Louisimène has just been through a rough period. “I’m okay now, but I was really sick. I didn’t think I’d make it, but thanks to the Lord, I’m still here.”
She went to the small public health center in Kolonbyè rather than the better-equipped PIH hospital at La Colline. Even Kolonbyè is a long walk from her home in Gwo Labou, especially for a woman who isn’t feeling well, but it is much closer than La Colline. The care itself would have been cheaper at La Colline. Services at PIH clinics is almost free for everyone and it is free for members of our program. But she couldn’t walk all the way to La Colline, and she couldn’t afford the price of getting there any other way.
She and her family are still struggling because of the loss of their last bean harvest, but they are getting by. They have some plantains they can harvest, and these days both she and her husband can find day labor in their neighbors’ field to buy the rest of the food they need to eat.
Louisimène still believes that farming is her key to moving forward, though, and she and her husband are looking around to see where they can borrow a couple of cans of beans to plant for the fall harvest, which is generally more reliable than the spring one.
Her livestock has increased some, but not much. She now has three goats rather than the two that we gave her, but her attempt to raise a pig has led to a problem. The pig died early on, and she immediately did as she was instructed to do. She got help from a member of the CLM Village Assistance Committee in her neighborhood to sell the meat. The sale raised 2750 gourds.
But such meat is almost always sold on credit because the seller really has no choice. They need to get rid of it right away. Louisimène’s case was no different. But it has been months, and Louisimène hasn’t seen any of the money yet, nor does she have any idea when she might. Louisimène is shy about addressing Michel, the man who undertook to sell the meat, about her money. She will need her case manager’s help to get what she is owed. She already knows that she’ll do with the money. She wants to buy another small pig.
The slow progress of her livestock and the loss of her beans has put her in a quandary. She had been hoping that she would finally be able to send her girl to school this year, and the girl very much wants to go, but Louisimène doesn’t yet see where the money will come from.