Sunday, February 27, 2011

New calf

 This is the latest addition to the family, born last night. 
Was told this is the mother.  She looked calm, cool, collected and just a bit tired.

Roberto revisited

Saw Roberto and his mother this afternoon on my stroll.  Thought you'd like to see how well he's doing.  There'll be some scarring but he's healing really fast.  All he has is one small sore spot.  Just amazing!


Jean-Paul and Mackendy caught working on the doors for the kitchen/dining room.
Mac is our full-time welder and Jean-Paul is one of our better apprentices.

Teacher training

 Primary and Pre-school teachers gathered in one of the pre-school classrooms in an effort to hone their skills.
Diane Allerdyce, PHD (in Education) stands between Maitre Etienne, our Education Director, and Mr. D., Diane's translator.  He's also the accountant for Toussaint Louverture High School back in Florida.
 We are blessed to have Diane train our teachers which improves their performance and enhances the educational environment so that our children can blossom in school.  Diane has been coming twice a year for three years now.  Our teachers are enthusiastic about this as very few schools offer quality seminars to assist them.  We're looking forward to the day when this training can be done on-line.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vaccination Day

Today was a teacher training day in the primary school, which meant a "no school day" at the Espwa Primary School. 
Dr.'s Larry and Danielle Mutty (assisted by Rose Marthe and Linda) used the day to their advantage and were able to vaccinate over 200 of our resident children.  Our newest children received their first DPT shot, while the rest of our children received their polio vaccination.  All of the vaccinations are updated in each child's record and stored in our medical clinic. 

A group of children who have finished their vaccinations, but insist on hanging around to watch the "show".  Surprisingly, there wasn't much to see, as we only had one of our little girls cry.
Jean Claude receiving his polio vaccination from Rose Marthe.  He was a little nervous, but quickly forgot about the prick when he saw that he was receiving a candy treat. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chad Scott

Chad is the new Vice-President of Free The Kids, the non-profit in the states that works to support our mission down here.  He's getting the lay of the land from horseback.  It's been good getting to know him and letting him into our Espwa world.  Wish him well as he has a huge task ahead of him.

Monday, February 21, 2011

New friends

Here's a group shot of our new friends surrounding Paige.  To the right of Paige is Max who was the trip coordinator and he'll be coming back soon with some college students.  We were sad to see them leave this morning (very early this morning) but sure we'll see them again.  Our prayers went with them for a safe trip home.


 Sam and Gedna
When our doctors identified five cases of malaria for our children, our friends from North Carolina were quick to respond.  They went out and bought as much screening as possible in town, measured the windows in the kids' homes and started cutting 'em up.  Screens were installed a while back but most needed repairs or replacement.  What a great bunch of people!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Tiburon School

This is our small school in Tiburon.  It is half the size it should be and we really need to build another four classrooms so that we can accommodate more children. We guestimate that it would only cost $30,000 to accomplish this.
We're renting this small house for two classes.  It isn't too far from the school but it's cramped and noisy.


Photo taken yesterday when Berthony, our Director, and Maitre Etienne, our Director of Education, visited our small school there. This photo of the landscape behind our school depresses me.  Why?  See that plume of smoke?  That's charcoal being made from trees that have been cut down.  The hillsides are already starting to show the scarring of the deforestation.  Tiburon used to be all about fishing but several major storms destroyed the fishing fleet and the folks have turned to making charcoal in order to live.  What they need is help to get new boats and nets.  I'm looking for funding to help the fishing cooperative so if you know anyone interested, drop me a line.

Cholera Prevention Program

Terre des Hommes is a Swiss non-profit working in the southern part of Haiti.  They have been our good friends for years.  A team of theirs came by this week and installed these hand-washing stations at several locations on our property.  Pretty neat, eh?  Wonder where they got the buckets with logo and all.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Three boys

These three boys attend our pre-school and were on their way home when they decided to take a break in my yard.  I saw them as I was heading out this afternoon.  After exchanging pleasantries, the boy to the left asked -"You don't happen to have any matchbook cars in your house, do you?"  Told them I'd look around.  


Arts & Crafts are always a hit with the kids.  The North Carolina group brought all the makings for some creative activity on the part of the children.

