Friday, March 30, 2007

The Quad

The 4 wheel-drive Quad has proven to be an essential tool in getting around at Castel-Pere. What used to take a half hour now takes only a few minutes. There's a lot of ground to cover. That's James sitting in the front of the Quad waiting for his turn to get a free ride while I speak with Djimy. We are seriously looking at using horses to get around the farm now that we have saddles (thanks to Pat Mullen and her brother). Horses are much more ecological and a lot less noisy.
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From a shack to a home

Aye looking out the door of his family's home about 4 weeks ago.

Work is well underway two weeks later.

Finished home for the Charles family and, boy, are they proud and happy people. Notice the two little potted plants that Aye's mother put on either side of the front door? Neighbors and friends have been dropping by to congratulate them and to satisfy their curiosity. The best part in all this was that the whole family participated in the project. We are deeply grateful to TAQUISWA of Belgium for sponsoring this home. God bless your generosity.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mesi ampil

We were visited by folks from Maine and North Carolina this past week and, let me tell you, did they accomplish a lot. Dr. Cynthia DeSoi, our Medical Director, started a new chart system for the clinic so that we can better track our patients. She was assisted by Susan and Claudia from North Carolina and Emily from Maine. We were fortunate to have two young Haitian doctors with us, Jacob and Vladimir. Plans are to find the money to get them on board full time. Though not scheduled, they saw a bunch of people from the area and took care of their medical needs.
Brenda and John, both from Maine, worked on our waste water issues and transformed a muddy area into a rock and gravel garden soon to have shrubs. Talk about 'curb appeal'. Great job! They all left this morning and will be missed. What a blessing to have such committed friends.


From left: Dr. Jacob, Nurse Susan (NC), Dr. Vladimir and Dr. Cynthia DeSoi, our Medical Director, seeing a young patient and her mother.

New Medical Charts

Claudia (NC) and Emily (ME) are working on a new medical chart system for our clinic.

Water Evacuation

Brenda and John (from Maine) seen working on the standing water problem near the water pump.

Monday, March 26, 2007


While the UN soldiers from Uraguay were getting ready for their soccer match with us, the kids were drumming on empty 5 gallon buckets (our own little cheerleaders). We are grateful to these military men and women who are far from home as they have been a big help with our water problem and are always available for emergencies.

Beauty in Haiti

Haiti is known for poverty, corruption, deforestation... but there are some really beautiful areas here like this one we visited yesterday. I hope someday the tourists come back as Haiti has much to offer in terms of wonderfully talented people, a rich culture and some pretty cool beaches.

MINUSTAH beats the Espwa team

The rains stayed away long enough for our older boys to play a soccer match with the UN soldiers (MINUSTAH). The Uruguayan team won 2 to 1 but our guys put up quite a fight.

Front row seats

The best seats to watch the game from are these poles. Notice I did not say they were the most comfortable.

Au Revoir

Jack Reynolds, President of Theo's Work, was here for a week and left this morning. Theo's Work is the non-profit organization that supports us by raising money and establishing networks, relationships with other non-profits. He'll be on vacation in Arizona for a couple of weeks so if you don't hear from him, do not worry.
Victor was here a whole month and he left this morning as well. We were blessed to have him with us and he accomplished quite a bit while here. God bless you, Victor.
Bon Voyage to you both.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

More life

Just born, this piglet takes it first steps. This one has seven siblings.

Mama pig taking a break after giving birth to a mess of piglets.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Happy (belated) St Patrick's Day

This photo is late in getting to you because Nick has been busy running around Haiti doing network stuff. The shot was taken the day after St Patrick's Day. It is simply coincidence that the girls were wearing those shirts as St Pat's Day here is not special in any way, shape or form.

Rainy season

When it rains here, it pours. One result is lots of little "ponds" where home-made sailboats can float. This is Tomas with his boat made from an old rubber sandal, bamboo sticks and piece of a trash bag. Photo by Nico

Monday, March 19, 2007

Ditch work

It has not been easy to work the drain project this past week with all the rain we have been getting. Good news: no drought in the near future. Bad news: water everywhere!! The ditch has been dug. The pipes have been leveled and set in and today they were buried. You can see Gary (Pennsylvania) in the background who has been working hard to get this project done before he leaves later this week. It has been great to have you with us, Gary.

