Friday, October 29, 2010


Estanley Douyon wearing his new t-shirt and holding a soccer ball, both gifts from Jake
Though our visitors from Wisconsin have been gone a week, the kids are still asking for Jake.  Jake brought down about 50 t-shirts (like the one above) and soccer balls.  He organized a soccer tournament which was was a huge hit with the boys despite the inclement weather.  Can I tell the kids you're coming back, Jake?

Monday, October 25, 2010

TiJean Lucien

Some of the older boys are always ready to give us a hand.  TiJean is one of those.  He sacrificed his Sunday afternoon to help offload the container so that the driver and his co-pilot could head back home today.  Thanks to you, TiJean, and to the other 20 young men who helped out.

S2H container

Shelter2Homes' container arrived yesterday afternoon.  The crew emptied out all the building material for the kitchen-dining room roof and five homes which included a couple of mixers.  Those suckers are heavy.  A forklift would have come in real handy. [Oops, my bust.  The container brought the material for the school at Gressier.  Darn!]

Sunday, October 24, 2010

No room in the inn

These boys have to sit or stand outside as there's no more room in the place of worship.


There's standing room only on Sunday mornings when we gather for church.  One of these days we'll have a decent worship space.

Cholera outbreak

You probably have read or heard about the cholera outbreak here.  The majority of the cases are in the Artibonite Valley which is north of Port-au-Prince.  The scary part is that cases are slowly popping up south of that area and a few have been reported in the capital where hundreds of thousands of Haitians are living in tent cities.  These "communities"do not have adequate sewage facilities nor enough safe drinking water.  This could become another huge tragedy for Haiti.  Let's pray that it doesn't.
There have been no cases of cholera down here in the southern department so far.  Our physician has scheduled a training session on this topic for all staff so that the facts get out for effective prevention.  Our wells are tested regularly and the children are taught not to drink from other sources.  To be safe, we are treating our drinking water for the children with AquaTabs. 
Please keep all the Haitian families in your prayers. 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Clinic worksite

As our crew lost some time this week due to the wet weather, they worked today.  Things are moving along.

Sneakers and sandals

Shelley (Wisconsin) left a suitcase full of sandals and sneakers this week.  We called in some of the little people and made them very happy.  Thank you very much, Shelley.  Hope y'all made it home safe and sound. You were terrific guests!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Major t-storm

It started around four this morning and peaked at five.  Holy mackerel !!  Thunderous claps, sizzling in the electrified air, followed blinding bolts of lightning.  The rains went from torrential to a mild shower.  Things appear calm now but there won't be school or work today as rivers and streams are swollen, trees are down and getting here from town too challenging.  The skies are still overcast so everyone expects more noise and rain later on.  As one of our visitors said this morning -- "WOW!  Now that was a thunderstorm!"

Les Cayes Prison

Those of you who keep in the loop on all things Haitian know that there was a prison riot this past week in Port-au-Prince. Three prisoners were killed. We visited the local prison this morning and we brought medicine, mattresses (see above) and some food as they've run out for the month. The photo shows the cramped cell where minors are held. The youngest in this group of thirteen is 14 and the oldest is 18. They are locked up a minimum of 23 hours a day. There's no plumbing, only a bucket. The boys need toiletries, clothing and sandals. Sorry about the quality of the photo but it was taken surreptitiously. I asked the guys to smile for the photo and they complied-- to my amazement.
Our ministry in the prison is pretty limited. We help out as mentioned above and we offer the "condemned" (those who have seen a judge and received a sentence) a chance to become tailors. This is good but there's much more to be done.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wencia Cadet

Six year old Wencia is the daughter of Winzor who died last year.  Winzor was a graduate of ours so we are helping his daughter with school expenses.  She and her mother came by to thank us today.  Pretty cool uniform, non?

Clinic worksite

Our guys are putting in a great effort to get the foundation done while the weather is good.  Notice the sky in the top photo?  Maybe those dark clouds will pass us by-- that's our hope!

Girls' Home

The windows are going in.  Top:  Outside-- Rico filling in the space with mortar.  Bottom:  Inside-- Kelly and Eddy install the windows by securing them to the walls with long screws.

Kitchen-Dining Room

 Photo from the northwest corner of the dining room.  Is this huge or what?
 Shot of the kitchen storage rooms and washroom.
John (Wisconsin) advising our plumbers on the washroom layout.


