- The start of the new school year, 11th October
- Continued safety on the construction site
- Self Help Group – four Haitians are now in Ethiopia for three months training and education
I am writing this on Monday morning, refreshed by a relaxing Sunday. It was a well deserved day off as last week became quite an arduous one; we had volunteers with us until Friday. Then we had the long trip into Port-au-Prince to take them to the airport, which we combined with other errands. One errand that was only 7 miles from the airport of which took over 2 hours to complete. We journeyed to an area northwest of Port and had a long wait in traffic crossing a bridge, each way, that was being repaired. We arrived back in G.G. just in time to host a supper for 17 visitors. The visitors were a combination of a medical, economic development fact finding and Haitian CHE/EKS trainers. Madame Moise excelled, as usual, with her cuisine and Jeanson was able to do a quick turnaround of the guest house to accommodate them all. We had an interesting evening discussing possible avenues of ministry in the G.G. area and it was good to connect with experienced missionaries within our CBF partnership. The following morning we were up early to cook a breakfast for them all and see them on their way.
We were sad to see the Pamona team leave, they were a loving group and tears were shed, particularly from the children as they loved the Vacation Bible School It was run for them by 2 ladies on the team, for an hour or so each day. I know that the team was disappointed to leave the rubble house unfinished. They had quite a few periods of heavy rain which slowed progress and they also had a larger than usual house to complete so it wasn’t so unexpected.
One of the hardest parts of living abroad is leaving the family and not being around when important events occur. The passing of my Uncle Michael has been such a time and I am so sorry that I could not attend his funeral last Friday, in the UK. He was an extremely well loved and skilled Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon and his modesty over his achievements were an inspiration to me. He lived a long, happy and fulfilled life and I am sure he has already heard the words “well done my good and faithful servant”; but he will be greatly missed.
One of our blog questions has been “What sort of laborers build the rubble houses?” They consist of a small team of paid Haitians workers, the family of the house being built and the family of the previous rubble house. The US Volunteer teams work alongside the Haitians. It is hoped that the current Haitian crew will become familiar with the construction process and may be able to become team leaders of additional teams so several homes can be built at one time.
Great news! We are back on line. It took a few days longer than both Moise and I had hoped, however, the batteries are in a much healthier state and the noisy generator does not need to be run so much.
The well at the volunteer house was completed on Friday. This is an exciting project as we hope, when it is complete, that the well will provide water to three communities as well as the volunteer house. We hope that the second location will be drilled before the end of the week. This location is across the main river and the drilling rig will have to ford the river and drive along a track made just for the rig to get to the site.
The school construct continues. The foundations are being dug for the 7th,8th and 9th class rooms, this will be one building. This will run parallel to the river, along the back of the school property. Classrooms 1 and 2 have the krepisaj/Stucco finished and rooms 3 and 4 are being worked on. It was sad to see a mango tree had to be cut down, as it was in the middle of room 7 and as the new buildings are built around the corner another tree will have to go. We have been assured that the school will plant new trees and, when we come back in 10 years, after we leave we will be able to meet under the shade of the new trees that will have replaced the trees that were cut down.
The tin framed house, at Siloë, has been ear marked for Jenny’s medical clinic. Work on the krepisaj/Stucco was started this week. This is also an exciting project and should provide extra space for Jenny.
The English always talk about the weather! This last week has been wet! Grand Goâve had the weather systems that were associated with the tropical depressions that have been in the Caribbean / South USA areas. We “just got wet” and were spared the high winds. At times like this we realize how truly blessed we are. Many, many of our Haitian families had to weather the rain in their home made tents, divert water away from their “homes”, and hopefully not into other “homes”. After any rain storm there is a lot of trash that floats from the corners, walls and trash piles into the streets. The community tidies up this trash but often it is put back where it came from - the corners, walls and trash piles by the side of the road.
Haiti is having a national election in November. Grand Goâve, like so many other towns, is caught up in the political vote canvassing. Posters are appearing all over town, parades are taking place and street banners across the streets are popping up. The locals are wearing tee-shirts of their party affiliation. Our local politicians have set up work programs for the benefit of the communities they serve and we have had some streets cleaned and drains dug. The town does look neater. The street wall and gate of our house were adorned with the posters of one candidate and Tikamie, our security guard, was not happy – even though he seems to like the candidate – after ripping off the posters he then had a excited discussion in which I was able to hear that the “missionary had no vote so don’t put posters on their wall”. The political rallies are street shows that move through town with a lot of noise. These rallies are accompanied with many motor cycles all using their horns to announce the arrival and departure of the candidate as the walk through the town. I a msure the enthusiasm for the the politicians will rise as the election nears.