Monday, April 30, 2007


Ted Waldbart, President of HERO (a non-profit organization), standing in front of the Village Solar Oven that his org provided for us. Ted was here over the weekend and quickly made a slew of friends as the photo shows. We are very fortunate to have friends like Ted, John and James (see next posts). God bless 'em.

Friday Night

John, Father Charlie and James sitting around the table on our traditional Friday night gathering. James was here for the first time but plans on returning. He has tons of experience in well-digging and will be a great asset. Like John, he comes from Michigan.

Michigan Visitors

That's John Johnson of upper Michigan who was with us last week. Never one to stand still for too long, John did some maintenance training for the tractor drivers and took on a couple of small projects.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A good story

MaTante, Claudia and MacKenson
A couple of months ago I posted a photo of a little girl and her brother who had just arrived at Castel-Pere. Claudia is small due to protein malnutrition and her brother had a bad wound on his eyebrow. The pastor of a friend of ours saw the photo of Claudia and wanted to help. We provided her with more info and both our friend and her pastor agreed to help the children's family. What the family of seven really needed was a new place to live and more income. We found them a place near Castel-Pere where two of the adults will be able to work at Hope Village thanks to the support of kind people back in Maine. The best part of all this is that Claudia and Mackenson will be able to go home as often as they wish (even return home permanently). For Claudia, her brother and the whole St Preux family... mesi, mil mesi.

St Preux photos

Inside shot of the St Preux home from which they were evicted.

Mr St Preux practicing his craft (shoe-shining) which cannot support his family.
The St Preuxs lived in this house (on the left side) which leaked like a sieve when the rains fell. They could not afford the rent so asked for help. We found a better house for them in a better neighborhood for a little less money.

St Preux photos (2)

All their worldly possessions in the truck, the St Preux family heads to their new home near Castel-Pere.

Photo of the family in their old yard.

St Preux family in their new yard in front of their new lodgings. It is a huge improvement over the old house (metal roof and concrete floor) and close to Castel-Pere for Mr. St Preux and his brother to walk to their new jobs.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Doctor Farah Husain, a dentist with Pan American Health Organization, came to visit yesterday to evaluate our dental needs for a prevention and intervention program sponsored by PAHO. The children have beautiful smiles as our visitors can verify but upon closer examination we see the damage done by malnutrition and poor diets. This is Jeffrey accommodating Dr. Farah.

Well done!

Boss Andre and his team digging a well for the showers at Castel-Pere. Took them two full days to dig this well which is 35 meters deep. It will serve the children in the first neighborhood by providing clean water for showers and laundry. Talk about labor intensive!!


If you look closely at the first name on the left-- that's our very own Agronome Brice, our leader in agriculture at Pwoje Espwa. He helped author a guidebook on reforestation which AVSI, an Italian non-profit, just published. Congrats to Agro. Brice for this accomplishment and for his work with us.

Black Bean Harvest

It is harvest time for the black beans and you can see that it was successful. We produced 231 marmites (overflowing coffee cans-- an official Haitian measure) with a value of just a little over a thousand US dollars. We spent a little over $300 for the seed and labor so this is very good news. Anyone for some Black bean Soup?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bye! Bye! Raymond

Raymond Verreault left us this morning on the early flight to Port-au-Prince to catch his long flight back home to Canada and be with his family. Not to worry-- he'll be back in the fall like he has for the last five years. If you've kept up with the blog you know that Raymond was responsible for the painting at Castel-Pere. He has done a bang-up job of that but this past month or so Raymond has found a new endeavor. He is now our Outreach Housing Director. Oh, he'd laugh at the title and make a joke but he has taken on a huge and powerful service for our less fortunate neighbors. As he is not one to replicate what has been done and as he is a very thorough individual, he thought this through in detail and then plunged in with all his gusto. The next two posts show the result of his work. Have a good rest, Raymond. Come back to us refreshed and re-energized as there are many more deserving families waiting for your collaboration. N'ap songe ou chak jou, Raymond.

Hope restored

This is Anitese Mentor with her two grandsons in front of their home.

With neighbors looking on, Anitese digs the foundation for her new home with her machete. She is 78 years old.

The foundation blocks are set in mortar and Anitese fills in the gaps with her own food bowl.

Anitese and her grandsons in front of their painted new home. The whole project took only five and half days because Anitese worked before our crew arrived in the morning and after our crew left at night. Anitese came to church with her grandsons last Sunday to thank God for this precious gift. Thanks to Cross International, there's a little oasis of hope in Guiem near Castel-Pere.

A gift of dignity

Mr Yvon Nocent and his son, Yvnel, stand in front of their home in Castel-Pere.

