Thursday, January 31, 2008

Fritzner Phanor

Fritzner has been with me from day one in Camp-Perrin. He has finished school and works in our clinic doing odd jobs. His dream is to become a laboratory technician. A school out of Port-au-Prince has just opened an annex here in town and is offering courses leading to a Certificate in Laboratory Technology. This is his dream but our funds are inadequate. This is a two year program and it will cost a total of $1,750 US. It would be great for him personally and good for us as he would be able to do our lab work for the children. Do any of you know someone in the medical field who would like to sponsor Fritz? Our goal is to help young people to become independent. Fritz has proven his dedication to the health care of his younger Espwa brothers and sisters. Email either Dee at or Jack at if you are interested in helping Fritzner's dream come true. God bless.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Father's House

Earth brick wall on south side of the house
West side of concrete block

The house is going up fast. It is being built with both earth bricks and cement blocks. The earth bricks provide better insulation from the hot sun and the blocks are sturdier to support the windows and roof. It is situated in between the southern and northern neighborhoods and on the highest point of the property. Thanks to Thomas Cracchiolo who is making this possible.

USAID visit

Paul Tuebner, USAID Director in Port-au-Prince, came by for a surprise visit. He came bearing gifts, too. That's Paul on the left and Bertin Meance of the local Catholic Relief Service. Paul was in the area dedicating a new ambulance-boat for Ile-a-Vache.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Prison medical visit

Wil, prisoner, Dr. Cynthia and prison guard.
Dr. Cynthia and two of her medical team visited the local prison this morning. Too bad Dr. Drew wasn't here as they certainly could have benefited from a consult with a dermatologist. It was a first for us and very appreciated by the prison authorities. We hope to make this a regular part of all future medical missions.


Was at the north end of the property Saturday morning and saw these six, friendly foragers. They are the neighbors' kids and all attend our school. The one on the far left and the kid with the yellow shirt have sweet potatoes in the fold of their shirts. They followed our tractor as it plowed over a field for a new crop and picked up the potatoes that had been left behind.
A good friend of ours, John Luongo, brought this verse to my attention:
"When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, the orphan and the widow." Deut 24:21
Thanks, J.L.

Friday, January 18, 2008

New and old friends

Amanda and our Dokte Cynthia. Amanda is volunteering for six months and Cynthia is our Medical Director.
Mackenson and Paige. Mac is now our Arts and Crafts Coordinator and Paige watches over the whole thing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Meet the fodders

Father Charlie, Father Austin from Florida and me.

Recognition Night

Regina Abiles and Scoobie.
Bernie and Joseph
Doctor Drew and Anna.
Regina Abiles, board member, escorted some folks from Florida who have been supporting us for a while now. This was their first trip. Bernie, Joseph, Anna and Father Austin enjoyed their brief stay and promised to return. Thank you for coming to share with us. God bless.

Earth brick house

With the earth bag house, Kay Sole, in the background our masons are putting down rebar around the foundation of the new earth brick house. Once that is done, we'll be putting in the conduits for electricity, the PVC pipes for the plumbing and then pour the floor. Once that has cured properly we'll be laying the earth bricks. Stay tuned as we begin another green project.


Wilson waiting for school to start. There's less humidity now that it's winter and some of the children require skin cream. Wilson is one of 'em.

Breakfast of future champions

Cornmeal porridge

Monday, January 14, 2008

Final Prayer of Commendation

Grant Jean-Wil eternal rest, O Lord
and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Jean-Wil's tomb

Our young masons worked all weekend to have the tomb ready for this morning. It is situated in the shade of a large mango tree near the stream at Castel-Pere. There was no time to paint it but we will and our Arts & Crafts guys will be making a metal sculpture with Jean-Wil's name.

Mass of the Resurrection

Father Charlie blessing Jean-Wil's casket at the beginning of Mass this morning. It was made in our shop by our carpenters.
Father Charlie, again, anointing the casket that is covered with a pall. Behind Father is the grieving family, Matante in blue, MacKenson (Jean-Wil's best friend) and Paige.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Little John

Waddaya mean I look like a bug? I think it's a sophisticated look. Why, Paige just told me that I was super cute. So there!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Finally !!

Well digging rig/truck finally made it to Castel-Pere late last night. It's a little more dented and rusty than when it left Florida but it's working and that's the main thing. Not only will it serve to dig wells for us but a team of my older boys will be trained and this could be their ticket to an independent life while providing safe drinking water for our brother and sister Haitians. Thanks to John Johnson and Jim Luttrell for finding, purchasing and shipping the truck. We are very grateful to Thomas Cracchiolo for funding this project. Mesi, mesi ampil.


