Sunday, December 31, 2006


A new year is an opportunity to be reminded of all that we cherish--
all the events that have been good for us (even the painful ones)
all the people we love
all the memories we hold dear.

A new year is also an opportunity to look forward to better times, better relationships--
a step closer to fulfilling our dreams.

May your hearts be filled with lots of reasons to celebrate! A very Happy New Year to all of you from all of us.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Out with the old..

As you can see, I decided to make a few changes to the blog. I was getting a little bored with the old template so I figured that this is a good time to make a change. This is the time of year when many think about making changes-- the New Year's resolution thing. Let me tell ya, it is much easier to change the format of a blog than to improve one's being. I'll still make a resolution and try real hard to keep it. Will let you know if it succeeds. Blessings to you and yours. May your last few days of '06 be your best.

Meet Estenley

This is Estenley. Caught him in the act of eating a snack this morning. Estenley is bright, curious and quite a charmer. If my recent email appeal produces results, we'll be able to buy shoes for him and the other needy children in time for the school's opening on January 8th.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Old friend

Meet Father Patrick Samway. We go back many years together. Father Patrick is spending a few days with us. He knows the best time of year to come visit. Father is a professor of English Literature at St Joseph's University in Philadelphia and, yes, he's a Jesuit.

New dining space

Our first neighborhood is getting a dining space thanks to Food For The Poor. It should be done soon. Kitchen and food storage depot will follow. The room will have electricity so the older boys can study in the evenings and the younger ones can color and stay within the lines!

New Clinic floor

The tile work was finished today. It looks cool and will be a snap to keep clean. Our nurse, Rose Marthe, and her assistant, Miss Joseph, are very excited about moving in to the new space. There are still shelves to build for the meds but most of the work is behind us now. Ain't it grand? You would have had to see the old clinic to really appreciate the new one.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Enel and Gilais doing their part to beautify the Visitors' Quarters by planting local flowers and plants. Excellent job, guys!

Do as Lady Bird used to say

It takes a concerted effort by a lot of people to keep C-P beautiful. One day last week we organized an 'ecology' event and walked all over the property with the kids in tow explaining recycling, composting and how they can all help. I've noticed that some of the children now know the difference between trash and compost material. I figure if we do this another one hundred times the majority of them will get on board. Patience IS a virtue, one I'd really like to have in my repertoire. Here's a photo of Enold, in yellow shirt, with a gaggle of little people picking up trash and leaves which we will later sort.

An Ongoing Process

Here's TiPaul cleaning up the leaves and trash. It's a never-ending, thankless job but someone's got to do it and TiPaul does it well. The least I can do is document the occasion.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Pageant

On Christmas Eve the children presented the Christmas story. They sang and danced while telling the classic story of God's love and His greatest gift to us, His son. Unfortunately, only one photo came out half-way decent due to lack of light and our photographer being away. Here's the one photo of angels coming to adore the Christ child.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

After our liturgical celebration this morning we took some time to distribute Christmas gifts to the children. These were made possible because of a donation from Cross International. The kids were looking forward to soccer balls or little trucks and cars but we got them clothing as that is what is really needed. They'll look spiffy tonight for the Christmas pageant. May your Christmas be as noisy and cheerful as ours has been so far.

Duval with Edouard.

Our girls receiving brand new dresses. They are: Tama, Rose Berline, Rosena, Roseny, Widline and Marcia. I think they were pleased. Maybe ecstatic is a better word.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

This is a photo of Moise (French-Creole for Moses) who is thirteen months old. His mother abandoned him when he was two months old and a neighbor took him in. The foster-mom came to see us today because Moise has a large lump on his lower chest. He complains a lot, does not sleep and refuses to eat. We'll have an X-ray taken and have our Doctor Cynthia check him out when she comes in early January. Please keep Moise in your prayers. Thanks.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Home for Christmas

