As everyone gathered into the courtyard of the school, discussions were heard about who goes where, and what tent cities needed the most help. Celeste sat and listened to all the different languages, while admiring the paintings on the concrete walls, the history of Haiti.
Before she knew it, she was handed a cup of strong coffee by one of the Haitian women who rode in the car with her last night; her name was Chantile. Loving the aroma of the intense bean scent, she took a sip and opened her eyes wide! “Holy, Toledo woman, this is some Mississippi mud! Man, I feel some hair will be growing on my chest, if I keep drinkin’ this stuff!” Celeste smiles mischievously at the confused Haitian girl, who didn’t understand Celeste’s English. Geraldy busted out in laughter watching Celeste’s screwed up face expressions, and the confused look of the young Haitian serving girl, thinking she disappointed the American Cowgirl. Geraldy then explained to Chantile that Celeste was joking around with her. Chantile’s grin was breath taking for a young lass in her late teens, as she gawks at Celeste with shyness.
“I’m hungry Geraldy, I brought some Venison Jerky with me and would like to share it, but it has some green chili added on to it. Do you think they would like some?” Celeste questioned Geraldy. “You know Celeste, the Haitian’s have never had jerky, especially from a deer. I am sure they would like to try it, and we do love spicy foods.” Geraldy commented back to Celeste. Quickly, she ran up the stairs and got a bag of the jerky and headed downstairs. She passed out the dried meat to everyone, even the American helpers from New Mexico.
Smiles and delicious remarks were given to Celeste about how good her jerky was. She explained to the French people as Geraldy translated, that she and her husband goes out into the woods, and shoots a deer to store the meat for winter.
Since Celeste didn’t know any French, she became animated with her body language. The people began laughing hard, watching Celeste act out her hunting skills, as Geraldy created the story that was being told to him by Celeste. They learned that she hunted not with a gun like her husband used, but with a bow and arrow. Everyone was involved with the story, till Chantile took a big bite and started to chew on the dry meat.
Without notice, the poor girl must have gotten a good bite of some hot green chili seeds, that was dried onto the meat. Her mouth was on fire! She ran quickly to the kitchen and got herself some cold water. Wrong move on Chantile’s part thinking the cold water would cool her mouth, instead it intensified the heat of the chili. Celeste asked Geraldy to ask if they had milk. Nadia went into the kitchen and came back out with a glass of milk, handing it to Chantile with a giggle.
When Chantile drank the milk, it indeed helped with the fire. Everyone smiled and giggled at Chantile being weak from the heat, especially Geraldy. She then looked at Celeste and smiled. Celeste offered another piece to her, which she quickly refused. Nadia spoke to several gentlemen, with haste Celeste watched one man shimmy up a Coconut tree and threw down two ripe coconuts. She was in awe watching these strong young men climb that tree without any help! Before she knew it, there were several other Haitian men on top of the roof where Celeste slept, trying to help the other men out.
They skilled-fully opened the coconuts, and handed the fresh meat to Celeste. She smiled with glee, never having the pleasure of eating a fresh coconut before. Immediately Chantile pushed her way towards the men, begging to drink the milk that was inside the coconut. Celeste views and chuckles silently as Chantile tips the coconut to her mouth, drinking as much as she could quickly.