Fun stuff

Our friends from North Carolina (and one from Florida) led some fun activities this afternoon.  This is a real colorful parachute and there were several exercises involved.  Somebody's gonna sleep well tonight.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Roberto- Update

Roberto is doing much better as you can see.  He'll have scarring but we don't have to worry about an infection or worse.  His mother kissed my hand in gratitude when I walked by today.  I smiled but the kiss was meant for Linda and for you.


 Nathalie reports the following--
These two mothers traveled three hours on foot to get a tap-tap in Ducis to come to town and see a doctor because they are both sick and in pain.  One mother has 3 kids, the other has 4 kids (she left 3 at home with a neighbor).  They arrived too late to see a doctor on Thursday.  They all slept on the hospital grounds and begged for money for food for the kids.  On Friday the hospital staff told them they could see a doctor on Monday.  Without money or food (or a way home), they were going to abandon their children and attempt to walk many hours to get home.  A worker at the hospital called me to see if we could help.  I called Social Services.  Our temporary solution is to have the mothers and their kids stay with us until Monday so they can see a doctor. 
They have only the clothes on their backs and no shoes.  The mother with the three children is widowed.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Esthere Phania BienAime (eight years old) and Wisterlie BienAime (not sure how old as she has no birth certificate) are the youngest daughters of 35 year old Laurette Valentin who is homeless, jobless and near hopeless. The small family was living in an abandoned car, then a small shack by the side of the road and finally in a small broken down shanty house. Neighbors were helping them with food and essentials such as the pretty, white dresses the girls wore this morning which were made by a local tailor using some sheets. A neighbor begged us to take in these little girls so that they could eat regularly and attend school. The mother, a widow, was interviewed this morning by our Child Care Director, Bernonie Rochelin, and the Executive Committee will make a decision based on her recommendation. Chances are you're looking at the two newest Espwa children.
It is our hope to develop an Outreach Program that could help families like this stay together but we don't have the resources now to finance housing, job training for the mother, scholarships for the girls in an outside school while keeping food on the table until mom gets a job (if ever). By the way, the girls' family name "BienAime" means "beloved".
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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Suzette Pierreville

Suzette is 26 years old.  She has a 3 year old daughter, Erlande, and a handicapped mother living with her.  Mother was accused of being a sorceress a few years ago and was blamed for the death of a child. Filled with grief and fear a crowd beat her up so that she is now unable to care for herself.  Suzette also cares for her 44 year old brother, Christilhomme, who is completely blind.  Suzette tries to feed, clothe and otherwise provide for her small family by competing for the infrequent, occasional laundry work.  Borrowing a clean t-shirt from neighbors, Suzette walked two hours to come see us in hopes of getting help.  We were only able to give her some food that won't last the week.

S2H team

A Shelter2Home (S2H) team heads home after a long day building a home in the area.  Two small homes are being built locally to assist families who are victims of the massive earthquake of 12 JAN 2010.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Carpenters bringing the closet they just finished to one of the children's homes.  They've been doing an excellent job.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Neighborhood child

On my rounds yesterday I came across this little boy who was crying.  His mother told me that he was playing near the cooking pot and hot oil fell on him.  The wound looks terrible (as you can see) and the poor kid is in a lot of pain.  Asked Linda to bring him to a doctor friend of ours.  We can at least get him some pain meds.  Will update you later on his condition.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


The little house in Madame Combe is coming along nicely.  S2H and Cross International are making this happen for a sweet, older lady in the nearby village.

Green Bay Packer fans

They're everywhere!
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Friday, February 4, 2011


What will you do this weekend? The children of Pwoje Espwa will be hanging out with their friends, playing soccer, telling jokes, and having a good time. Happy Friday, everyone! 

Jonese, Tama, Michel, Yrline



Keke, Luke


Sorry for my absence these last few days but the internet just won't cooperate with me as I try over and over to post photos.  It is extremely frustrating.  Will ask Paige if she can fill in for me until things get straightened out.  Thanks for your patience.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dickenson and Kesnel

These two friends, Dickenson and Kesnel, take a break from the rigors of life.