Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thank You

Thank you to the team from Karen, Luckner and the HATS gang.

Bob, Mike, Brian De, Aimee, Rich, Josh - thank you so very much.

Bob, what can I say?  THANK  YOU !!!!  Thank you for all the hard work in the intense heat!!  You are indeed a big part of HATS. When you arrive we think - Bob is back home again.  In my heart I call you Dickie # 2 and believe me that is a huge compliment.  You are very comfortable here and all of us are very comfortable having  you here.   (You and Dickie should get together and learn a little more Creole.  Then you both would be even more valuable and even more in demand.  Is that a scarry thought?? )

Mike.  Thanks for coming for your first time.  Thanks for accepting everything and for jumping in anywhere and everywhere needed.  You were indeed a blessing in many ways.  You are quiet but deep and always ready to go the extra mile.  You worked hard in very high temperatures that lots of people could not handle.  I am glad you came.

Brian De.  Thanks for returning for the second time in three months.  Everyone here at HATS was thrilled and thankful to have you back.  Thanks for all the hard work. in the horrible heat.  Thanks for the support in so many ways - it meant a great deal to all of us.  You are easy to have around.

Aimee.  My Newfie buddy.  Like me born in Newfoundland and always a Newfie at heart.  But, unlike me became a big city Toronto girl.  Thank God that did not spoil you.  You are as  nice as if you just left the rock, maid.  Thank you for all the help in so many ways.  You fit in here, there and everywhere and worked in that heat without complaining.  Thanks for coming.

Rich.  Thank you for coming and working hard at whatever was there for you to do.  Thank you for bringing your son, Josh, with you.  Thanks for quickly learning to accept that life is very different in Haiti, and letting go of North American expectations.  I try to tell people that Haiti is a different world than Canada, but coming and experiencing is the only way to truly understand that.  You poured out in the intense heat.

Josh.  What can I say?   You are a boy/man!!   Not yet 14 but so very mature; sensible; accepting of things so very different than anything you had ever known; fantastic attitude towards and about everything you saw, heard and experienced; worked with the men and played with the children.  You fit in with everyone.  You are a young man who will go far if you allow God to continue to lead and guide your life.  You  have the makings of a great missionary.   Thank you so much for coming, for working hard every day in the heat, and for your acceptance of all of  us.

To the six of you, thank you for all the time, attention, fun, and love you gave my kids.  You blessed them and I believe you have been blessed in return.  Did I mention the heat??  Thank you for working in it and for playing with kids in it.

May God richly bless all of you as you settle back into the North American lifestyle with your loved ones.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What’s so fond about farewells?

It’s 7:30pm and we’ve just spent our last few minutes with the children.

Writing about work, temperatures and accomplishments seems very void of emotion right now, but it’s necessary since today was another day of improvement here at HATS. Let’s do that first...

Brian, Mike and Josh (in ridiculous, almost-becoming-boring-to-say heat...all before noon, of course) moved blocks to the area of the new water tower to help out the workers. Speaking of which, they’re preparing the structure to pour the upper level floor which will hold the water tanks; bracing is in place, the columns have been finished and planks removed. The cabinet Mike Cushing built is now in its final resting place in the new home and drainage pipes have been run and are ready for hook-up.  And while this was going on, Rich, Josh, and I emptied, sorted and reorganized the tool room. We found it gratifying to move from chaos to order and even moreso when someone would say “Wow, we would’ve been thrilled to have one of those when we were building [insert project].”
Josh moving blocks to water tower site

Unloading rebar

Work continues Haitian & Blan

Rich & Aimee Organizing the tool room

Tool Room Looking Good

Kitchen counter for new house

Karen is a bit worse for the wear today, with some blend of fatigue, pain and losing her voice. Father, please look after her. If ever there was a person to give a bit of extra care and attention to, it’s her. 

So, here we are: the final blog post, six days after we arrived. We’ve made a difference, I believe. Big stuff, little stuff; it all contributed to the greater good and that big picture: keeping HATS a surviving and thriving, safe haven for the children of Deschapelles, Haiti.

And oh my, what children they are.  As expected, it was tough. There were tears, whispers, hugs and “I’ll miss you”’s. I learned that it gets easier (only a bit) for those who’ve done this a few times. As Bob says “I’m part of the furniture now. I don’t say ‘goodbye’, I say ‘see you later’.” Maybe that’s how you cope with return.  Once, five times, 10 times. However many. Guaranteed you’ll leave a different person than when you came in.

Au revoir.
We’ll miss you HATS.
You are now part of us.

