Sunday, March 27, 2011

TOMS Shoes Distribution

Pwoje Espwa Sud received a generous gift of TOMS Shoes a couple months ago.  Recently, PES graduates have been working after school to distribute these shoes to impoverished neighborhoods in and around Les Cayes.  Mackentoche, Jean Rody, Jonas, and Gary have done an excellent job not only distributing the shoes, but acting as ambassadors to Espwa. 

They fill out daily reports, recording the place of distribution, name of each recipient, and size of shoe each child receives.  The response has been more than positive.  Mothers are thrilled that their children have shoes. Children are thrilled that their feet are protected. Espwa is thrilled to be helping our community. The Espwa Distribution Team is thrilled to be making a small impact. 

There are lots of happy little feet in the South of Haiti- and the guys feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment while doing it. 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Clinic Roof

The pouring of the roof began at 8 am this morning. 

This is an exhausting process. They mix the cement on the ground, and then tote the buckets up to the roof to pour. 
They will finish the roof for Phase 1 today.

Phase 1: front gallery, the exam rooms, the pharmacy. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Congrats to Chris Irr

Look under Documentaries.  We wish Chris, the director of the video, all the best.  I'm not sure how we can help him win this award but prayers won't hurt.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Sharing wisdom

MaTante, in red above, meets the children daily.  Today's group was 10 to 12 year old boys and the theme was "Choices and Consequences".  MaTante has been a pillar of strength, faith and love for all of us here at ESPWA.  Her talks are sprinkled with anecdotes and humor making them memorable.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rotary Clubs of Greensboro

Berthony stands in between his car and our new bus 
This 28 passenger, Ford diesel bus arrived last evening from PaP.  A donation from the Rotary Clubs of Greensboro, NC, it was shipped last March and took all this time to get here due to the bureaucratic nightmare of customs in Haiti.  Once hoses, belts and batteries were replaced it ran like a charm and made it safely home.  We are very thankful to the Rotarians who practice what they preach--service above self.  May God bless y'all!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thank you

Anna, Katy, Fei Fei, Katy, Tony, Max and Len 
Representative students from our pre-school, our primary school and secondary school expressed their gratitude to our friends from North Carolina for all the work they've been doing and for their friendship.  It was short and sweet but the 'thanks' was heartfelt.

Happy Birhday, Berthony

 MaTante, Berthony and Renold 
Friends of Berthony gathered this afternoon to wish him all the best as he celebrates his birthday.  We had stuffed pastries, pizza, a lop-sided cake and the obligatory sparkling wine.  We wish him joy, health and much success.  Many happy returns, Berthony.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Women's Day

An excerpt from Paige's Blog:

To some, today means Tuesday. To others, it means Mardi Gras... Fat Tuesday... or Spring Break. Today is Women's Day. Today we recognize the women of the world. The mothers, sisters, nieces, and daughters. Today, the women of Espwa celebrated with our sisters in the Les Cayes prison. 

Bearing gifts of lotion, soap, and personal hygiene products, myself, Linda, our child care director Bernonie, and a team of young college girls from North Carolina loaded up our vehicle to celebrate the life of Woman. Our friend from the UN, Danielle, and a Les Cayes policewoman were able to arrange a small "party"- juice and an hour and a half outside of their cell- to honor the women incarcerated. It was a moment of solidarity. Led by an inmate with the face of an angel, we sang, danced, presented our gifts, and Bernonie gave a speech worth remembering: 

"...Today is our day. Today, all women unite. The merchant women in the streets carrying baskets of fruit... The women at home caring for their children... the women working desk jobs... the teachers, the police officers, the prisoners. Today, we are one. Today, we remember our rights. Our rights that allow us to never be defeated. Our rights that give us the power to speak our minds. Our rights that will let nobody take advantage of us. Our right to say no. Today we gather together. Today is our day..." 

Today, we weren't American women, Canadian UN women, Haitian policewomen, and Incarcerated women. 
Today, we were just women. 
Today, we were one.

Monday, March 7, 2011

ESPWA video

If you have a moment, actually 12 minutes and 11 seconds, please click on the Pwoje Espwa video just below my photo on the left.  It was filmed and directed by Chris Irr who was one of my alter servers when I was stationed in Kodiak, Alaska.  His dad, Frank, produced it and it is beyond great.  Check it out and give us some feedback.  Mesi.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Thanks to Max Kern and his mission groups, we are able to build this classroom, an addition to the overcrowded primary school.  Max and his group are also repairing the screens in the children's village, painting secondary classrooms, fixing up the homes at Sitwon...
Max is a blessing!
Posted by Picasa

Kitchen/Dining Room

Everything is done for the kitchen/dining-room but the roof.  We are waiting on some nuts, screws and special glue which should come in soon.  This is a massive building which really doesn't show in this photo.  We are indebted to the Cracchiolo Family Foundation for this terrific project.
Posted by Picasa

Latest clinic news

This is a shot taken yesterday of the front of the new clinic.  To support this construction click on SOS FOR HAITI which you'll find on the left side of this blog or at our website:
Susan Midgett will once again swim the shark infested waters of San Francisco Bay from Alcatraz to shore.  This time, though, she'll be accompanied by her son.  Please consider supporting them with a pledge.  Thanks.

Simones in downtown Lewiston

 Larry (Laurent) Gilbert, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, gave me a t-shirt from the owners of Simones Restaurant where my dad used to take me when I was but a tyke.  I remember the place well: the sumptuous smells, the busy laughter and camaraderie and the best hot dogs in the world.  Will have to go back there when I'm in Maine and encourage you to do as well.
Posted by Picasa

New friends

 Hizzoner Larry and Jackson
 Joe and Claudette
These three gentlemen come from my homestate.  Larry is the current mayor of Lewiston, ME where I was born and brought up.  Joe is a professor and IT (information technology) expert from Portland.  And John is a contractor from my hometown.  They've been helping us with small projects and are painting classrooms in the secondary school.  The kids will be very grateful when they come to school on Ash Wednesday.  They are off from school as the country celebrates Kanaval, a Haitian version of Mardi Gras.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Old friends

 Elson visited Dokte Cynthia yesterday.  Cynthia hosted Elson at her home in Maine while St Mary's Medical Center took care of his medical needs a few years back.  He's 100% recuperated and back with his family these days.
Claudette and Jonas who goes by the name "Bob-Joe", his artist name.  Most visitors know him as the bracelet boy.  He makes personalized bracelets for all our visitors as a gift and then takes orders.  Smart approach.  Jonas is also a graduate of Espwa.

Mother and sons

This mother walked from Les Cayes (over an hour) to visit her two older boys who are residents of Espwa.  She comes at least once a week.  They enjoy each others' company for a little bit and then she heads back to the city with tears in her eyes.

Farm depot door

We have recycled the old mill into a storage unit for our farm tools.  These students of metalwork assisted Makendy (seen rust-proofing the door) in the fabrication of a solid metal door.  Pretty good job, non?

Filing out

Have to admit that I enjoy watching the children leave their homes in the morning all clean and fed, following in the footsteps of their housemother who stays with them until school classes start.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Gens and Nesly Alva (cousins) are "big brothers" to our girls.  They escorted them out of the children's village this afternoon.  The tour took them by the nursery, the pig pens, the fields of eggplant and cabbage.  This is one of many after-school activities which the older boys supervise.  Needless to say, they are a huge help.