Saturday, February 24, 2007


Leaving for Citrus Springs this morning. Will be preaching at St Elizabeth Ann Seton Church this weekend and seeing old friends. Will head to Ft Lauderdale on Monday for an early Tuesday flight back home.
Was in Eden, WI last weekend. As expected, the weather was frigid but the hospitality was very warm. Special thanks to Pat, Sandy and Father Charlie for coming out to Milwaukee to pick me up (and bringing me a warm coat) and to Sandy and her husband, Jerry, for driving me back there very early Monday morning. The ongoing generosity of Shepherd of the Hills' parish is very gratifying and encouraging.
Upon arrival (and defrosting) in the Sunshine State, I had the opportunity to address the Council of Catholic Women at St Thomas Aquinas Church. They've been long-time supporters and their help is much appreciated. I met with Father John McCormick, Director of the Orlando Diocesan Office of the Propagation of the Faith, and Dr. Lynne Nasrallah, board member of Food For The Poor.
Check in again after the 28th when I'll be home and have photos to post. God bless!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Am leaving this morning for a short trip stateside. Will be at Shepherd of the Hills in Eden, Wisconsin tomorrow for the weekend and then head east to western Florida, Citrus Springs to be exact. There won't be much activity on my end for this blog for the two weeks I'll be away. I'll try and access a computer to post news so keep checking in. Take good care.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Saxophone, anyone?

This is Deronce Pierre-Jackson, better known as Jude here. He works in our kitchen, does Arts and Crafts and loves music. He is following a course at a local music school and chose the saxophone as his instrument. Trouble is -we can't find a saxophone around here. Do you know of anyone who has one and would like to donate it? It sure would be appreciated.

Post Op

Here's Father Bal's truck after surgery. It was involved in a rollover accident a couple of months back and we all thought it was a goner but look at it now! A little more paint and putty and it will be, to quote Willie Nelson, "on the road again".

Workshop looking fine

Father Bal's workshop in its new suit !!

Fancy that !

This is the lavatory (a.k.a. outhouse) for the elementary school-- looking good with a fresh coat of paint thanks to Ray's crew.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Elementary School

The front of the elementary school is finally getting some well-deserved attention. Trying to match the "clostras" is a real challenge. Clostras are the decorative blocks we use for ventilation and security (and decoration, of course).

Sunday, February 11, 2007


We've decided that the person who provides the best caption for the spaghetti photo below will get to choose a creation from the Arts and Crafts section. What a treat! Let's see what y'all can come up with.

Hamming it up for Nick

Jeandie and Jourdany horsing around on the side of the dining facility. Could it be they have just seen a Jackie Chan movie?

Fun times

Rosenie, Widley, Roselove, Rosena, and Rose Berline took some time off from their busy play schedule to pose for Nick.


Nico is back with a vengeance taking excellent candid photos of the children. What do you think the caption for this photo should be? Click on "comments" below the post and make your suggestions. We are thinking about a prize and will let you know what we decide shortly.
Good luck!

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Here's Sonel holding up two new creations. These are different as they have two painted sides so they could be hung in a tree or wherever. Our artisans have come a long way!


Top photo shows a bunch of plantains from our banana grove.
Bottom photo shows onions, tomato plants, lettuce and spinach.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Secondary School

Phenel and Mackenson were photographed this morning on their way to our secondary school. This is an exam period for them which explains their serious faces.

Journee de couleur

Friday is non-uniform day at the primary school. The children get to choose what they wear (approved by parents or house-mothers, of course). Pictured in front are Rosena, Marcia and Jean as they gathered just before school started this morning.


Carpenters' Workshop with a coat of primer.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007


I've received several emails regarding some difficulty in posting comments. If you'd like to make a comment on a particular post just click on the word "comments" below the post. If you click on the small envelope icon you will open a window to forward that post to a friend via email. Comments are always appreciated, even the critical ones.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Dawn's early light

Ray and his team have just finished putting primer on the elementary school. Gonna look real snazzy when done. Photo was taken a bit too early this morning for my automatic, digital camera.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Arts and Crafts

Just wanted to let you know that our Arts and Crafts Program is alive and well. These are Sammy's latest. Look at the detail!! Check out Konny's Korner by clicking on the link.


