Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Trip to Mirebelais...



This morning I was awoken by Junior, John McHoul's right hand man on the adoption process...he was 30 minutes early to pick me up so I could go with him on 'an adventure'. Our mission was to go to Mirebelais (sp?) in order to confirm that a death certificate would in fact be on it's way to the central record keeping in Port au Prince. From what I understand, each town has someone in charge of issuing death, marriage, and birth certificates, and when they are completed, they are supposed to make their way to PaP for storage. Part of Junior's job is to make sure that all documents that may be needed in the future are in fact there. I have learned from Junior that you cannot take anything for granted in this process. That every seemingly simple step can in fact be a major stumbling block for adoptions. Apparently, the powers that be are jaded towards adoption, all the way from the UN down. I'll have to look into this more when I get home. Anyway, we go to what would be our clerk of the court, a building next to a UN building, and arrived at 8:00...they don't open until 9:00 (thanks for getting me up early Junior ;), so we ran a different errand first, to find the birth mother of another kid to make sure she can still be located. Junior says, "all I know is that she said she lives near the soccer field". So off we go, asking where the soccer field is, then if anyone knows this lady. To Junior's credit, we found her house fairly quickly, and learned that her father died and she was at his funeral. No problem, we know she is here. In the meantime, Junior looks up and sees someone that he knows from a long time ago who lives nearby...I learned that Junior knows everyone from a long time ago, since he is constantly "planting seeds" and meeting anyone and everyone. He has a photographic memory and remembers faces and situations extremely well...or so it seemed to me.

Then we went back to the clerk, he wasn't there and there was a line of people waiting. Junior calls him, he shows up, we go straight into the office and caught some looks of disapproval from those who were waiting. We go back to this 'Official' office. it consists of a white, 6'x8' room, a wooden desk and two chairs. Nothing else. In the end the man says that he will need to make a book' to send down to PaP, with a fee involved. Junior doesn't need this to happen for a few more months and says he will go tell John. Mission accomplished, the document is on the radar of the clerk, he knows it's important, Junior continues to have a rapport with him, and the price of doing business will be agreed on later. We take so much for granted in the states. Just to get someone to do what they are supposed to be doing in the first place requires a personal visit, and hounding to make sure it gets done.

I gained a greater appreciation for what Junior does. He is good at it, and seems to enjoy it.

My bed and my wife are calling me...good night.

3 comments:

Ryan said...

Mirebalais...man that brings back some good thoughts. That's an awesome photo you have there. I'm assuming that's the new and improved road up the mountain overlooking PAP? It was introduced to me as "Billy Goat Mountain" (not sure if that's cause my dad is from Eastern Kentucky) and it leads through Terra Rouge? Anyways, awesome picture still.

Awesome blog, too. Love to follow fellow Haiti lovers!

Tim and Jen Pearson said...

Ryan,
It is in fact named Mon Cabrit, or Goat Mountain...if you want to throw a "Billy" in there out of respect for Eastern Kentucky, feel free! The road between PaP and Mirebelais is almost complete, from what I hear, it's a HUGE improvement. Hopefully you come back to these comments, becuase I haven't figured out how to be able to respond directly to them!

Ryan said...

Heh. When I was there in September the road was complete through Terra Rouge and it stopped right before the mountain descended back down. Our mission is in Saut d'Eau/Ville Bonnheur so that's the route to take. Funny thing is, when we go in, there's usually three or four Kentuckians, two Tennesseans, one Alabaman, and an Arkansan...we don't throw Billy in there...it's definitely Billy Goat Mountain ;)