Friday, April 22, 2005

Meet Silvio. He was dropped off here by his "aunt" who just took off. Gotta say that he wasn't too happy at first as you can see but he is already smiling and playing with the others. We need to set up an investigation unit to look into these cases. If the word gets out that we take in kids who are abandoned or left at our gate, we'll be swamped!!  Posted by Hello
Hair loss and discoloration are usually signs of a very poor diet.  Posted by Hello
Evens was sitting outside our gate when I returned from the clinic. One look at his hair and extended stomach tells me that he is malnourished. Father's deceased and mother left him with an aunt who cannot care for him. We will investigate and Evens will probably become a new member of the Espwa family. Posted by Hello
Here is Aurel at Dr. Remarais' clinic. He'll be there a few days under supervision and then come home. His treatment plan is eight months long!  Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 21, 2005

This is Aurel in his "spektak" costume amazing his audience with his juggling routine. Please say a prayer that his health be restored.  Posted by Hello

Prayers needed

A couple of days ago, Aurel Phanor lost consciousness and fell on the pavement near our washing area. It took a few minutes to get him to come around and he was disoriented and confused. Brought him to the hospital where all they could do was get him set up for various tests the following day, yesterday. The results from those tests showed that he has tuberculosis and that he has had it quite a while. The doctor said that Aurel's left lung is beyond repair and that the liquid in that lung had displaced Aurel's heart to the point that Aurel has chest pains. Doc said that he has suffered lots of pain for at least two months. Poor kid! Aurel is one of my brighest- always first in his class. He is quiet and reserved with an easy smile. He's also my best juggler and our "spektak" coordinator. Seems he has had a low grade fever for quite a while, has gently complained of chest pain and loss of appetite but no one saw the signs. Please add your prayers to mine and the kids' for Aurel. Our medical director, Dr. Cynthia DeSoi, has started a TB prevention program and Aurel's case proves how important that is here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Tempus fugit !!

Where does the time go? It has been hectic here of late. Lots of changes in personnel and some necessary implementations of new protocols and procedures. Budget problems have forced us to sell two vehicles: one was ready to keel over and croak and we were using extraordinary measures to keep it going (chicken wire and glue) and the other was under-utilized. Have had to do a little more walking these last few days but that's good exercise. Will be posting several photos of the newly arrived boys shortly. Each has a sad story, of course, and their coming here changes everything.
When you have a chance look up Global Peace Containers using Google. Dick Martin, one of the co-founders, has visited us and will be helping us build a Primary School at Castel-Pere using old shipping containers. This recycling of containers fits in well with our ecological approach at the village/farm. Speaking of recycling, we have had no luck with our BioGas system. We are disappointed as this would have been a huge savings in the cooking fuel department. We're now in the process of building a "normal" latrine system. All that potential methane and excellent fertilizer going down the tube... darn!

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

About time we introduce you to the man behind the lens. This is Nick, our photographer and all around Jack-of-all-trades, in his office with Biondy and Dukenson, brothers from a small town about an hour from here. Since his arrival in January Nick has been hard at work documenting what we do, helping us come up with better filing systems, teaching English to the boys, working on a solar cooking system, seeing to the medical needs of the kids... We are very lucky to have him with us! Nick is a graduate of Loyola University in Chicago and plans on returning to school soon for a Masters. His passion, his insights and his commitment to our mission have proven invaluable. Thank you, Nick, and may God bless you for all your work in bringing "espwa" to the children of southern Haiti. This isn't the best photo of him but what do you expect when the project's photographer is the photo's subject ??!!Posted by Hello

Our reason for being here

I was sitting outside in the shade enjoying the afternoon breeze when one of my boys asked me if I wanted to meet his younger brother. Yvio Castel was standing a few feet away with his eyes downcast. We started to talk and he told me his story. His mother and father are both deceased. No family could or would take him in so a nice neighbor welcomed him into her small home. This woman is poor and could not afford to pay the rent when it came due so she and her children had to vacate and Yvio could not go with her. Yvio was allowed to sleep on another neighbor's porch and would eat the scraps of their meals in exchange for cleaning up after them. That was all he had to eat and it shows as his hair is turning rust color from malnutrition. I asked him why he wasn't able to live with an aunt or uncle or grandparent. He lowered his eyes and his head and he whispered, "because no one loves me". Yvio is eleven years old and the newest member of the Espwa family where hopefully he will learn that he is loved.
Yvio Castel Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 9, 2005