For the March 2010 team:
Brian Bowers, Bob Comeau, Mike Cushing, Aimee Feaver, Rich and Josh Huisman

Monday, March 29, 2010

“And on the 7th day...”

We rested. Well not entirely. The day began with church on the second level of the main house with some of the school children and all the HATS children (dressed in their Sunday best); JJ and Vladimy did a fine job of leading the service. It was really lovely with many of the school kids taking turns singing, and Josh and Rich saying prayers during and to close. There was about 25-27 of us,  Karen enlisted the help of a few of us to make sure that the school children each left with a small bag of treats.
Bob & Linda's Effrainse singing in service

Dunae & Jen's Shiloi singing in church

Now, I mentioned WE rested. The workers, including Luckner, did not. At 7am, they were working to begin hand bombing (!) cement to pour the pillars for the water tower.  And today, it was a scorching 50C. Oh. Dear.  And there was Valliere working with a finger injured on the table saw, no bandages, nothin’.  Brian said he encountered a doctor after the earthquake who said “Haitians are the toughest people on earth. I believe that with every fibre of my being.” Based on the stories that have been shared about that time, and from what we’ve seen, we believe him.
God please turn down the thermostat

Busy Beavers in intense heat

Chef Luckner and his workers

Oh right, we did fix the tire swing for the kids—a HUGE hit that garnered many “Merci!”’s; we pumped water into the tanks up above; capped the carport with cement for a final waterproofing touch. Okay, maybe ‘rest’ is a relative term around HATS.

I believe somewhere in the back of our minds lurks the thought that our time here is coming to an end in a day. This afternoon’s playtime in the field seemed to have a ‘let’s-just-sit-and-be-with-them’ feeling. “The kids understand,” said Karen when I asked what effect it had when teams leave. “They know to take in the love and all the fun for the time that you’re here.” She continued to explain that when we leave, it gives her and the children time to become a family again with picnics, movies in the living room and such. It warms my heart to think of them finding immense mounds of love amongst each other. Okay, I’ll go with that.

So, one more day and one more blog post.

I trust there’ll be a box of Kleenex handy tomorrow night.

A bientôt,

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Beehives and letting things settle for a minute.

Today, HATS was a beehive of activity thanks to a few things:

1)      The delivery of some seriously rough-hewn planks that have been anticipated for two weeks. We’re curious about the origins of the hard-as-nails wood, but no one seems to be able to tell us what it is. So, work continued on the new water tank building (woo hoo!). This was deemed more important than the school urinal so Luckner pulled them off that project to work on this one. BUT...if you compare yesterday’s picture to today’s you’ll notice they managed to do quite a bit of work in a mere three hours.
Wood Delivery

Progress on Urinals for School

Work Continues on Water Tower

2)      “Ask Luckner and ye shall receive” said Brian. So we asked and he came through with the rest of the nails for us to continue fastening the corrugated sheets on the carport. With a wee bit of McGyver-ing on Brian’s part, every nail has a washer with it (actually a piece of foam; Karen might not be doing much gardening since bits of her kneeling pad are under each nailhead).

Et voila! A finished carport. And finished with a thumbs up from many of the locals each time they went through with a wheelbarrow of materials (“Bon –bagay” they’d say). Now our tents will stay nice and dry. Vladimy was a great help (once again) and his sweat equity is part of HATS, just as is that of Bob, Brian, Josh, Mike and Rich. Thank you fellas, you’ve made a tremendous difference.
Roofing Going On

Serious Decision Time by all Four 'Blan'

And some other bits and bobs worth including:

-   It was a little like Christmas morning this afternoon. We all traveled here with things for the kids and each was handed a pair of shorts, a dress, flip flops or a t-shirt...something. I think our joy was equal in seeing theirs.
Four Precious Kids

-  That spankin’ new washline? Up and ready for use (Aimee and Mike).  We’ll see how long a cotton rope clothesline lasts with wet clothing tossed over it!

-  Four big ‘ol truckloads of sand was delivered to make cement for the water tower work. We learned today each truckload is (wait for it...) HAND BOMBED!! Men, with shovels and the side of a river, embankment, wherever! Easily, 25 truckloads have been delivered. Think about that for a minute.