It has been a pleasure to have Stephen and Isaiah of Shelter2Home with us.  They have to leave us very early tomorrow morning and they'll be missed.  Isaiah and Stephen, thank you for sharing your time and expertise with our young men.  Hope to see more of you in the near future.

Girls' time

Our girls were treated to some personalized girl time with the wonderful ladies of Wisconsin.  All had their nails painted and were glowing from the attention.  Thanks, ladies-- especially Michelle and Marian.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Stephen to the rescue

Stephen, in the light shirt and bluejeans, teaches our guys about cement texture and how important that is for finishing coat of stucco.

First Aid Training

From right: Dylan, Shelley, Sonson, Marian and Michelle
Our friends from Wisconsin taught two sessions on First Aid that included how to help a choking victim, how to recognize a heart attack and what to do in that case, how to treat bad wounds and burns.  The guys got a lot out of this training and were grateful for the occasion.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Happy B'day to Patrick and Marian

Patrick turned 15 this past Friday and Marian celebrated her birthday today so we had a little, festive cake made by Monsieur Charles which was enjoyed by all.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Water: source of life

  1. Every week, 42,000 people die from unsafe drinking water and unhygienic living conditions.
  2. Students in developing countries lose 443 million school days each year due to diseases associated with the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene. Repeated episodes of diarrhea and worm infestations diminish a child's ability to learn and impair cognitive development.
  3. More people have access to cell phones than to toilets. As a result, tons of untreated human waste make their way to water sources causing a litany of diseases, and even death.
  4. The US, Mexico and China lead the world in bottled water consumption, with people in the US drinking an average of 200 bottles of water per person each year. Over 17 million barrels of oil are needed to manufacture those water bottles, 86 percent of which will never be recycled.
Many Haitians do not have access to potable drinking water but that can change.  If people back home stopped or cut back on buying bottled water and used a filtered water system (some are simple and inexpensive) and donated some of the money saved to groups like those below, water could be available to thousands more Haitians.

Jean Sony

Another shot of Jean Sony at his request.
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Jean Sony Adonis

Jean Sony Adonis is thirteen years old and comes from Tiburon.  He has five brothers and three sisters.  The parents work hard in farming but cannot make ends meet.  His family needs a sponsor so that the children can attend school and eat every day.  Until we find one, Jean Sony will be staying with us here.  Wants to be a carpenter someday and is already spending time in our workshop.
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Second one done

Stephen of Shelter2Home came in with Donald and Isaiah last Thursday evening.  He taught our team a new way to stucco and the second house's exterior was done in one day.  Wow!

Construction Update

For those of you keeping track: top photo shows the posts that were made this past week for the kitchen/dining-room.  Won't be long before we're ready for the roof that was just fabricated in the states. In the bottom photo you can see the rebar sticking up from the base foundation of the clinic.  If the rains stay away we'll have the foundation work completed next week at this time.

Director Berthony Constant

Caught Berthony, our new director, in a pensive mood at the end of the day yesterday.  He has a lot on his shoulders and I have much confidence in his abilities.  We are instituting some new management techniques which should make his job easier.  Keep him in your prayers as he leads Pwoje Espwa Sud into a new era.


Alphonse is 14 and lives in the neighboring village of Mde Combe.  He eats with us, comes to school here and shares in our bounty (clothing, shoes, personal hygiene stuff).  Alphonse is quiet, likes to observe and is always ready to lend a hand.


 TiLouis strikes a pose.  TiLouis is his nickname because he comes from St Louis du Sud.  He's a terrific soccer player (best in his class) and a very good student.  Wants to become a soccer star but will settle for being an accountant or maybe an engineer.  He likes carpentry, too, so who knows.  Espwa makes it possible for him to dream and your support makes Espwa possible.

Friday Afternoon Dance Class

Dance class participants: the girls tend to dance together while the boys prefer a different approach. 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

First one done

Stucco work is now done for the first girls' home.

International Food Relief Program

 Paige, International Food Relief Program (IFRP) Manager, was in Camp-Perrin yesterday delivering fortified rice packets to the children in our school.
This is the largest class in the school-- almost 100 children in one classroom.  IFRP is co-sponsored by USAID and Cross International.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

School bound

The housemothers accompany the children to class in the morning.  See Stanley at the front in the top photo.


This truck has been delivering rocks to us for the klinik.  Many refused to come out here cause the roads are so bad but this particular truck (and driver) has stuck with us.

Girls' Home

The first of the girls' homes is almost finished.  The external stucco work is done and waits on a coat or two of paint.  Very nice!