New Arrivals

These two children, Claudia and Mackenson-- brother and sister, are our newest residents. Gave them a ride from town today and they thoroughly enjoyed being in a car. A first for them. Their mother is handicapped and cannot care for them. Claudia is obviously malnourished (hair color and her size and weight for her age) and her brother, Mackenson, has a nasty injury (left eyebrow) from a run-in with a barbed-wire fence.


New Haitian doctor, Jacob Baptiste, is seen here consulting with Dr. Larry Mutty. Jacob will be working with us and he is very, very welcome.

Doctor Danielle Mutty checking out a sick child from the neighboring area. It was another busy day at the clinic.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

A breather

Kenson takes a break from playing marbles. He's a great kid, a little pain in the neck at times, but that's what healthy boys do, non?
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Top: Kristofe, Savari and Makentoch. Bottom: Jaklen, TiPa and Eklezyas. Photo by Biondy.
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This is Fery. He kept bugging me to take his photo so that Andy might see it when he checks the blog. His message to Andy-- kile ou ap retounen la kay nou?
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Sunday best

This is Lines wearing his Sunday best for church this morning. Have no idea where he found the tie but thought you'd enjoy it as much as I did.
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Our newest addition

The proud mother (above) and her newborn calf just hours after birth. Portia crossed a raging stream, climbed over a barbed-wire fence and sloshed through two fields of mud to get you these two photos. Bravo, Portia!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hot peppers

Rosemary picking peppers in our field. Very smart of her to wear protective gloves. Rosemary accompanied Father Ken who is pastor of St Hedwig's in Los Alamitos, CA.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Busy week !!

This has been one heck of a week. We've had many visitors and the action has been non-stop. The following photos are just an inkling of the stuff that went on this week. Photos courtesy of Dan who has been exceptional in his role as Visitor Coordinator.

the Drs Mutty

Husband and wife medical team, Doctors Larry and Danielle Mutty of Castine, Maine are seen here consulting with a patient in our clinic. What an energetic pair! We are really blessed to have them as our friends.

Work, work, work

Here's a shot of David doing a little work in the dining room of the Guest House. David is Gayle's nephew and was always ready to lend a hand. You are always welcome here, David.


Sony (in front) teaching a reggae dance class to Portia, Paige, Fery and Roosvelt.

Father Ken holding one of the little children who came by for a medical check-up.

Athens Medical Group

Dr. Mike Blood looks on as I speak with Jimmy about his badly healed broken arm. Dr. Blood and his team came for a short visit and ended up working all morning for which we are grateful. If things go well we will be collaborating in the future with his group in bringing badly needed medical care to many sick Haitians.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Wedding in Camp-Perrin

Yesterday, Saturday 10 March, was the occasion for an Espwa wedding. Jocelyn Joseph, our senior boys' monitor at Castel-Pere tied the knot at St Anne's Church in Camp-Perrin.
Here in Haiti, both the bride and groom walk up the aisle to face each other and publicly promise fidelity to each other. In this photo, Jocelyn is escorted by the Maid of Honor to the front as his bride, Melene, waits for him.

Jocelyn and Melene with Father Charlie

"I now pronounce you husband and wife."

Flower girl and Ringbearer
Photos by Nico

Friday, March 9, 2007

Housing help

This is 8 year old Yven, one of our neighbors. He shares the home behind him with his father who is a laborer. Mom took off a while ago and Yven has no idea where she is. I hope that we can assist this family in providing Yven and his father with a decent home. It will take between $2,500 and $3,000 so if you or your parish/organization are looking for an international, humanitarian project--this is a good one.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Waste water management

Victor was caught working today! Here he is using the backhoe attachment to dig a forty foot trench so that we can evacuate the water from the showers, the laundry and dish washing area. Next on the agenda is decent showers in the neighborhood. So many ideas, so many construction projects...


When I was in Wisconsin at Shepherd of the Hills Parish I saw this plaque on the wall of the new church. It is a symbol of the community's commitment to those less fortunate. Thank you, dear friends, for your faithful support. Photo courtesy of Dawn Doll.

Village Sun Oven

Fresh out of the oven !!

But not any kind of oven. This is a Village Sun Oven and it works with the sun's rays and with propane (for cloudy or rainy days).

Thanks to the generosity of the Woodstock-Morning Rotary Club we are enjoying freshly baked bread for the first time in our nine years of existence. The children are supremely happy with this gift even though we are still learning how to use it efficiently and what recipes work best in our climate. Many, many thanks to the members of the "service above self" group from Illinois.