How To Make Breakfast In Haiti

I decided to make pancakes for the kids for breakfast recently. I grabbed my homemade baking mix from its shelf (Bisquick is available here but extremely expensive), to which I just needed to add milk and eggs. Easy-peasy. But wait, the mixture had a couple of bugs in it!Haiti Bugs in CoconutI debated whipping up another batch, but that would mean removing a 5lb bag of flour from the freezer (where it stays for its first 24 hours at my house, to kill any bugs that may be living in it), letting the flour get to room temperature, then sifting it for dead bugs. I plucked the bugs from the mixture and moved on to step two.

I cracked the eggs over a small bowl to make sure they weren’t rotten before putting them in the mixing bowl—all good there.

Haiti Footprints in flourStep three: I pulled the milk pitcher from the fridge and realized it was almost empty. Time to make milk! As I moved a bag of coconut to reach the tin of milk powder, I noticed ants crawling on and in the bag, so I tossed it in the trash and made a mental note to buy yet another airtight food container. I measured out one cup of buttery-yellow powder and started adding water from our water cooler (we can’t use tap water here and the filter we used to use didn’t keep out the mosquito larvae, so we switched to bottled water!). Except… the 5 gallon Culligan jug ran out partway through. So I removed the old container, lugged out a new one, took off the plastic seal, cut a hole in the lid, then hoisted it up and set it on its stand and topped off the pitcher.

Haiti PancakesI turned back to my mixing bowl to see that while I had swapped out the water jugs, my three-year-old had decided to “help” stir the baking mix, and there was flour everywhere!
But eventually, the mess was cleaned up, the ingredients were all mixed and cooked, and finally, breakfast was served!


  • Cindy says:

    wow! makes me hungry after all the work you went to, just to make pancakes, Liz you are awesome! Makes me also glad for my pancake mixture that is cheap here. love ya!

  • Alice E Moore says:

    Boy, does that ever sound familiar! We lived in the Congo for many years. We know abut bugs in the flour, water filters, powdered milk, and ants and cockroaches everywhere! We really appreciate MAF and their ministry! Thanks for serving! Blessings to you all.
    Alice and Charles Moore

  • My parents were briefly missionaries in Haiti when I was a kid and this post brought me back! It really IS much harder to do things that we take for granted in the States. And yet, missionaries have it so much ridiculously better than most of the population in Haiti! The image of the beggar kids is indelibly imprinted on my mind. Thanks for sharing!

    • Rebecca – you are very welcome! You are correct that we have it so much better than most… I wonder if I should even write posts like this sometimes, because it’s focusing on my suffering, when I’m surrounded by so much poverty and REAL suffering!

  • Bernice opkv1pc7zw says:

    This great. Brings back memories of those kind of cooking experience when we were in Limbé. Loved it!

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