“My god, Geraldy, how long do you think these people can handle this horrible situation?”

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Indeed, the day was very long for Celeste, and with the lack of sleep Celeste was experiencing, all she wanted to do is lay her head down on a sandy beach, and sleep the day away; however, with her luck it was not going to happen. The only thing that kept her going, was the fact, she had finally met her grandmother. It didn’t matter if it was in a dream or not, the honor of seeing her, and her grandfather was exciting; nevertheless, the situation with Valis was set in stone. There was no way she could go around it.

As Geraldy and Celeste started their day, they headed to several tent cities. Giving medical aid, and helping the Haitian’s as much as possible. Celeste was appalled with their living conditions. No running fresh water, no privacy, tents made of plastic tarps, yet throughout all this destruction, the Haitian’s stayed friendly and humble.

The children stole Celeste’s heart. For hours she sat in different areas of the tent city, playing games with the kids, and showing them how to blow bubbles with gum. She was happy, she decided to buy a bunch of gum for the trip. It came in handy for the children, who was staving for food and lack of fresh water. One little boy about 8 years old, followed Celeste everywhere she went. At times, he would reach for her hand to hold, but was scared to touch Celeste. Celeste felt his insecurity, she smiled at him, reached for his hand, and both walked together not saying a word. Geraldy commented that he thought the boy was in love.

The young Haitian boy was fascinated by her cowboy hat, and golden soft hair.  He would frivolously touch the brown eagle feather. The same eagle feather she caught floating down from the sky, the night she prepped to leave for Haiti. At times, he would fondle her locks of hair, while smiling at his companions. Proving he was the bravest of all the children to be close to the cowgirl.

Celeste liked her cowboy hat, it hid her different color eyes from people. Nothing prepped her for his reaction when she took her hat off, and placed it upon the little man’s head. The children boomed with laughter.  The hat was too big for the little boy as it covered his eyes, and fell upon the bridge of his nose. Celeste smiled richly. The children began to talk in French to each other, the little boy who wore Celeste’s hat took it off, and smiled at her.  His lips went into a (O) pattern, then pointed to her eyes.  He quickly looked at Geraldy for answers.  Geraldy saved the day!  He told them in French that she was a special American Indian person.  The children then started to touch Celeste, in awe.

When the time came to leave in the evening, Celeste was exhausted and hungry. The little boy made Celeste promise in French she would return. Giving her word, she released him and said her good-bye’s. On their way home, she made a statement to Geraldy. “My god, Geraldy, how long do you think these people can handle this horrible situation?”  “Well Celeste, they have lived their life without, for so long, they just adjust and make do.” Geraldy proclaimed. Celeste didn’t say anymore, until they arrived at their school. “Do you all have woods, or forest here, Geraldy?” He quickly answered her, “No, not really Celeste. The Haitian’s use timber to cook their food.  So to find dry woods in this part, is sparse. I will take you tomorrow to some agriculture plantations, your expertise will be greatly appreciated.” “Geraldy, can you tell me why all those children’s bellies were protruding outwards?” Geraldy sadly stated, “They are malnutrition, Celeste. They live on nothing but rice.”

As they walked through the school’s doors, they were greeted by the rest of the group. Celeste was so tired, but she put her happy face on, baring and grinning it. All she wanted to do is sleep, but food was calling to her more than ever.  The delicious smell of food, made her taste buds water.  She couldn’t remember when she really ate a good meal since leaving New Mexico.

Chantile, smiled sweetly to her offering Celeste a plate of food.  The cowgirl looked at the food upon the plate. Feeling guilty to eat when others had none, she gracefully excepted, and asked Geraldy what kind of meat was layered upon the white rice. “Oh, Celeste just taste it, and I will tell you what it is if you like it!”  Geraldy smiled at her. She scooped a spoon full of the food to taste.  Slowly, she chewed the sweet tasting soft meat, that was smothered in a juicy brown gravy. Celeste loved the taste, and looked at Geraldy with acceptance. “It is goat meat, Celeste, you like?”  “I never knew that goat tasted this good, Geraldy, amazing.” Celeste relished the meat until her plate was clean. Still hungry, she didn’t want to ask for more, so went into the kitchen and asked Chantile, if she could help clean up the kitchen. Chantile was confused, and didn’t understand Celeste.  Without haste, Celeste started to act out her intentions. Picking up dirty dishes and putting them under the sink faucet, while pretending to wash the dishes. Chantile caught on, and smiled with a yes. The kitchen became a laughter house, Celeste was making the serving girls giggle with glee. In no time at all, the dishes were done, and Celeste excused herself. Her bed was calling to her more than ever. All she wanted now, was sleep!

As she laid her head upon her bed, she said her evening mediation prayer to the dark heavens, and immediately drifted off to sleep.

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