Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year 2011

 From the children and staff of Pwoje Espwa Sud:  
May God bless you all in 2011 with His peace.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kitchen-Dining Room Roof

A few of the many panels that our S2H team put together this week.

Harry Joseph's Funeral

 Flanked by Jean-Levelt and Markenson, I read from John's Gospel this morning at Woosman's dad's funeral service.
 Harry Joseph's casket
Harry was laid to rest in a crypt on the family property in Mizaine near Cance.  Woosman's aunt's house is in the background.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Smail and Woosman
At around 10:30 last evening, a terrible thing happened in the village next to us.  A stranger to the area was found in someone's home.  The owner reached out to neighbors who confronted the man.  One thing led to another and the man was brutally killed.  I was there this morning and saw the corpse.  When I say "brutally killed", I mean brutally.  People claimed self-defense.  Others said that he had a pouch of powder (black magic) in his pocket.  No one knew him.  Fourteen hours after the incident, the local judge had not come by to declare a wrongful death.  The body was there for all to gawk at.  Soon afterwards, the police (assisted by MINUSTAH) arrested the home owner and his whole family including his wife who is one of our housemothers and a son who is a member of the Espwa Community.  Neither the wife nor the son were there but who cares.
The saddest part is that we eventually found out that the stranger was the father of one of our boys.  Woosman, above, saw the corpse this morning and thought his clothing looked familiar.  He called his brother, Smail, who identified the body as their father.  Before we knew what was happening, the locals buried the body.  Woosman's dad has a history of alcohol abuse and we figure that he was inebriated and confused when he came yesterday to visit his son.  
Needless to say, Woosman and Smail need some prayers at this time.  Our housemother, young community member and their family could use some, too.

Viral video

Thanks to Paige for the previous post on Platel.  Do me a favor and tell all your friends/contacts to look it up on YouTube.  Let's help make it viral.  Haiti has loads of talented and good people but the media presents a very negative image.  With your help, we can try to offset this.  Thank you.

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Merry Christmas, Bloggers!  This is Paige posting for Father Marc from Arizona.

We have been saving up this video for me to post from the States (faster Internet)- and I hope you like it!

Platel, our little singing superstar, wrote this song when he was asked to perform live at a Christmas program in Les Cayes at the beginning of December.  This is also the song that Father Marc refers to in his other posts about Platel and his singing.

His lyrics are so profound, and has left everyone at Espwa amazed.

Enjoy, and let Platel know what you think!

Kominote Espwa celebrates

 Gary, Kendy and Jean Brunel
 TiCharles baked a fantastic cake
Back to us- Yvaniel.  Top: Lifaite, Prosper, Evens and Eklesias
The 20 members of the Espwa Community had a special lunch today thanks to an anonymous sponsor.  These young men are discerning whether or not they have a religious calling. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas gifts

More smiling faces.
Posted by Picasa
Children of ESPWA received gifts this morning thanks to Schweitzer United Methodist Church of Springfield, MO, the kind folks in southern CA and our wonderful friends from MN.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas 2010

We, the children and staff of Pwoje Espwa Sud, wish you all His peace and radiant life this Christmas.  We celebrate the birth of the true light of the world.  As Isaiah says in his 9th chapter:
"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone."
May His light shine through us.
A blessed Christmas to you all.

Christmas 2010

God of endless ages, Father of all goodness, we keep vigil for the dawn of salvation and the birth of your Son.  With gratitude we recall His humanity, the life He shared with men and women.  May the power of His divinity help us answer His call to forgiveness and life.

-Opening prayer for the Vigil Mass
of the The Nativity of the Lord


The second edition of ESPWA NAN NWEL took place last evening.  It was a huge success due to the work and support of many people.  Practically every employee helped by sponsoring the event.  Could not have done this otherwise.  Kids were rehearsing for weeks and the culmination was a terrific program showcasing some very talented children and teens.  I thoroughly enjoyed the evening and only wish that you could have been there.  Maybe next year?


Of the original 16 groups/individuals who started out in this competition, one was chosen last night as the winner.  Michael, Patrick and Woodlin won because their scores were the highest.  The music was original, well performed, choreography was creative and they brought down the house.  Congrats to them! 