Early yesterday morning I toured the school and disrupted several classes. Here (top) is one of the pre-school classes. One can tell it is early by the light coming in and by the neatness of the classroom. You oughtta see it around noon time.
Here's little John completely distracted by our presence.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Requiem in pace

Photo taken of Jean-Wil when he was still able to smile.
It is my sad duty to inform you that Jean-Wil Plaisime died this morning. I ask you to pray for those of us who mourn, for his family and friends. He was such a good and thoughtful person I am certain he is now with God, is smiling again and no longer suffering.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


The concrete roof for the composting toilet was poured yesterday. This is a photo of the guys watering the roof which we will do for the next three weeks. Curing takes 27 days and we need to keep the surface wet to avoid cracks.
Here are our carpenters working on Rosie's home. They could not finish as the material ran out--a learning experience for our young supervisor, Venel.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A terrific gift

Paige and I are standing in front of a quilt she put together while home in December. It is made up of small pieces of cloth autographed by the kids. Creative, thoughtful and tons of work, this is the best gift I could have received for our anniversary. Thank you, kids, and thank you very much, Paige.

Bon Voyage

On their last night here, our dear visitors were presented a special show by the kids that included the girls in a folklore dance (above photo). The grand finale was a well choreographed number with 32 boys. The photos don't do them justice. We wish our visitors safe travel home.

Update on Roosvelt home

Our carpenters have finally settled back into a work mode after the holidays and our anniversary celebration. They started putting up the roof framing for Roosvelt's home so it won't be long now.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Mesi (Creole for thanks)

After the liturgy this morning celebrating Epiphany and our tenth anniversary, I took a few minutes to thank a whole bunch of people who make this miracle we call ESPWA happen. To you back home who support us by your prayers and donations, thank you and God bless.

My strength

Denise Vendredi (Matante), Carole, Bercame, Camille and Berthony.
We would not be here today without the help and support of a great deal of people. Here, in country, I have been blessed with extraordinary assistance from some key people. Matante is our anchor, our mother, our inspiration. Carole, her assistant, is always fair and faithful. Berthony has been my main support. He has wisdom, vision and understanding that bridges the cultural divide that could easily imperil our mission. He translates the dream we have into the language and reality of our situation. Smartest thing I ever did was to get Berthony and Matante on board.


Here's a close-up of Bercame, Camille and Berthony's daughter.

The Whitleys

Dan the Dad, Cheryl the Mom and our Dan.

Honored guests

From left: Mr. David Adams (Vice-President of Cross International), Vinnie, Sister Evelyn of Hospital Brenda with Sister Veronique, Michael Henry, Pam (Paige's Mom), Pat and Amanda.

Anticipation !

A photo of some of the children waiting anxiously for the show to begin.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Andy's back

Andy Cramer was a volunteer with us for a year. He moved on to volunteer with the UN in East Timor and then traipsed around the world for a while but made it back here for our anniversary. The kids were thrilled to see him. Very good to have him "home" for a bit.

Dan's folks

Dan (our Visitor Coordinator) welcomed his parents, Cheryl and Dan, here for the second time. We are happy they were able to join us for the anniversary festivities. They have been very supportive of both Dan and our mission. God bless 'em.

Fun on a bike

Alexis, Delince and Daniel taking their turn riding a bike this morning. The boys have to share as we have only a handful of bikes so they make the most of it.

Calince and Jean-Robert

Calince and Jean-Robert anticipating a fun weekend.

Bean shucking time

It is time for the harvesting of "pwa kongo" so the kids are busy shucking as much as they can. I'm not sure what variety of beans these are but they are the essence of the famous Haitian bean sauce. Hmmm!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Prep underway for anniversary party

We'll be celebrating ten years here this coming weekend and folks are starting to arrive, rehearsals are going on, last minute planning meeting is tomorrow. It is exciting. Please join us in spirit as we thank God for His many blessings that allow us to help His children.

Father Charlie and Kevin

Kevin proudly smiling at this own joke.
Father Charlie laughing at a pun that Kevin just made.

Connie rehydrating

Here's a shot of Connie drinking up on water to rehydrate after traveling since last night. She' sitting with me and Placide. I have no idea to whom I'm speaking in this photo but I'm apparently serious.

Pat and Amanda

Pat, first-timer with us, and Amanda who is returning to work with us thru June appear to be enjoying themselves. Very glad to have Amanda back with us for a while and a warm welcome to Pat. May this be the first of many visits.

Pam and Paige

Mother and daughter enjoying themselves at Castel-Pere before the actual anniversary festivities begin. Great to have Paige back with us for the next few months and happy to see Pam with us for our celebration.


Robinson Sintilien is seen here finishing up a little grill for a staff person. This is very good. The staff person gets the necessary material, Robinson does the welding and painting, gets something for his efforts and saves the staff person a little money to boot.