calabasse collector

In between our various other activities, Mom has been hard at work with her calabasse project. She is planning to give some gourd art workshops using native Haitian calabasse--probably both at a local art gallery and an elementary school.

Before she can give the classes, she needs the calabasse, so she has been hustling.

While we were still in the States, Mom found a contact who was able to harvest around 40 calabasse and put them out to start drying for us. On Sunday, we met Odines, our contact, and he took us to the edge of the city to meet his friend, who brought us the calabasse. This excursion was an example of how anything we do is really an excuse to make connections. In this case, through getting the calabasse we were able to spend an hour or so talking with Odines. He turns out to be a delightful guy. He speaks English pretty well, although he never had formal lessons. He works for an organization called Food for the Hungry, and has an evident passion for working to help his people.This morning, we were able to procure another batch of calabasse. Caroline, sister of our host and administrator of the school where Mom plans to teach, took us to a tree in a neighborhood nearby.

When we arrived home with the calabasse, Jean-Claude shared a Haitian proverb: Those who walk around searching will always have supper.

Jean-Claude and his family have welcomed us and our calabasse with open arms (and lots of laughter!). They have made space in their courtyard for us to spread the calabasse around to dry in the sun. If they think we're crazy, they haven't mentioned it yet.

And whether or not it is due to Mom's calabasse-scavenging activity, we certainly never go hungry living in this house!

Scrubbing the calabasse
Experimenting with the calabasse

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