Bernonie, our ChildCare Coordinator, took her judging role very seriously.
Djoune, Outreach Coordinator, was a huge supporter for this event and was a judge.
Posted by Picasa


MaTante recited a poem about the true meaning of Christmas.
Berthony Constant, our Director, made this evening possible as the principal architect of the event.  Here he's addressing the crowd, thanking the sponsors and wishing the contestants good luck.
Maitre Etienne, our Education Director, was the Senior Judge.
Gina, our Pedagogy Consultant for our schools, was captivated by the talent of the children and had the difficult task of judging.
Posted by Picasa

Guest performers

Platell sings a song he wrote to the delight of the crowd.
Julio and Tama sing a duet and had everyone clapping and singing along.
Jimmy performs a song he wrote for the occasion.  He was a huge hit and received a standing ovation.
These three acts were invited to perform because they deserved the honor and were not competitors.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


These two boys, brothers from the area, came to check out the cause of the cheering here this afternoon.  The soccer teams playing the first round of the Christmas Tournament had some very vocal fans.  These boys attend our school and eat with us every day.  I asked them to smile for the camera.  That didn't work so I asked that they show me their teeth and "voila".

Christmas Soccer Tournament

Our primary school students are on vacation so to keep them busy we've got several things going on.  Above are photos of one of the soccer matches being played for the Christmas Tournament.  You ought to see some of these kids play!  Holy mackerel.  World Cup, here we come. 

Foot-operated hand washing station

With more and more cases of cholera popping up all around us, we've decided to set up some hand washing stations on the Castel-Pere campus.  That's a suspended two gallon jug rigged up with string so that a foot pedal flips it up and water pours out.  See the bar of soap (hanging at the end of ESPWA)?  If nothing else, the washing stations serve as a reminder that we all need to wash our hands frequently.

Lady Bird would be proud

Am I dating myself with that title?  Lady Bird Johnson encouraged the beautification of the United States so I think she'd approve of this little project.  Our agriculture guys planted coconut trees all along the entrance road to Pwoje Espwa Sud.  Doesn't show up much now but, if the goats give us a break, they'll be real nice in a few months.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


At 12:30 PM this afternoon the first container (now empty) arrived on our property.  It now needs to be offloaded and then refilled with the original contents.  What an exercise in patience!

S2H Containers-- Part 3

 Photo above of both containers: one stuck in a ditch and the other stuck spinning its wheels in the muddy front yard of our neighbor.
Second container arrives and can't pass so the driver decided to try going through our neighbor's yard.

S2H Container Saga-- Part 2

 Here's the antique heavy-duty tow truck from town that struggled yesterday evening and early this morning to pull the tractor-trailer from the ditch.  It was finally decided this morning to off-load the container onto our truck which lightened the load.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

S2H Container

Some days you just wanna go back to bed.
This truck left Cap-Haitien yesterday and made it all the way to Madame Combe, the village outside our main gate, this afternoon when the driver misjudged a low hanging tree and ended up in the ditch.  One of our guys went off to hire a tow truck but that was hours ago.

The Leclerc family

This is Lisiane Leclerc, a widow of two years, with her four daughters.  They benefit from our cantine (soup kitchen) and spend most of the day with us.  The rent on their room is due and Liliane can't afford it.  She does odd jobs but cannot provide for her children the way she'd like.  None of her daughters presently attend school.  Their names: Renette, MarieLine, Elvie and Christophine.  We'll do what we can to get them in school for the next semester.  Rent for the year is 5,000 Gourdes or $125 US.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

English Class

Fewer English students showed up this afternoon because this is exam time and the others were out cramming. 
Posted by Picasa

Water tower base

This is the water tower base we are building that will provide water for the girls' homes and the new kitchen/dining room.  It is super solid and heavily reinforced.

Painted Girls' Homes

Which color do you prefer?  Lemon yellow or mint green?  Let me know and I'll tell you what the kids like and which one I'd choose for my home.  Thirty of our girls chose the color...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Small candle

Berthony Constant, Director of Pwoje Espwa Sud, with local development team
"Better to light a small candle than curse the darkness" is a necessary way to look at things down here if one wants to avoid frustration or worse.  During the manifestations when all roads were blocked and violence erupted in major urban areas (like our own Les Cayes), the people of Madame Combe worked together to build this small bridge enabling locals to cross a healthy stream.  We helped with the purchase of some cement bags and rebar.  We believe it very important to support the people when they work to help themselves.  Many of our school children now have a shorter walk to get to school.  The image of Haitians working together to better their situation is not what makes the news so I was  prompted to post this

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Aftermath 2

 Warehouse that Customs used
Customs Office needing some curb appeal now.