Sunday, January 30, 2011

Gifted cross

The San Damiano Cross is the large Romanesque rood cross that St. Francis of Assisi was praying before when he received the commission from the Lord to rebuild the Church. The original cross presently hangs in the Basilica of Saint Clare (Basilica di Santa Chiara) in Assisi. Franciscans cherish this cross as the symbol of their mission from God. The cross is of a type sometimes called an icon cross because besides the main figure it contains images of other saints and people related to the incident of Christ's crucifixion. 
This cross was gifted to our discerning community by the Franciscan friars, Brothers Max and Robert.  It hangs in one of the two homes the community members share.


Meet the team responsible for plowing our fields.  They are eco-friendly and reliable.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Look at these tomato plants
 pwa nwa (black beans)
kalalou-- don't recall the name in English but it is usually about three inches long, green and star-shaped when cut sideways.  It's a popular veggie in the southern states.
From wikipedia:
Callaloo is widely known throughout the Caribbean and has a distinctively Caribbean origin, created by enslaved Africans using ideas of the indigenous people along with both African (okra) and indigenous (Xanthosoma) plants (See Palaver Sauce for the West African dish). Trinidadians have embraced this dish from their ancestors and over time have added ingredients such as coconut milk to modify its flavor.


Our guys pouring the top of the cistern yesterday afternoon.  This cistern will provide water to the girls' houses and the kitchen/dining room.  The top enclosed section is the cistern and the pump-house is below.
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First S2H house

Jhony, Berthony, Renold and Venel are the backdrop for the foundation of the first home to be built by Shelter2Home for earthquake victims. It is located right down the street from us. Check in often for updates.
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Friday, January 28, 2011

Making rosaries

Our good friends from Shepherd of the Hills Parish (Eden, Wisconsin) brought down lots of supplies and clothing.  One was all the makings for rosaries so that the boys could make their own in any color combination.  Big hit with the kids!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Voc School

A few of our vocational school students model the new t-shirts they just received. Each has a symbol of their chosen profession on the left front and "ESPWA" embroidered on the left sleeve. They don't show up too well in this photo but you get the idea.
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 Brothers Max and Robert, assisted by Sister Paige, share their spiritual insights with the small ESPWA community.
Franciscan brother Max poses with the Espwa community.  We are grateful to the brothers for their presence and for their willingness to share the vision of St Francis with us.  We look forward to a long friendship with them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Shella Dupera

This is Shella Dupera.  She's 30 years old and has two children- a little boy of seven and a girl who is six years old.  She was in Port-au-Prince for the earthquake last year but she and her family came through it all right.  They lost their house but had each other.  Three days after the quake, the small family of four finally found a ride to Les Cayes where Shella's mother lives.  The bus they were on was involved in an accident.  Shella was hurt and knocked unconscious; she woke up days later at the General Hospital in Les Cayes and saw that her left leg had been amputated.  Soon afterwards Shella's husband left her.
She comes here every week for a ration of food for her small family.  This morning she asked us to pay for her two children's school expenses.  How could we not?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saplings from our nursery

We sell saplings from our nursery to mostly missionaries and non-profits who are interested in reforestation.  It's one way our farm raises money to help us feed the children with fresh fruit and vegetables.  Here's the list and prices.

Gourdes Dollars US
Avocatier non greffe Avocado 10 Gdes 0.25
Cocotier Coconut 75 Gdes 1.75
Chadequier Grapefruit 10 Gdes 0.25
Citronnier Lime 15 Gdes 0.38
Manguier Mango 10 Gdes 0.25
Manguier (greffe) Mango 10 Gdes 0.25
Caimite Star apple 10 Gdes 0.25
Acajou Mahogany 5 Gdes 0.13
Bois blanc Pine 5 Gdes 0.13
Cerise Cherry 10 Gdes 0.25

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Working Hard

Some of our hardest workers are the employees that feed our children.  We serve approximately 3,500 meals each day- that's three meals a day for all of our resident children, as well as meals for our students, neighboring children, and some of our employees.  These women, for instance, are cleaning the 20 large pots that it took to serve lunch today...and that was just one meal. 
  Imagine doing this three times a day. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Meet Farrah. The newest member of the Pwoje Espwa Sud family.  Farrah is the oldest of three girls. Her mother was left to care for her three daughters after her father abandoned her to find a better life in Port au Prince.  Farrah's mother had a job as a servant for a local man, but when he started abusing her, she took her daughters and left.

She and her three beautiful daughters were left homeless, jobless, and hungry.  Unfortunately, because Farrah's younger sisters are so young (both under 2) we do not have the facilities to care for them, so we are only able to take Farrah in at this time.

Farrah is adjusting well.  She gets along well with the others, and is well liked.  We hope to refine our new outreach program soon.  This way we can assist Farrah's family from home, so she wouldn't have to be separated from her sisters. Until then, if you would like to sponsor Farrah and/or her struggling mother, please let us know.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Two Returning Friends

We had the pleasure of spending last week with Sandey Tenuto and Nancy Giles- both from Phoenix, AZ.  Sandey has been here a few times in the past year sharing her gift of photography with us, and Nancy is a returning friend who visited this past summer for the first time.

