Monday, March 30, 2009


Yes, this is Pouchon. He is hardly recognizable when he smiles. Pouchon and his older brother came to us a little over two years ago. He was reserved, to say the least, would answer questions with the tiniest of voices and express his emotions with his eyes. It is only recently that he has started to smile. This tells me that he feels safer and is more engaged with what is happening around here... a little miracle.

Sunday afternoon stroll

Fery and Jean-Robert stopped by the house yesterday. What better way to enjoy the afternoon? Fery turns 15 today so Happy Birthday to him and many more.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Late afternoon

My favorite time of day here is late afternoons when the light seems to bring out the beauty of Haiti. If I were a romantic, I'd say that the light seems to embrace everything individually and collectively at the same time. Thank goodness I'm not a romantic. This is the newly plowed field right next to where I live. Heard that we're planting beans.


Lines and Gardy, cousins, dropped by this afternoon to visit. Both are from Camp-Perrin. Lines is 18 y/o and Gardy is 16. Gardy is a carpenter's apprentice and Lines is into motors.

Rainy season

Looks like the rainy season is starting. The lady on the right is washing her feet after walking through the mud to get to work. All the roads, other then the paved major ones, become practically impassable--even with good four-wheelers. Good thing I have a horse!

Inauguration of the Bon Accord Bridge

Once the rain stopped and the skies cleared, we were able to hold a small ceremony of local dignitaries and folks to celebrate the successful completion of a small bridge and the rehab of an irrigation system. The people are very happy with the bridge as they can now easily cross the stream which can become a roaring river during the rainy or hurricane seasons. Funding was provided by USAID via OIM represented by Brian pictured above.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Jeannine Oaktanvil

Please overlook the quality of these photos. Camera problems. Jeannine is a mother and grandmother who was living in a small shack/lean to until this past week when she moved into the small green home pictured above. She will no longer get wet when it rains and will be safe at night. Jeannine cannot stand straight and has been this way for years. Her son and his wife look after her (they live next door) but there was no room for her. Jeannine spends her days in this wheelbarrow (her wheel chair, she calls it). The new home was built by Ray Verreault who has been volunteering with us for six years. He has a team of young Haitians who help him provide basic homes for the very poor. Funding is provided by Cross International and private donations. A small house like this costs about $1,500 at this time. Remember the phrase from Matthew 25:40 "whatsoever you do the least of my brothers, that you do for me".

Saturday, March 21, 2009

CFP Children's Farming Project

Here are a couple of shots of our early-bird farming group. They are planting lettuce, tomatoes, cukes, carrots, spinach... We're always in need of veggie seeds. The new housing program for the chickens and rabbits is happening as we speak Let's hope they like kenaf (see earlier post).

Friday, March 20, 2009

More little people

These clay figures represent the folks one sees daily here. The one on the left of the group is pulling a cart of plantains, charcoal and potatoes to the market; the one on the top is pushing a wheelbarrow full of cut sugarcane that people eat like candy here; the gentleman on the right shines shoes for a living and the guy on the bottom is often seen with tons of children around him. He has a block of ice in his cart from which he takes shavings, puts them into a small plastic cup and drenches it with various fruity syrups (the original sno-cone). These figurines are all small and handmade. The artisan will be working on a manger set which I'll post.

Miracle plants

Here are two photos of plants that could change things here in Haiti. The top photo is KENAF which we planted a couple of months ago. I've been told that it is ideal food for rabbits and chickens (even people) which is good news for us as food expenses run high for these critters. The bottom photo is JATROPHA and we have big plans for this one. The seeds of the jatropha can be pressed for biofuel and some of it can be used immediately. If we had a filter system we could use more of it. Animals do not take to the plant so they would be ideal for reforesting the naked mountains around here. It isn't a tree so folks will be less inclined to cut them down for carpentry needs or charcoal. The leaves are medicinal (anti-inflammatory) and the part of the seed that we don't use makes good compost. Imagine fields of these growing all over Haiti. Haitians could gather the seeds and sell them for processing or make their own biofuel, a natural alternative to fossil fuel which is super expensive here. We're looking for a large NGO to help us turn this seemingly little plant into a major catalyst in Haiti's recovery.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Natural and local

Kelly made me these lampshades for my bedroom. The baskets were repurposed for this use and I like it. There are so many possibilities here with so many creative people. All they need is a chance.

Robenson Georges

Robenson (five years old) is handicapped from birth. He can only manage to sit up. He lives with his pregnant mother in a small shack not far from here. Mom has to work to buy food and other essentials so she has to leave Robenson at home alone for hours at a time. Occasionally, neighbors check in on him. When Will dropped by one day Robenson was covered with insects and filthy. We will be hiring the mother to do light work here with us and she'll be bringing him along. Our carpenters will make him a small upholstered chair so he'll be able to see his mother and the other children. This is what you support by your generosity to us. God bless.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Arts and Crafts

Can you believe this? It is made of baked clay. The artisan who made it will be working with our guys.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Above are a couple of shots of our nursery and a long shot of the new children's garden. We are rotating about 50 kids in the garden project so that they all get a chance at seeing how the planting of seeds with the right mix of water and compost can produce food. This is important in a country that was once the agricultural center of the Caribbean exporting to Europe and North America but is now purchasing most food products from the Dominican Republic and the states.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Valparaiso students

Here are two of the Valparaiso University students brightening up the guest house. You can come back anytime. The kids miss you already!

