Thursday, November 30, 2006

Papi showed up one day about 18 months ago. He needs a walking stick as his back is curved. He is 80 years old and has nothing and no one. We have become his family. He works in our yard and earns a little salary. As one of our workers he gets to eat at least twice a day. Posted by Picasa
His home. This miserable, abandoned shack is where Papi makes his home. Posted by Picasa
His bed, his mattress, his sheets were gifts to him from us.  Posted by Picasa
The other half of the small shack is occupied by a "crazy" lady who was thrilled to show us her home. She was very pleased to have some company. There are many "crazy" people. They are called 'moun fou' and most just seem broken by a very hard life. Papi and this lady were lucky to find each other. Posted by Picasa

MaTante's Door

They are at MaTante's door from sun up to sundown. Before morning ablutions, before and after breakfast, during recess period, before and after lunch and throughout the rest of the day. On weekends and holidays their presence is constant. They are there for countless reasons-- I have a stomach ache-- I didn't get to eat-- I need some oil for my lamp-- can I watch television with you? someone stole my soap-- I have no shampoo-- my shirt is ripped-- look at my report card-- he beat me-- can I have some crackers? Even when MaTante shuts the door for the night they linger just in case she steps out one more time.Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 27, 2006

Thirty five participated in the Soduko competition. There were thirty exercises and only three of the particpants persevered. Though far from easy, Jean Ourdy, Alexis and Toto successfully finished the competition and won prizes. Congrats, guys.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Here's a nifty TP holder. Each toilet has a different Arts & Crafts creation. For more ideas and photos of the Arts & Crafts Department's products see Connie's blog by clicking on the link for KonnysKorner on the right. Posted by Picasa
Fancy little soap dish in the shower made by one of young artisans. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Christmas gift idea

Christmas seems to bring out the best in people. That's been my experience. If you're looking for a different kind of gift this year, how about helping us provide the basic personal hygiene items for the 150 prisoners held in the local facility in the name of a friend or family member? See the photos below. It costs 310 gourdes for one bar of soap, one tube of toothpaste, one bottle of shampoo, one toothbrush and one deoderant stick. That's just $8.00 in US currency. Not much but when you mulitply by 150 it becomes too much for our budget. We need $1,200 to brighten the lives of our prisoners. Maybe you know a club or a church that would like to help. We'll gladly send you a certificate or receipt. Thanks.


We are deeply grateful to all our friends and benefactors who make this ministry with the poor of southern Haiti a reality for us. Visitors often ask how we manage to get so much done and help so many children. The answer is: we are blessed with generous supporters. Our prayer today is one of gratitude for you all. May the Good Lord bless you and yours.
Not too shabby, eh? This is a shot of the second deck of our Guest house at Castel-Pere. Posted by Picasa
Did I mention it was the rainy season? The road to Castel-Pere disappears after a rainfall. Anyone have a spare hovercraft? Posted by Picasa
Nick took this great, long shot of Joanes and Victoire's wedding last Saturday evening at the cathedral. The guy with the white hair is Father Charlie; the celebrant was Father Dominique, a childhood friend of Joanes. Posted by Picasa

Prison Ministry

Photo of the jail cells taken from the courtyard. Prisoners get one hour outside their cells per day: a half hour in the morning and another in the evening. There are no toilet facilities, just a bucket in the corner of the cell. Cross International supports our prison ministry which allowed us to buy sewing machines and other necessary material/tools and pay a tailor to teach a few, lucky prisoners a practical skill. The prisoners are extremely grateful for this opportunity. Thanks, Cross International. Posted by Picasa
Commandant Azor speaking highly of our tailor and his program to help the prisoners. Azor is head of the local prison. Hyppolite is our tailor and doing a bang-up job. Posted by Picasa
Three of the local prisoners learning to be tailors. They are just posing and wanted the photo taken of them sitting at the machines. How can you tell if someone is a tailor here? He always has a tape measure at the neck. Posted by Picasa
It may be the rainy season but work goes on. Here the teens are cleaning and planting trees along our border. Food for the Poor housing is in the background. Posted by Picasa
Here's a good shot of Ray Verreault, our old friend from Quebec, doing his bit to beautify our home at Castel-Pere. Notice the flimsy chair on the bench? Posted by Picasa
The freshly painted bathroom of the Guest House at Castel-Pere. Raymond's paint job put the finishing touches on the bright and spacious room. Yes, that's a washing machine but we've yet to hook it up. Hope to soon, very soon. Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 17, 2006

High Impact Visit

Friends from New Jersey and North Carolina came for a two day visit and managed to installed 19 solar lanterns for the children's homes and a wind turbine that helps charge 12 deep cycle batteries for the Guest House at Castel-Pere. The Ridgewood AM Rotary Club and the Power House Church of New Jersey purchased two turbines. One was installed (see photos below) and is working quietly providing much needed electricity and bearing witness to what can be done when people care. Mesi ampil paske nou songe nou! N'ap songe nou tou nan lapriye chak matin. Thank you very much for remembering us; we will remember you in our daily, morning prayers.
Andy and Jeff slowly, carefully hoisting the wind turbine with the help of unseen friends. Posted by Picasa
Andy Topp (on top) and Jeff Wells securing the wind turbine. It sits 50 feet up on a radio antenna. Three cables add more stability. Posted by Picasa
An early morning shot of the installed wind turbine.  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Let there be light !

James and Jocelyn attaching a small solar panel to the roof of the children's homes. Nineteen were installed in all. The small photovoltaic cells charge a lantern which will light up for 11 hours. Jeff Wells was instrumental in getting us these lamps which are a gift from his church, the Patterson, NJ Rotary Club and the Wells' Children. God bless them! Posted by Picasa
And here are the residents of one small house enjoying the lantern. This is the first time they have light in the homes and the kids were very, very pleased. Posted by Picasa
Here's a photo of Sheila and Dan in the courtyard. She' s chasing chickens from the Guest House. It took a few shooings to convince them. Sheila says of her stay here:
My stay at the Castel-Pere Guest House from 11-02-06 to 11-13-06 was most pleasant. The rooms were bright and clean and met my needs. The style and colors were wonderfully cheerful. I enjoyed the courtyard with the plants taken from the farm right here. I enjoyed sitting on the second floor deck at night feeling a gentle breeze and visiting with my travel partners and Raymond. This place is lively during the day and very peaceful at night. All in all, it was a great experience. - Sheila ArrasmithPosted by Picasa

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Here's a group shot of the two teams that played soccer yesterday out at Castel-Pere. Our challengers were members of the Uruguayan military here on United Nations' duty. I am happy to announce that the score was tied, one to one. A rematch is scheduled after the December elections. MINUSTAH, the acronym for the United Nations Task Force in Haiti, has had some bad press but we have seen a very different, humanitarian side of them. They have helped us with our water supply, have brought goodies for the kids and play soccer pretty well. We'll still try our best to trounce them in December. Posted by Picasa
Tige, our goalie, Vilaire, Berthony and a MINUSTAH player. Posted by Picasa
The official announcers of the game!! That's a jumping rope disguised as microphones. Posted by Picasa