We love having both around, and ladies, you will be missed! Hurry back!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Where'd You Get Those Kicks?

Where did you get those kicks?!

TOMS Shoes! TOMS shared thousands of shoes with Pwoje Espwa Sud. 

Now, not only our children, but children up and down the southern coast will be rockin' TOMS Shoes.  Shoes are a luxury in Haiti, and because of TOMS children in the south will be cleaner, healthier, and more confident in their new TOMS Shoes!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


The boy in the bright blue trousers is the cousin.  The other three are brothers from Madame Combe, the village right next door to us.  They participate in all our activities-- school, sports, arts&crafts, meals, medical-- but go home at night.  The shortest boy's name is TiCapi and the tallest is called Jiji.

Vehicular memories

This pick-up arrived last night from PaP.  It was purchased for us by a friend back in the spring of last year, was thoroughly checked out by a mechanic and put on a container in southern California.  The boys love it even though it is older than most of 'em.  As a matter of fact, I was assigned one just like this when I was a Navy chaplain and serving with Marines in Desert Shield/Storm.  It is going to be put to good use.

Friends from AZ

Jason, Sandey and Ashton
Jason and Ashton are partners in UPCYCLE Living.  Upcycle means recycling to a more noble end.  They are working with us to transform shipping containers into housing.  We met them through Sandey, a professional photographer, and very good friend.  Great having you here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One year ago

Haitians everywhere will be spending the day tomorrow prayerfully remembering all those who lost their lives and loved ones, who lost their homes and employment in the worst natural disaster to ever strike Haiti.  
I do not want to add my voice to the cacophony of journalists looking to attract readers/viewers or the non-profits using this day to raise money.
I will not post anything tomorrow and ask that you keep us all in your prayers.  As part of our service tomorrow morning, we will remember your immense kindness when Haiti needed you most.

Future temporary home

Once the columns are built and a steel door installed, our accounting office will be moving into this large room in the Guest House.  It has been increasingly difficult to be efficient when the accounting office is in town while everyone else is here.  We will save a ton of gourdes on moto-taxis and cut down on wasted time.  This is a temporary solution while waiting for the new administration building to be built.


Six of our young neighbors wait on supper late this afternoon..

MaTante holding court

MaTante listens to the boys (all residents of the same house) and offers advice.  This was a serious moment but right after the photo was taken the boys started laughing uproariously.

Pump house

Maxo's crew is working hard to put up the columns that will support the water tower.  Dining Facility is to the left.

Future chef?

TiOurs was playing restaurant this afternoon.  His client was pleased with the service and cuisine though the choices were limited.

Sunday, January 9, 2011



pwa nwa/black beans
As soon as the rainy season ended (about four weeks ago) Toussaint, our agronomist, and his crew planted cabbage, onions and black beans.  Looks like about 20 acres worth.  Wished I liked cabbage a bit more than I do.

Friday, January 7, 2011


TiChal bought these items at a local store.  Can one of you tell me how much these cost in the states?
32 oz of honey costs 345 Gourdes/US $8.75
can of mushroom soup costs 75 Gourdes/US $1.90
28 oz of peanut butter costs 267 Gourdes/US $6.76
hot pepper sauce costs 34 Gourdes/US $.86
8 oz of grated Parmesan cheese costs 265 Gourdes/US $6.71
10 oz can of asparagus costs 191 Gourdes/US $4.84
32 oz jar of strawberry preserves costs 210 Gourdes/US $5.32
I'd appreciate hearing from someone who knows the US supermarket prices to the above food items.  Thanks very much!
Wow!  Great response.  Appreciate the compared prices and your efforts.  The next time I'm in Maine I'll check out Hannaford's in Farmington.  Hannaford's sent us tons and tons of bottled water right after the earthquake.  Them there folks up in Maine are right generous!! (Pronounced with a down east accent.)


This is our neighbor, Pierre.  He came to ask for employment as he hates the humiliation of begging.  Pierre was in Port-au-Prince in his second year at a professional school a year ago when the earthquake struck.  The school was demolished, the place he was staying collapsed.  Pierre was paying his way through school by teaching illiterate older people at a small community school.  That, too, was destroyed.  He made his way to his grandmother's shack near here and has been looking for an opportunity ever since.  Unfortunately, we can't just create jobs to help folks find employment.  In a few days we'll hold several services to honor the lives lost and ruined last January 12th.  Pierre said that he'll be here for this.

Housing and Kitchen

Took this photo this morning.  You can see the pumphouse (left background) on which we will build a cistern/water-tower for the girls' housing and the kitchen/dining room. 
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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Club Performance

These young men and women are mostly medical students who came here last week and trained our children in personal hygiene and the prevention of diseases (like Cholera).  They call themselves Club Performance and their president is our very own Joey Lamarre, brown shirt-- second from right.  What a great bunch of young people who gave up a week of the Christmas vacation to help us out.  May God bless them abundantly!
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Greetings from ESPWA

After church on January 1st, the kids and I assembled to wish you all a Happy New Year.  Had problems with the interface of my computer and my digital camera so we are a bit tardy with the photo.  So even though today is the 4th, we still wish you health, joy and peace this coming year.