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Fire Safety Team

The fire safety team arrived Tuesday in PAP- 2 ½ hours late after long flight delays @ Miami international airport. Because of the recent heavy rain, they were treated to some adventurous 4 wheel driving by Zach as he negotiated washed out roads and mountainsides in the dark. The team of two firefighters traveled from North Hays County Fire Rescue, just outside Austin, Texas. Chuck January and Jacob Wade both returned for their 2nd and 4th trips respectively to RHFH. With the help of local translator Gilbert, they ventured out into Cazale and surrounding villages to educate school children on fire and cooking safety, and their main topic of “stop drop and roll,” or as we say en kreyol- “Kanpe, Kouche, Woule!” To conclude each class, they had kids volunteer to practice “Kanpe, Kouche, Woule” on their colorful mat, and then they handed out pencils with a fire safety message written in kreyol.

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Over 4 days, they were able to educate 1,337 school children in Cazale, and 455 additional schoolchildren and adults in the surrounding communities of Sophie, Germain, and Bethel. They hiked, crossed rivers, and rode on the backs of motorcycles to cover the territory. Maybe next year they’ll try horseback. Schools let out around 12:30, so they spent most of their afternoons around the guest house or clinic, helping with patients, or fixing doors and sinks. Of course the kids staying here @ RHFH were treated to “rolling chair races” and other games courtesy of the firemen. They even hosted a fire safety class for the RHFH kids on Thursday afternoon, and took them to the river to splash around and slide through the culverts running under the bridge. Early Monday morning, they caught a ride to Titanyen, where they plan to stay for 2 days teaching 2,000+ schoolchildren at Mission of Hope, before flying back to Texas on Wednesday.

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Even though they were busy teaching, they learned many valuable lessons themselves…

. “1 honk…caution. 2 honks…hit the deck. 3 honks…hang on for dear life. That’s what we learned about riding through the city at night with Zach.”

Sweaty naps are the best.

It’s perfectly normal to ride on a motorcycle with 2 other people. None of whom know you or one another.-and there’s always room for 1 more…

The basketball game doesn’t stop when it gets dark-it just gets way more unpredictable.

The waterfall is a long hike up the river-but definitely worth it.

Piggy-back rides are a hot commodity at RHFH.

Mountains look a lot smaller before you start to climb them.

Moustaches grow faster when you’re taking a nap.

“Degage” translation: Make it work with what you have.-This applies to everything.

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