This is the front of the new home mentioned in the next photo. It will look nice with a new wooden door and shuttered window. Posted by Picasa
Thought you might like to see the latest new home we constructed for a poor family in Camp-Perrin. It still needs a couple of doors, windows and a paint job but should be done very soon. What a great gift for this family. Funding for these new homes comes from a donor in Maine via Cross International. Posted by Picasa
It was barely seven o'clock this morning and these teens were well into their job of shucking "pwa kongo" which we will be consuming shortly. From the look on their faces, you'd think it was a party! Posted by Picasa
Sing along with me-- This is the way we shuck our beans, shuck our beans, shuck our beans. This is the way we shuck our beans early in the morning.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Every year for Christmas Eve the children put on a Christmas Pageant. The story of the Christ Child is told in song, dance and theater. The kids have been practicing forever but it will be well worth it come December 24th. Posted by Picasa
A few of the boys waiting patiently for rehearsal to start. Posted by Picasa
Boss Denord came to see me this morning to offer some eggplants. We usually grow them but they've been small. Not any more! These were grown near the stream and had access to plenty of water. Imagine what a comprehensive irrigation project would do for the farm! Posted by Picasa
Look at these deliciously beautiful eggplants! I am very pleased with the efforts of our "farmers". These are the best looking in the three years that we've been tilling the soil here. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Merry Christmas

It's almost time for Christmas. One would be hard pressed to see the signs of that here. There are no holiday lights or decorations, no “deck the halls” and such music on the radio, no TV specials, no last minute shopping, no gaily wrapped packages under fake (or real) trees, no countdown of shopping days left. You know, it's kinda nice. One does hear choir rehearsals for Christmas liturgies and people do wish each other Merry Christmas and folks travel long distances to be home for Christmas and New Year's. It is much easier to celebrate the real event of our Saviour's birth here. May your Christmas be peaceful and joyful.

Work on the klinik is going well. We're building cement benches on the porch for folks to sit on while waiting for treatment. Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 11, 2006

This is for Doctor Cynthia. Tried emailing the photo but no such luck. It's the interior of the "new" clinic. Nice and bright, don't you think? New electrical, new ceiling, new and fresh paint job... now we will tile the floors and be almost ready for sick patients to be seen and treated. Posted by Picasa
Frankel and Georges in the kitchen. That's the new stove that Sheila, Connie and Theresa bought us last time they were here. It's working wonderfully. The kitchen walls are the last to get painted as there's always someone working in there but we'll get to it soon. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, December 10, 2006

We had a special treat this morning. Chorale Flambeau enhanced our liturgical celebration. The choir rehearses three times a week in our small chapel at LaMadonne and occasionally share their work with us. The kids loved it! Posted by Picasa

Second Sunday of Advent

Kids on the bottom left; choir on the top left; Winzor on the drum; Fathers Marc, Charlie and Bal. Posted by Picasa
Here's a great shot of Jennifer I took this morning before church. She's visiting for a week and having a great time. The kids have taken to her like bees to honey. Posted by Picasa
One of the assigned chores is helping the monitors wash dishes after meals. Posted by Picasa

What time is it?

When the generator is working and it's Saturday evening it's time for haircuts. The kids line up and we chop it all off. We find that this is the best way to keep little critters at bay. Posted by Picasa

How many?

Here's Jean-Marie and his brother, Jean Renald, preparing juice for the noon meal. How many grapefruit does it take to make enough juice for all the kids and staff? 250 !! How many lime? 1,600 !! Now you know. Posted by Picasa
Cassidy Levy is from Oregon (originally from CA) and is with us for a couple of weeks. He's seen here painting the kitchen bathroom. Great job, Cassidy! Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 8, 2006

Here's Honel with his latest, appropriately seasonal creation made from an old, oil drum. He came by today and gave me this to show his appreciation for our assistance in helping him and his little family. A great recycling example, n'est-ce pas? Posted by Picasa