-  Karen’s still nursing a sore hip/leg/thigh. Hopefully a painkiller shot (administered by Luckner no less!) will have her sleeping well tonight...under that new carport.
TV Repair Work

Josh here: Today we finished the carport just in time for some rain.  Tonight we will sleep dry outside!  We played some games with the kids like football, lacrosse and dribbled a basketball around.  Vladimy was playing golf with a can in the ground.  He is a natural athlete and great at catching a football and at golf.
Rain Protection in Finished Carport

A note from Aimee: Today, Mike and I watched as men with tools lined up on the bridge outside the compound hoping to be hired for the day. They’d been waiting there for some time and started to head home. Here’s the kicker: Mike and I got there at 6:15AM!! Again, let that settle for a minute. Up, out, travel, wait, wait and wait some more, head home at 6:15am. One more thing, Karen, thanks for lettin’ me drive.

A bientôt

Carports, cabinetry, potatoes and a story about a moustache

Today was a cool 45C.

The new carport is well on its way, more than well in fact, it’s nearly up. What that means is when the rainy season hits (which it will in a month or so) Karen and anyone else has a protected place to sleep outside. Remember, since the earthquake, no one sleeps inside the house. It’s only used during the day when we’re awake and can RUN! if necessary.

Bob’s certainly feeling a bit more mobile; the stomach is still a bit vulnerable but he’s listening to it and not making it do anything it doesn’t want to! He also still telling everyone what needs to be done and today has been much more involved in the labour like his usual self. Mike Cushing’s cabinetry handiwork is now firmly in place and protected against termites.

And the good food keeps coming. “I love breaks” proclaimed Rich at lunch. And we’re right there with him.

Note from Aimee - I visited the hospital that was close by today and here’s my thought about that: when I visit my doctor next, I’ll take special notice of my surroundings, the cleanliness, comfortable chairs, air conditioning and say a very heartfelt “thank you”.  I'm dreading saying goodbye to all this. The children....oosh, they find a way into your heart.

Brian here:  It is even hotter here now then it was in January when we were here, the thermometer doesn’t show it (it still only gets up to about  49ish during the day like it did in January) but the humidity is crazy, you can sure tell the rainy season is on its way !

We had a very productive day even though it was brutally hot, the carport roof framing is all done so tomorrow we will get the corrugated roofing material put on.

I had a very special treat today, I finally was able to meet our sponsored child ! (we sponsor a grade seven student through the store) what a blessing for both of us! I didn’t get the chance to meet him in January because of the earthquake. It has been such a treat to be back with all the kids, we got out of the truck when we first arrived and all I heard was a bunch of screaming kids “Brian De, Brian De, Brian De” and a whole lot of hugging going on after that. It was amazing!

Bowers out

Rich here:   What an amazing experience this has been for my son Josh & I. It has been awesome to see Josh get along so well with all the kids. What I’ve noticed today is that kids are kids no matter where you are! They all love to play and be around other kids.

Bob brought a golf club down with him and we taught “Vladi” how to swing it. Unfortunately, I sailed a ball over the roof of the kids residence but Moise amazingly found it.  Josh & I played football with the kids today and it seems “Vladi” has a future in the Haitian football club.  He’s got some sweet hands.

The highlight of the day was lunch. We had “MASHED POTATOES” which is a Huisman favourite. I think I had about 4 plates. I thought I would lose weight here but the food is so good, I don’t think that’s gonna happen!  Gotta run, bedtime’s at 7:30p.m...

Karen here.  Another necessary project is now underway.   The foundation work has been started for a double urinal, boys and girls, is going in between the present toilet and the secondary school.  Always one, two, or three projects underway at the same time.

It is extremely difficult to do computer work and desk financial report work from a standing position.  This might help some of you understand why you have not heard from me.   Still suffering a lot of pain when sitting. 

A bientôt,
The team

P.S. For Maria (Brian’s wife): Brian tells us you’ve known each other for “a hundred or so years. Yesterday, we saw something new on Brian that apparently you haven’t: his upper lip. The jury is still out on whether he’ll let his moustache grow in for the return trip home.

Brian Here: Don’t believe it Ria, I would never shave my moustache!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Small and big things. Plus the 'heat or humidity' question answered.

Sometimes it takes small, seemingly routine things to make you think about big things.

This morning we watched as the school children gathered and began their day with song, prayer and by raising the Haitian flag. Plenty, of course, could be shared on what each person took away from that 30 minutes, but here’s one thing that stuck out for a few of us:

In a country where people live in tiny, very humble dwellings with dirt floors, they turn up each morning to teach or learn in their finest clothing with shirts whiter than any we have at home. “How is that possible?” we asked. The question wasn’t one about laundry techniques but more of a “How can you do so much with so little?”

