Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The first girls' home

The first of the girls' homes is structurally complete.  All the walls and the roof are in place and connected.  A few little things remain to be done like the stucco, the electrical work, the plumbing... but we are pleased with the progress.


Jean-Gardy comes from Ile-a-Vache, the island just south of here.  He's 12 and in the eighth grade.  Two years ago he was kidnapped and all his belongings were stolen.  He has nightmares about that still.
Djerline (Djoune) Clerge is head of our AIDS Prevention Program sponsored by USAID and Cross International.  Djoune is well organized, a caring nurse and, most importantly, the kids love her.
Seventeen year old Woosman was riding a bike and I caught him as he was going by.  He's an excellent student and talented soccer player.  All of a sudden he has become popular with the girls.  Hmmm!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

REACH Home for girls

Top photo:  early morning
Mid photo:  late morning
Bottom photo:  afternoon
We are extremely happy to see the fruit of our teams' efforts.  Still need the roof panels and the walls have yet to be anchored to the foundation but, hey, the walls are up!

Bravo !!

Congrats to Kens (Skinny B) Buteau.  He scored the highest in the ninth grade national exam from our area.  We received the results this morning.  Great job, Kens!


Michael, Russ, me, John, Peter and Mark
Michael Wilson of Cross International escorted these gentlemen who will spend the day with us.  Lots to see and do in such a short time but that's the way it is sometimes.  Maybe next time they'll be able to stay a bit longer.  We look forward to working with them for a long time.

Help for small orphanage

Matt (visitor) and Samy carry some boxes of enriched rice to a small orphanage in Camp-Perrin.  Bottom: Two of the girls at the orphanage.

Ninja warrior apprentices

Waste strips of the insulating foil used for the REACH homes were put to good use by the boys.  They did not see scrap to be thrown out but warrior gear as the photo attests.

Chris Irr

Chris Irr (above) was here this past week with his dad, Frank, and cousin Matt.  Chris is working on a video presentation for us.  He's interviewed key people and taken lots of footage of our activities.  Can't wait to see the final, edited tape.  I first met Chris and Frank in Kodiak, Alaska when I was chaplain with the Coast Guard back in '95-'96.  Wow, how time flies!

Siting the new clinic

With the walled children's village in the background, our construction team decides where the new clinic will be sited.  Looks like a lot of open space, eh?  In reality there's the vocational classroom for tailors/seamstresses to the immediate left of this photo and six containers to the right.  We had to allow for future professional school classrooms and consider access issues. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

REACH, Cross International and ESPWA

Photos of two REACH building teams working on assembling panels which will become the walls and roofs of the girls' homes.  This is exciting for our young men as the hope is this training will lead to permanent jobs which will allow them independence.  The challenge has always been: what happens to the children after they age out of our residential program?  Unemployment is up to 80% in our area so, even if one has a skill (carpentry, plumbing, masonry...), jobs are extremely difficult to come by.  This training is sponsored by Cross International.

ESPWA shirts

Housemothers (top photo) and choir members proudly show off the ESPWA t-shirts and/or polo shirts that Dee brought down with her last week.


Inspired by the walkways in the children's village, the older boys built this which leads to the future girls' homes.  We should be seeing those structures up this week.

Our mill

Remember that windstorm I mentioned last week?  We discovered that it dealt a death blow to the roof on our mill.  Had to remove it for safety reasons so now we need to put up a new one.  Because of all the re-construction going one these days, building materials are costly so this roof will end up costing us about twice what it did just two years ago. Yikes!

Meet Bobby

This is Bobby, one of our neighbors.  He told me that he is looking forward to attending our Pre-School this year.  

Friday, August 20, 2010

Les Anglais

Here's the monument in the town-square of Les Anglais photographed right in front of the church.  The funeral was held here at 2:00 PM yesterday.  It was packed with mourners and really hot.  I preached a short homily but the Mass was an hour and half long anyway.