CRS visit

Peter, Espwa's Project manager, Berthony, our Director, Michelet, Engineer manager for CRS and Greg, Supervisor of the CRS Program.
The ribbon is about to be cut to officially inaugurate the food distribution center at Castel-Pere. All those who had a hand in this project were there. Our kids put on a "really good shew" (remember ed Sullivan?). We look foward to more projects with CRS in the future that will benefit us and the folks in our area.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Blood brood

Doctor Michael Blood, his wife June and their son, Dan, have been here a week. Dan brought along nine fellow Valparaiso students who constructed a playground area for our children. You can see Doc Blood in the top photo with his son, Dan, who is turned away from the camera. June Blood is seen in the lower photo but only partially. I gotta me a photographer!

Arts and Crafts

One of our older boys is getting pretty talented with Haitian landscapes. We can get you a real deal if you come down in person. Jonas Jean is doing excellent work and we're looking to encourage him.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Man of the hour

Berthony Constant, our Assistant Director, is 28 years old today. We celebrated this morning with song and dance. There'll be a special lunch for him as the guest of honor. Guess what's on the menu? Yup, rice and chicken in a bean sauce with beet salad. Happy Birthday, Berthony, and many more.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Here's Dave settling down for a nap. And you think your bed is lumpy?

Pierre and I

Doc Jacob and his wife, Nurse Geralde, came by Sunday after Mass and brought their son along. Here he is. He is alert, happy and sleeps through the night. What a blessing!


We have our own version of 'Dancing With The Stars" down here. Caught Linda dancing with Evans Paul in the dance room the other day. A few more sessions together and they'll be ready for prime time.

Sue Valiton

Sue Valiton came to visit us a short while ago and made a huge impression on a few of the boys. She recently sent some English-Creole books for them and here is one boy's reply. My camera is a little limited but the note reads:
Dear Sue Valiton,
Today I am happy because you remember me. Thank you. I am happy to write this, so I remember you, my spirit (heart) uncontrolled (overflowing). I say you thank you for the dictionary you throw (sent) for me. Salute your family for me. Thank you.
I remember you, I pray for you.
Johnny Joseph

Friday, March 6, 2009


We are not always working and studying. There are moments of pure relaxation like that seen above. TiBoss Denord is the lucky one in the hammock made by one of our artisans. Roberto and Mathurin wait their turn.


The Food Distribution Center needs tables so our carpenters came up with these beauties. Here are George and Ronald varnishing them outside.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Soup kitchen

This is Monrose. She comes here everyday with her empty container waiting her turn to get food. She brings the food straight home to share with others in her family. We prepare over 3,000 meals a day here and there's never enough.

Here's Edy

Caught up with Edy after school this morning. He was happy to pose for you and asked me thank all the 'bienfaiteurs' who prayed for him. It is a real joy to have him back home with us.

New uniforms

For the first time in our history we have our own soccer uniforms. Doctor Michael Blood and his church and friends made this possible. The boys were ecstatic (to put it mildly) as you can see in the photo. Dr. Blood brought 66 full uniforms (shirts, shorts, socks, shin guards, two goalies outfits, two jackets for the coaches and a huge assortment of donated soccer shoes. There ain't nothing gonna stop them now!! My favorite is the goalie shirt...way cool!


Edy came back from Port-au-Prince and was extremely happy to be back home with us. He appears well and is on special meds to prevent seizures. Doctor Blood is with us and will be speaking with the physician who treated Edy so we should have more info soon. Thanks to all for your prayers and concern. Will get a photo of him today and post it later.

Pierre-Michel and Michelet

I got back home yesterday morning and found these two brothers sitting on my stoop. The older one, Pierre-Michel, is 12 and Michelet is 8 years old. They had not eaten since the day before and were kicked out of school because their mother cannoy pay for them. Their father is paralyzed from an accident where he used to work. We will pay for their schooling ($150 for both to finish the year) and they'll be coming to eat with us everyday. Your support allows this so thank you.
In a future post I'll be introducing our Family to Family Program so stay tuned for details. God bless.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Field Trip

The pre-schoolers were out for a short field trip this morning. Saw them going by, hand in hand. They visited the rabbits for a good thirty minutes and then hopped back to their classroom.


We try and encourage creativity whenever possible. I've made a big deal of the wooden furniture made by our carpenters and now it's the welders' turn. Robenson, assisted by Wilson, is making a sofa/bed combination. The arched back part of the sofa can be removed and what remains is a small bed. Ingenuous and very smart. Quantities are limited so order yours today!


Despite our losses, life goes on. Here are two photos taken last week of a celebration for a job well done. All the people who had a hand in building my house were invited for a classic Haitian dinner. Dino, Sonya, Johnny B. and Mrs. So worked very hard to make the dinner a success. The young men were very appreciative.

Monday, March 2, 2009

God help us

At 6:15 this morning I heard the news that Aramy Pierre died about three hours earlier in Camp-Perrin. He was recently married (see my post of that back in December) but things were not going well. Aramy was a gifted master teacher and a thoughtful man who leaves his wife and two sons, Pierre and Segundo. His funeral is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.
Later this morning, we heard screaming from one of our laundry ladies. She had just found out that her son was killed in a motorcycle accident. We are still grieving the deaths of LaMerci and LaChance and now ... This is a tough time for us so please keep us in your prayers.

Sad day

Yesterday was an emotionally draining day for us. We buried both LaMerci and Lachance. The double funeral was held in our old chapel at laMadonne in town. There was much crying and wailing. From there we processed through the streets of Les Cayes to the city cemetery. Pray for their families and the children who miss their "Mami" very much.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


This bus was purchased in July/August of 2007, driven down to Florida from PA, was repaired several times, eventually got on a ship and was transported to PaP where it took forever to clear customs, get registered and then insured. It rolled onto our property around 10 PM Friday. Thanks to Victor Stivanson for finding the bus and transporting it to FL, to Sandra Koch (Cross International) for arranging the necessary repairs and shipping.