Saturday, April 30, 2011

For Peter

TiRok wants you to know that you are missed.


Northern side
It's a bit rough but this gives you an idea of the style of the clinic.  Our medical team will be very happy to move in to do their work of caring for the medical needs of the children.  We are still in the first construction phase and have a ways to go but we are all encouraged by what we have so far.

Choir practice

We have a regular choir and several backup choirs like the one above.  Took this grainy photo this morning just before they started rehearsing for church tomorrow.  This is the pre-teen group.  I'll let you know how they did after the liturgy tomorrow.

Guest House garden

Jean-Renald (first white t-shirt on the left) is in charge of this group.  They've prepared the soil and planted tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cukes and such.  Jean-Renald is a full-time student who could not afford to go to school.  We agreed to pay for his schooling in exchange for his help in agriculture.  He has a positive attitude and works very well with our young teens.


At first I thought the boys were playing marbles but I was mistaken.  They are playing Toukay which consists in moving little rocks in a certain order.  I don't quite get it but it keeps them busy for hours at a time and the price is certainly right.

Friday, April 29, 2011

First batch

The boys prepared their first batch of alternative charcoal.  Not bad for a first effort.  Here they are drying in the sun.

MaTante's Birthday

 Berthony was the Master of Ceremonies
 Fanfan read a moving tribute
And Matante was honored on the occasion of her birthday!
May you be blessed with joy and health, Denise.  You have been such a blessing to us all and we are very grateful for you.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Evens Valcourt

This is Evens (nicknamed Loulou).  He works in our clinic helping in the pharmacy and lending a hand when it is needed.  He's a graduate of ours but is still in school.  Evens was in a bad car accident when he was just a kid.  His skull was fractured and he had terrible headaches and dizzy spells for years.  He's finally healed (we hope) but now has problems with his stomach and/or intestines.  Sounds to me like a bleeding ulcer but we want to make sure which means he has to go to PaP and get an endoscopic test.  That'll cost around $200.  With those results we should be able to figure out the treatment he'll need.  Please keep him in your prayers.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Vigil

 Blessing of the fire: Bosiko, Woodlin, me and Deacon Peter
Paige holding her latest god-daughter.  There were 32 baptisms at the vigil.  Camera problems prevented me from posting more photos which is too bad as some of the little people were way beyond cute.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chabon Demo

 Top:  Mr. Andre (also known as Tonton Noel or Santa) instructs his team on the alternative charcoal making process.  The scrap paper, cardboard and sawdust are thoroughly doused in water.
 The resulting paste is then transferred into another 55 gallon drum where it is mixed with what looks like a huge eggbeater.  It is then put on large metal disks that are perforated on top of the original drums to recover as much water as possible.  The paste is them stuffed into 4 inch PVC tubes (also perforated) with plastic separators every four inches or so.  The tubes are put on a hydraulic press operated by hand.  Makes about 100 4 inch round briquettes which are placed on the drying screens below.  Nifty, huh?

Friday, April 22, 2011

T-shirt art

One of the little guys was wearing this black t-shirt today.  Eerily appropriate, non?

Passion puppets

The story of the Passion of the Lord was told today using puppets.  That's Jesus with the red sash, Peter with the white beard and Judas with the brown one. Have no idea who the other one was supposed to be.  Most of the kids listened attentively.
But there's always a small percentage who would prefer being in a prone position in their beds.
In Stanley's defense, it was hot in the church this afternoon.  BTW, he was already asleep when I started to preach.

Down and out

All of our BUVs have failed in the frame department.  Is it the poor road conditions?  Are we over-loading them?  Both?  In any case, even when reinforced as this one was, the frames give out on us occasionally.  Two are down right now for this reason.

Good Friday

 Forgive us our betrayals
 Forgive us our mockery
 Forgive us for adding to the burden
 Forgive us our selfishness
Forgive us our sins

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Frantzi JEAN is a young seminarian (and the brother of Joel JEAN who works in our accounting office) who has asked for help.  He's in his third year of theology in Port-au-Prince.  Seminarians here have to pay all their expenses until they get ordained deacons.  Would you or your community like to help him?  Today, Holy Thursday is the anniversary of the priesthood and this would be a terrific way to celebrate it.
 The cost for the final semester is 35,000 Gourdes which is $875 US.  Thanks.

Cream coat

Marcnel and TiWawa putting the finishing stucco on the ceiling of the clinic.  My arms would have fallen off a long time ago!

New workshop

Our vocational school is getting a new workshop thanks to the generosity of our friends in western Canada.  AMMI (Association of the Missionaries of Mary Immaculate) was bequeathed some money and chose us as beneficiaries.  The building you see on the right in the photo will look exactly like the one on the left and be the metal shop space.  We are most grateful for this gift.

Miracle stove

Remember the inefficient charcoal stove I posted on this blog last week?  This one is much more efficient.  It directs most of the heat up to the pot and uses 1/3 less charcoal.  Made with recycled metal, it sells locally for 40$ Haitian or 200 Gourdes or $5 US.  We will be fabricating these (or similar ones) and selling them right alongside the "new" charcoal we will be making from scrap paper, cardboard. wood chips, plant waste...  It takes ten pounds of wood to make a pound of charcoal so saving a third means fewer trees will be cut.  A step in the right direction.