Funeral in Les Anglais

Jen, Paige, Peter, Duckens, Johnny
Here's a photo of five of the nine folks from ESPWA who drove to Les Anglais yesterday for the funeral of Michael Wilson's wife's father.  Marjorie, Michael, their four sons were relieved to see some friendly faces.  The drive is two and a half hours (one way) so it became a real outing.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Amanda and Fritzner

Amanda and Fritzner were married last Saturday in Iowa.  Amanda was a volunteer with us and Fritzner worked in our Clinic.  Fritz was once one of our charges.  May God bless their union.  This great photo was taken by Sandey Tenuto.  Click on it to see the detail!

Hanging out

Four of the boys hanging out before the storm unleashed its fury.  They all made it safely into the secondary school when it finally struck.

Five minute windstorm

The menacing dark clouds were apparent for hours late this morning.  All of a sudden, the wind kicked up with hurricane force and came upon us from the southeast and then the southwest.  The rain followed.  I guestimate we lost at least ten percent of our banana crop in those few minutes.  It was quite dramatic!

San Juan Capistrano Parish

Joe and Julia Flynn sit alongside Gabe Santos.  They were taking a break from the eye clinic.  All three come from San Juan Capistrano Mission Parish in California.

California visitors

 Doctor Powers Griffin examines a patient.
Adou proclaimed to Andrea Jasper that she could see clearly for the first time in many years.  The clinic that Dr. Powers ran while here was a huge success.  Just ask Adou.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

In memoriam

Berthony Constant's sister died this week and her funeral was this afternoon in Camp-Perrin.  She was also one of our pre-school teachers and engaged to one of our staff so this loss is felt by everyone at ESPWA.  We appreciate your prayers.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Update- Kitchen and Dining Room

Under dark and menacing clouds our masons and workers finish the foundation for our new kitchen and dining room.  The extended rainy season has caused havoc with our building timetable but we are forging ahead.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Michaelle and Samson

Michaelle and Samson watch the guys unload the containers.

REACH containers

The two REACH containers finally arrived today.  This is excellent news as it means that the girls' homes will get built.  They should go up in a flash as all the metalwork is pre-cut and numbered.  Fifteen of our older boys are slated to work with Donald to learn this new construction method and chances are they'll be employed for years to come. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bon Voyage to Dimitri and Eric

Dimitri and Eric pose with their pathways construction team.  Both are taking TortugAir for Port-au-Prince this morning and then catching a flight back to the states.  We wish them safe travels and thank them for their dedication.  The pathways were Dimitri's Eagle Scout Project.  He raised all the necessary funds to make this project a reality, a beautiful gift for our children's village.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Traditional photo for the Rogues' Gallery

Clockwise from the top: Dimitri, Eric, Monica and Chris.  We look forward to a long relationship with both ladies and the University of Michigan that could lead us to more admin efficiency.  The boys, Dimitri and Eric, are a joy in their willingness to assist us in the dirt where real life happens.  Our hope is that they, too, join us in our long-term ESPWA projects.

ESPWA Kindergarten

Thanks to volunteers organized by Donald Stevens of REACH, we will have the prettiest pre-school in all of Haiti.  See for yourself.


Paige took a few of our current visitors out for a sightseeing trip in the Quad BUV this afternoon.  From left:  Jennifer, a pre-med student who will be with us for a month, unknown child, Fery, Chris and Monica who come from the Univ. of Michigan and Mollie, a med student, who is wrapping up a month's volunteer time with us.

Children's Village Walkway

Dimitri Smith (right) is pictured with his friend, Eric, supervising the construction of walkways in the children's village.  Dimitri is a scout and this is his Eagle Project.  
The walkways will allow the children to get into and out of their homes without getting their feet wet and without bringing in loads of mud into their homes during the rainy seasons.  Dimitri was able to raise all the money to purchase the cement, gravel and sand needed for this project.  Great job, Dimitri.