Even after the workers were gone for the day, Mr Nocent and Yvnel continued working to make their dream a reality.

Here's the simple but solid and safe home built by Mr Nocent , his son and our team.

The pride they feel in having been part of the process of building their own home shows in their faces. This new way of building homes for the poor including them in the dialog and in the work makes so much more sense. We can honestly say that the gift of this house was nothing compared to the sense of dignity and respect the Nocents now have. We want to thank Cross International for their support and funding of this project.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


This is Mimi's only surviving kitten. We call her Mimitou or Mimi2. She's the youngest resident of the Quad at Castel-Pere and likes Dan's running shoes.


Portia photographed Jackson this morning when it was still cool out. He's keeping warm by leaning on a concrete block wall and transforming his shirt into a straight-jacket. I remember nuns doing this when I was a kid.

Making a list and checking it thrice

Here I am at Castel-Pere this morning verifying names and birth dates. We need to do these updates every other week.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Mango Season

How do we get the mangoes? Well, we start with a very long bamboo stick as in the photo above. It's a little tricky but well worth the effort as Kerby willingly exemplifies below.

Arts & Crafts- Update

These four pieces were created from old, oil drums by Honel. They are approximately 14" high and 12" wide. Our artisans have come a long way! Want one? Contact Connie by clicking on KonnysKorner on the right under LINKS.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Help Wanted

According to the stats provided by the counter software there are an average of 30 to 50 repeat visitors to this blog on a daily basis. We have a little over 2,000 names on our mailing list. Had the chance to talk with a professional fund raiser and he told me that our budget should have a support base of a minimum of 25,000 people. Conclusion: folks are sharing the newsletter with a lot of friends or our mailing list people are extremely generous. Please help us by spreading the word, have folks see our video and whatever else you can do. The children need your help. In their name-- thank you and God bless.
Father Marc

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Raymond, our Canadian volunteer, started painting the second floor of the elementary school the blue that you see in the above photo. Not being Haitian, he failed to see that this particular shade of blue with white trim is the traditional color of police stations throughout Haiti. I didn't take the jokes too seriously but my staff insisted that the color be changed. So Raymond began painting the first floor a charcoal gray hoping that the totality would be acceptable. The most positive response so far has been raised eyebrows. Just another reminder that we are guests here in Haiti and that we must be sensitive to the culture.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


We are trying to put some order in our piles of photos to set up an archive from our beginning to the present. Please send me the digital photos you may have to complete our records. Much appreciated. Send them to:

Saturday, April 14, 2007


Secondary school students take notes this morning as Agronome Brice explains the whys and wherefores of 'pwa congo' which they have just finished picking.

Agronome Brice teaching our students about agriculture.

Friday, April 13, 2007

New babies

Mama horse and her colt who was born last evening.

A peek at the new baby rabbits born a few days ago.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Birthday Bash

Winzor (seated) with Berthony, Tije and Johny gathered to wish David all the best for his birthday.

David (aka Bamboo) with his Birthday gifts. He's holding a painted piece of bamboo (get it?) and wearing a leather covered Barbancourt bottle. We had a little party tonight to celebrate David's birthday. There was no cake but the pizza was excellent. Thanks, Dan.

Birthday Boy

Aye, Junior and David caught in the act this morning. They are sifting sand to be used for mortar in the showers being built under David's supervision. Today is David's birthday ( he says he's turning 25 again) but that doesn't keep him from working. We'll be celebrating this evening with Dan's excellent pizza. Happy Birthday, David!!

Arts & Crafts

One of our artisans, Choupi, carved this birdie from a local soapstone and painted it 'a la mallard'. Pretty cool, non? It could be a candy dish, a door stop, a paperweight, a lamp base or simply an ornament for your mantle or coffee table. This one belongs to Father Charlie but if you want one just contact Connie by clicking on konnyskorner under links on the right.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Don't miss seeing the terrific video on ESPWA that Justin made possible. Just click on Espwa Video in the Links section on the right.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Waste not, want not

Our junior farmers seen with their new pumpkin plants. Extra seeds from our large gardens somehow find their way into the hands of our junior farmers and with some attention, water and weeding these become powerful symbols of what can be accomplished with a little hard work and patience.

Easter eggs

A few of the kids with their Easter eggs right after distribution.


Lunes taking in the action on the soccer field.

Tiga and Bonhomme

Tiga (little boy) and Bonhomme (good fellow) hang out at the soccer game.


Took this close-up of Feri as he was playing the drums on the sidelines of an intramural soccer game yesterday afternoon. His team was winning!