I thought you should see this little boy. Nick was on a mission to photograph some thing or other and came across the boy just as you see him. There was no one around. Nick got someone to translate for him and asked the boy where his mother was. He answered that she was away but did not know where or when she would return. It was morning and he should have been in school. Thanks to your help we are making a difference in the lives of hundreds of children here but there are so many more. Please help us reach out to others who can support our work so that we don't come across so many of these little ones. Thank you. Posted by Hello
What a contrast with the above photo!! Guerlain and TiDenis enjoying kindergarden in our makeshift school at Castel-Pere. That's Ti-ComPere sneaking a peek over TiDenis' shoulder. Posted by Hello
Who needs hoola hoops when you've got old bike tires handy? Jean-Ourdy and Alexis taking the tires out for a spin!! Posted by Hello

Update on the Housing Project

And here is a photo of the Barbot family in front of their new home which is near completion. They are beyond happy. With tear-filled eyes and a haltering voice Mr Barbot said, "Bondye beni nou. Mesi, mesi, mesi mil fwa!" --May God bless you all. Thank you, thank you, a thousand times thank you! Posted by Hello
Remember the Barbot family? Here they are in front of their old home. Posted by Hello

Friday, April 8, 2005

Answered prayers !!

Thank you, Lord, for the blessed rain which started on Tuesday announcing the badly needed rainy season. There's water for the animals and the fields; there's water for the rice paddies and for laundry; there's water to nourish our little gardens, our banana trees and papaya plants. We have had losses but now we look forward as through a grimy windshield that has just been washed clean.

John Piccolo and Dee Orlowski arrived on Tuesday and John left this morning. He was impressed with the children and the various programs to assist them in becoming healthy, productive and moral individulals. Thank you for your visit, John. Please come back and bring your wife, Penny. Dee will be with us another week and is already giving the kitchen staff a helping hand. She'll be tackling an administrative project along with Nick as soon as he is healthy. Nick picked up a parasite ot two but is recuperating well.

Thnak you all for your comments and for your prayers.

Monday, April 4, 2005

Did you know?

Did you know that you can make comments on various articles or photos on this blog? On the bottom right below the words or pictures is an icon that you can click on and a window will open so you can make your opinion known. Let us know your thoughts. Thanks.
This is Siyovle, one of the boys at Castel-Pere, sitting on a tired papaya tree. Our papaya plantation is suffering from the drought. That's why this tree is laying down on the job. Fruit trees need a lot of water to remain healthy and strong enough to support their fruit. Posted by Hello

What now, Lord?

As most of you know I tend to be an optimist. Why else would I be here and remain here? This blog reflects that optimism but not this article. This has been the driest season in most folks' memories. The glorious, life-giving rains usually start in mid-February but not this year. March has come and gone and the rains have stayed away. Harvests are ruined. Animals are dying or are smaller than normal. Prices will go up for food essentials and the farmers will have even less money to spend. Political upheaval, violence in the streets of Port-au-Prince, flooding that took thousands of lives and many more livelihoods, the lack of infrastructures and services and now this drought. How much more can this small country take? We have had more requests for school assistance as crops fail and animals die. More women come to our doors asking for food for their children or money to pay rent as their meager sources of income get smaller and smaller every day. Please pray for these people. Remember Matthew 25:40 "... whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers and sisters, you do for me."
These are our banana trees. Lack of water and a fungal infection mean that the fruit will be smaller, the harvest will be later and many trees won't survive. Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 3, 2005

Pachou, Patrick and Frankie feeding their faces at Bernato and Guirlene's reception party!! Posted by Hello

Mr and Mrs Bernato Numa

Here's a shot of Bernato with his soon-to-be bride being toasted at the reception. Both Reynold and Bernato had receptions before their weddings. Posted by Hello