This is my all time favorite photo that Nick took a while back. It was during a spektak and the kids were paying attention--for once. Double click on the photo to see the kids up close and personal. Download may take a minute but it's worth the wait.


Music plays a huge part in the lives of Haitians. They love to sing and dance. When not doing that they listen to it as Biondy is doing in this photo. Here he's listening to geezer music (mine) and seems to enjoy it.

Behind the scenes

Jean-Marie, Lener and Brant
One of the reasons we accomplish so much down here is the people who make things happen like these three. Here we have Jean-Marie, Lener and Brant. The three work about 80 hours a week each--- talk about devotion. Jean-Marie is head of Food Services at the village; Lener is responsible for the tailor shop and supervises the laundry personnel; Brant is our Purchasing Agent and Food Services Supervisor. Join me in applauding their fantastic work! The photo was taken this morning just before the sun came up at Castel-Pere.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

New Garage

We've added a garage to the depot at Castel-Pere to protect the tractor. It is too valuable an asset to leave outdoors at night. This will serve to protect it from the elements and from rodents (as in little boys who are absolutely fascinated by any large machine). The kids are drawn to the tractor like bees to honey.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Matante's home

A while back I posted a photo of Matante in the middle of her new home which was being built. Well, here it is all done but for the paint job. It's a real looker and Matante is very happy with the results. Thanks to Cross International and their donor for this wonderful gift.

Feedback from Regina

Regina surrounded by friends
I spent the past two weeks in Haiti. January weather was cool in the early morning, but hugs were always warm. The bright afternoon sun paled by comparison to the smiles of happy children. The spectacular night sky was filled with twinkling stars, but was not as mesmerizing as the twinkle in the eyes of healthy children.

My visit was filled with wonderful sights and experiences. The new tractor churned in the fields, preparing for a future harvest. Fertile minds churned with new ideas in the classrooms preparing for a future. I went out with my Espwa godson on a four-wheeler, bouncing me along the rough, rural dirt road beyond the village, but my heart bounced even more with joy to see the small plot of land he bought with money he'd saved up while working at the project.

Accommodations at the Guest House were comfortable. I think just watching everyone else work hard all day was enough to tire me out to sleep soundly at night! Those laundry ladies must have incredible arm muscles. The cooks peel and chop non-stop to prepare 2000 meals per day. I don't know where the monitors get the energy to supervise so many kids and still be able to sweep the never-ending supply of dusty or muddy footprints from their homes. The hustle and bustle of activity at the village starts before the roosters crow in the morning and lasts until long after the mosquitoes come out at night.

Although I miss my own family when I am away, I feel blessed to be able to share life with my Espwa Family.

Thursday, February 1, 2007


We redid the posts for the clinic porch and they look much better. Don't you agree, Dokte? The fresh paint job in the traditional medical colors of white with green trim give the clinic a certain panache, non? It's also a favorite hangout for the kids during off hours.

Guest House

Doesn't this look inviting? This is the entrance to the Guest House at Castel-Pere. Raymond has done his magic with paint; we put in a couple of walkways for curb appeal and it's starting to look like a million bucks.


Bebeto, one of the 550 reasons we are here, wanted his photo taken so I obliged. I took three photos and every time I was about to shoot his smile would evaporate and reappear the second after the shot was taken. Grrrr !!

Temporary measures

Since the news that our water source was polluted we went out and bought a "chatodo", a small cistern, in which we pump water that the children will drink. We treat the water with Aquatabs to guarantee that the water is potable.

Sunrise class

Duckenson eating his cornmeal breakfast before heading to early class. He and his classmates are preparing for the national certificate exam this summer. Class starts at 7:00 AM sharp.