Monday, April 29, 2013

Pastor Vern Groves, Bec Groves-Haley, Jim Kane, and Rick Edwards will share pictures and stories of their recent work trip to Haiti.
Tuesday - April 30th
6:30 PM @ the Parish House in DeRuyter
(next to Senior Apartments on Rt. 13)
Everyone is Invited!!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

One wake up left

Last day...trip to downtown Port-au-Prince. It has been an interesting day. It has been a realization that we have only one wake-up left in Haiti. Tomorrow, we leave to return home. I will miss Haiti. I told Lyny today that I think his country is beautiful. And that I believe his people are beautiful. And, if I was to live here, I would be like him. I would build a house and live in the mountains, if at all possible.
We have been treated with the utmost kindness by this family - this household of people who are more than blood-family. They are a spirit-knitted family and we have been welcome and embraced by them. I will miss them.
We went to a Nazarene Bible College that Jim had worked at over 25 years ago. He took lots of pictures for Tish. They had both been here and stayed in dorms.
I have so enjoyed getting to know Rick. He and I have been roomates for these past 2 weeks. It has been interesting to note the common interests that he and I have. His expereience as a machinist and the necessity of making close tolerances in his line of work was a true credit to this team and to our work. Sometimes I thought he was a bit anal, but it worked out for the best.
A victorian house (wood structure) in what I believe was the older downtown Port-au-Prince. This house was likely built in the late 1800's. And this house was one of a few wooden structured houses in the same area.
This is the Haiti Constitution of 1801.

Pastor Wilson returned from his trip to NJ and Virginia this afternoon. He had a successful trip. We prayed for he and Gladys and for their household.

This trip, for me, has been a completion of the trip I took here 3 years ago. It completed and yet gave me a grander vision of Haiti and the people. I thank Jim for his leading this group and that God led him and brought this mix of people to the team. Each person had something unique they offered to complement the group and to fulfill our mission.

What a grand experience! Au Revoir (until next time)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Song in Creole...

The morning was spent in Church. 9-noon. We didn't go with the rest of the household who started at 6 am. We slept in. Well, not really sleep in. I was awake at 4 and up on the roof at 5. I thought about Peter when he was up on his friends roof (Acts 10).

I took a videos before we left for church. It's point of interest is the hymn you will hear sung. Whoever knows the hymn, please send me your reply.

We went to Fort Jacques yesteray and this is some info from the internet about the fort Jacques we visited. Very interesting!

Pétion-Ville’s two forts

Text and Photo: Amelia Duarte de la Rosa, Special correspondent

DEEP in the mountains of Kenscoff – close to Pétion-Ville – and 1,500 meters above sea level, are the ruins of Fort Jacques and Fort Alexandre, vestiges of Haitian history. Both fortifications, destroyed by the January 2010 earthquake and abandonment, symbolize the birth of the first consolidated republic of Latin America.

Built in 1804 during the colonial period in 1804, under the command of Alexandre Pétion (subsequently appointed first President of the Republic in 1806), and following the instructions of Governor-General Jean Jacques Dessalines (Emperor Jacques I of Haiti), the objective of the forts was to protect the incipient independent Republic from French or pirate attacks. The defensive system in the Kenscoff peaks assured the west and southeast of the country, while La Citadelle, in Cap Haïtien, safeguarded the territorial integrity of the northeast coast.

The forts, named after their creators, are approximately 800 meters apart and linked by a narrow underground tunnel which can only be transited in a crouched position.

Located on the eastern slopes, Fort Alexandre was flanked by four angled bastions. Fort Jacques, on the other hand, was initially armed with cannons, and its cavernous interior, constructed of local clay and stone, was used for Haitian army activities. Soldiers here had visual control of the entire city of Port-au-Prince, the bay and Étang Saumâtre Lac Azuéi, the country’s largest lake, 30 kilometers from the capital.

The current state of both constructions is distressing. Only traces remain of their splendor and the foundations of Haiti’s history, taken advantage of by some people living in the surrounding area.

Visited by tourists maybe seeking something more than luxury mansions, the property of the wealthy in the pleasant mountain climate, the ruins of the forts seem to reflect the history of a people who made a decisive revolution in the context of Latin American independence and a nation which is now one of the poorest on the continent.


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Our Work is our Purpose

Our work is done. It was completed yesterday. We no longer feel as though we've any reason to be here. Today we were tourists. We went to the mountains and visited the Baptise Mission again. We ate lunch there and also looked in the gift shop again. We had a tour of the greenhouse. No, we had atour of one of their greenhouses. The point that I foound most interesting was about the reforestation project they are working on. It is going to take a very long commitment to see it really take effect in the Hait mountain areas. There is a need to reforest, yet that does not provide a high level of economic return. It may be the most needed thing to do, for the sake of the future of the land. But the question remains, 'what about an income now?' So, the work has to be addressed from many angles. And that is the challenge.

