” He is very proud of the village and of the construction. “God made a special place. He wanted to protect this community…I cannot find words for this gift. I am so, so proud. It was God that made this gift to us."
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