Paige, her team and our visitors went to Tiburon again on Tuesday to deliver food to our school there. They came back with Ezekiel who is 16.  Ezekiel was asleep on the floor of his family home when his father picked up a pot of some freshly boiled beans to move it.  He tripped and spilled the beans on Ezekiel, just below the waist, resulting in third-degree burns.  Ezekiel was in excruciating pain but the family had no money to bring him to a clinic or hospital.  Paige brought him to the Les Cayes General Hospital and then the Baptist Hospital.  Yesterday his wounds were cleaned and scraped with no anesthesia-- unbelievable.  Took him back here where our nurses will change his bandages twice daily and make sure he gets the proper doses of antibiotics and pain killers.  He looks amazingly well considering what he's been through.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

William Dorisme

William (19 years old) went flying when his moto hit one of the popular speed bumps (sleeping policeman).  Landed on his face as you can see.  He needs a couple of x-rays for his head and forearm but has no money.  He came to us for help.  Don't know where we'll find it but we gotta do something!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Brother Robert Anthony

Brother Robert seen here checking on a wounded boy's foot.  Gotta expect these when you run around barefoot.  Why are they barefoot?  At times cause that's what the kids prefer but most often the kids go barefoot to save the wear and tear on their shoes or sneakers or sandals.  They do not have multiple footgear because our budget just doesn't allow it.  Wish we could.

Palm Sunday

The Mass was a little long this morning!

Palm Sunday

Renold, Berthony holding Renold's youngest, Nathalie and Paige stand in the back of the quonset hut during church this morning.  Pay no attention to Pepper who is lying down near Nat.  He attends regularly.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Stanley Douyon

Stanley doing what he does best: smiling.  He's 12, a serious student, voluntarily attends church daily, loves playing soccer and you don't want to oppose him in marbles.  If Crest or Colgate ever needed a model--- here he is.


How old is Lineve?

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Chabon (Creole for charcoal) Project is coming along.  The top part is a working surface that is slightly angled so the run off water goes back into the lower tanks.  The bottom hole will contain two tanks or wet areas that will allow us to turn paper, cardboard, wood chips... into mulch.  The mulch is then squeezed so most of the water returns to the tanks.  It will then be placed in forms and we'll use hydraulic jacks to remove the rest of the water.  The raw material now has to spend a day or two in the sun and-- VOILA -- chabon.

Finally home

1. Electrical work needed to be done on the new bus.
2. The starter had to be rebuilt.
3. The road to our campus at Castel-Pere was terrible.
The new bus finally arrived here at Castel-Pere this morning.  Peter will be looking at the automatic front doors tomorrow as they don't open and shut all the way.  After that you can all join me in singing Willie Nelson's hit song "On the road again"!
Thanks again to the Rotary Clubs of Greensboro, NC.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Recycling- Alternative charcoal

Andre Dallaire, the bearded gentleman above, is from Quebec.  He's with us to train some of our graduates in making charcoal from paper, cardboard, trash, wood chips and sawdust.
Andre has been involved with Haiti over forty years and has worked full-time these last twelve years fighting against the deforestation of Haiti.  Benefits: a cleaner campus, savings (as we'll be buying less and less wood charcoal), job creation and a clean conscience as we won't be contributors to the real problem of deforestation of the mountainsides. 

Three day seminar

Visited with the representatives of the coastal communities during their three day workshop on the prevention of STD, sexually transmitted diseases, sponsored by USAID and Cross International.  These folks will then go on and transmit what they have learned to people in their communities.
Djerline Clerge Constant is leading the seminar (she's the one standing in the center).  Remember the old saying: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?  Well, we are doing as much prevention as we can cause the stakes are so high.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Our scout troop was responsible for the liturgy this morning, the Fifth Sunday of Lent.  They were the choir, the lectors, the altar servers and did a great job.  Above is a photo of the scout choir wearing their new shirts, a gift from Doug Dittrick who is a trustee for the Boy Scouts of America.

Jean Raymond Update

Thank you for the emails, messages, and interest you have shared regarding Jean Raymond. More than one of you have mentioned the organization Smile Train, and we have successfully made contact with them. 

After a 45 minute operation free of charge, Jean Raymond will have a mouth he can feel proud of. 

Smile Train will be in Fermathe (which is 45 minutes outside of PaP) in June. Many of you have asked how you can help sponsor Jean Raymond's medical expenses. Since Smile Train gifts the operation, there is no need to sponsor medical expenses, but we do need sponsors for Jean Raymond and his mother's travel expenses. 

To sponsor Jean Raymond and his Mother will cost roughly $100 US

round trip. This includes: safe transportation, meals, and lodging for the night. 

If you would like to sponsor Jean Raymond and his Mother's travel costs, please let us know. 

If we receive more than one sponsor, we can find other children like Jean Raymond to receive the same services.

Fresh coconuts

Paige scoops out coconut meat while Fery, myself and Brother Robert look on.
It took no time at all for a small crowd to come out and see the "blans".  
 Older sister came with her siblings.
 Ezekiel is eleven and would like to attend school but his family can't afford it.
The most popular complaint of the folks was that there are no jobs.  No jobs translates into no school for the kids and that means no future for them.  "Can you help us?" was repeated over and over.  We said we'd try.