We went also to St. Jacques Fort. It was a fort built after the French were defeated and the Haitians had won their freedom. The fort was built for protection from the likely attack of the French against the newly freed slaves.  It was an interesting piece of history. We had a tour guide who was very helpful.

The highest mountain in Haiti is, I believe, are 6,000 ft. high. That is quite high, considering that the Rocky Mountains are 11,000 plus feet high, but at the base of those mountains it starts at 7 or 8 or 9,000 ft. high. So elevation gain is quite a bit more for these mountains in Haiti than the ones in our own United States. That is impressive.

Looking at the mountains with the steep mountainsides coverd with terraced garden plots I find most inspiring. I feel like the bear who went over the mountain to see what he could see. They draw me to want to go to the other side, just for the satisfaction of my own curiousity.

Let me give you some of the pictures I took. May some of them draw you to a place of feeling inspired and yearning to go over the mountains in your life.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Day 10--

It is day 10 of our Haiti Chronicles. We finished our work at the orphanage. We completed the bunkbeds. We tightened up some other bunkbeds that were wobbly. We built a two shelf unit it in stairwell. We built a free standing 3 shelf unit for the living room area. We played soccer with the kids and Mr. T. We gave out candy to the kids. We threw them up in the air and they laughed and so did we.

The morning began, for me, at before 4 am. It was a very hot night and I wasn't able to sleep all that well once I woke. I arose at just before 6 and went to the rooftop. Arriving on the rooftop, I discovered there was a man in one area praying. He is a Christian man and he must have been starting his day seeking the face of the Father. Gladys and some of the ladies from the church spent yesterday today and tomorrow praying for an extended period of time. Yesterday morning I descended the stairs saw someone laying on the floor and noticed there were a couple other ladies stretched out on the floor (lying prosrtate). Yesterday it was from 6 am til 6 pm here at Gladys' home. Today was 6 am til 6 pm at the Church. Tomorrow is from 6 am till ? at someplace, I'm not sure where.

I did a surround view of both Pastor Wilson & Gladys house and the orphanage rooftop. I gave my narration, and I'll include those videos for your viewing pleasure.

There are mixed feelings. I'm feeling sad to be leaving. But I'm feeling ready to return home. This was a good experience so far.

Here are some pictures for you all to enjoy. Give me some feedback on your thoughts of how this blog has been. Is there any way I could have made it better. I'll have a few more days, just want to find out the response. I've got people from Germany, Canada, Russia, and the Us who are viewing the blog.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sponge bath and a water bucket rinse...

We got back to the house around 4 or shortly after. We were all hot and sticky. I laid down on the bed to straighten out my back. It felt so good to lay flat for a bit. I laid there long enough and soon fell asleep. Not for long, but people were taking their showers. So, I decided to let everyone take there shower and I would get the last one. With over a 300 gallon tank on the roof, I wasn't concerned about the water.

Rick told me that the water seemed to be not as forceful when he finished. So, I was prepared to turn off the water between lather and rinse. Well, standing under the shower, I turned the fawcet. No water, not one drop came out of the shower  head.  I was not going to get a shower.

I redressed, went to see if water could be pumped up to the roof via the generator. No! Out of gas for the generator. So, what about water in a bucket from the cistern. Okay, that's a doable. So, I was able to get myself cooled off and cleaned. 1/2 of the bucket went for soaping and the second half I lifted over my head and dumped on my head. I was rinsed, literally, from head to toe.

That was the highlight of my day... Here are some pictures to show us at the work site.

This is our main ride.
Cutting a 45 degree corner with a hand saw.
Ryan and Rick on the stairwell shelves...looking good!
A beautiful background for Ps. 97:4
A mosaic of Haiti
These are on the walls in the orphanage.
I played a little soccer with one of the teachers at the orphanage. I was tuckered out pretty fast and then had to go back to work. Maybe that's why I got a brief nap in as soon as we got back to our Haiiti home.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A Birthday to celebrate...

Today...another hot one. We're continuing to enjoy our work and our interaction with the orphans. They are so cute. We'll be done with our work probably Friday morning or so. Finished bunkbeds yesterday and will post some pics. Working on a s shelf or two in the stairwell and two shelf units for plates and other items in the orphanage. We are coming home at the end of each day, just covered with sawdust and dust from the ride mixed very thoroughly with sweat and stickiness.

Today we celebrated a birthday. It is Bec's. Bought a Mocha cake for her. It is very good. She was very surprised and had no idea it was coming.

Here are some pictures that you might find interesting. Some of our work is being shown off. The kids were just delighted to climb all over the bunk beds and pose for pictures.

Hey, the gangs all here..

rebar forms the spokes of this wheel barrow wheel
"Necessity is the mother of invetion"

More view enroute to the work site...