The day has been a full one (it’s not over yet). So, to keep this entry short, here are a few highlights:
 - holes chipped out of the concrete and posts inserted waiting for a spankin’ new wash line
- a leaky carport roof torn down and a new one is well on its way
- more rubble cleared, making clean and tidy spaces
 - Brian, Bob and Karen travelled into St. Marc for some essential supplies like medication, lumber, strapping, plastic roofing, food.  
- in-the-shade temperature at 9:00am: 31C
- same thermometer in the sun at 4:00pm: 49C We joke: “Is it the heat or the humidity?” Like it matters!
- work continued on the new home, of course
- some minor cuts and scratches, courtesy of a wheelbarrow and barbed wire
- more absolutely fantastic food and some of the strongest morning coffee we’ve tasted.
Removing the Old

Down with the Old

Supplies Arrive

Once again, the children of HATS continue to brighten our day with games of X’s and O’s, hopscotch and plenty of laughter.  Some minor eye ailments may have been taken care of swiftly and Ti Luc is more like his charming self now that tonsillitis on the way out. Special recognition must be given to Vladimir, the shy-est and most hard-working teenager here at HATS. He can swing a hammer with the best of ‘em and might give Mike Cushing a run for his money.
Joshua and Ti Luc

A bientôt

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Finding a Rhythm when one is Imposed

"I don't think I can say anything without crying, so I'll 'ferme ma bouche maintenant'."

I'm Aimee, one of three new people here who joined Brian Deux (Bowers) for seven days, and that's pretty much how my day opened, sitting amongst the big hearts and smiles of the HATS team.
After arriving last night at the end of a very full day of travel, Rich, Josh (his son), Brian and I were greeted by 8 or so of the smiley-ist, huggy-ist children we've ever seen;I've learned big displays of love from the kids are par for the course at HATS.

Today we are adjusting to a climate that imposes its own rhythm: 'work, drink water,, drink water, sit'. As a result, the I-want-to-do-as-much-as-I-can-and-make-a-difference compulsion that sets in when you're here for a short time is kept swiftly in check.

On that note, two things came to light today:
1) Just by being here, sharing your spirit and kindness, you've made a difference
2) Every little job done makes a difference.

And some of the work we've done today are certainly examples of #2, like removing a pile of rubble and giving the boys a safe place to walk to their bathroom. Yes that might sound easy, but when it hits 30C likely well before noon with a Nothing Like You've Experienced humidity, believe me, it's a feat. Removing poles from concrete to allow for a building's expansion (again, picture swinging hammers, sledge hammers, to bash up concrete in the heat). Even this blog. Posting this frees up Karen and Bob time to do things like bring Ti Luc to the hospital for what seems to be a case of tonsilitis.

Of course, this all goes on while work continues on the new house and some fantastic meals are being prepared; """"""Yeah, there'll be none of that left" commented Rich on the spaghetti with sauce served for lunch.

So goes the day; working, drinking, sitting and trying to make a bit of difference. I suspect, and I'm speaking on behalf of the other newbies here, we'll fall into our own rhythm, shift a few gears and find that, in our own way, we did have some effect. As will the children and the HATS team, on us. Boldly, I'll say we'll be better off for it to.

A bientot,

Tuesday Evening

Hi all.

The Timbrmart crew ,Brian Bowers, Aimee Feaver ,Rich Huisman and his 14yr old son Josh have arrived safe and sound. The PauP airport is a very interesting place. Mass confusion, but it just takes time to get through it. They had a very interesting truck ride here. Some inside and some outside, in the back. Martha has a great meal waiting for them which they all enjoyed. Everyone had a tour and established their
sleeping quarters, got cleaned up and are settled in for an interesting night I'm sure.

Bob had a relaspe yesterday after he couldn't resist the deepfry for supper. I guess he said he was back in the saddle again too quick, but he seems alot better tonight. Got the first part of the cabinets for the missionhouse fisished today and now we have the lifting capacity to get it up the stairs.

Karen survived another trip to PoP, barely. Her hip is still bad. Ti Luc too seemed under the weather today. He seems to be battling something. That's about it for tonight, but I'm sure when everybody catches their breath tomorrow they will have lots to write.

God Bless.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Brian Deux Part Deux

We had an update that Brian and company have arrived safely and are en route back to the compound with Karen.

Bob has promised a full blog update later. :)

Monday, March 22, 2010


Hi guys it's Bob,

I'm back in the saddle some what. Today I had good start to my day. Feeling much better stomach is a bit weak but then so is the brain. Mike and I started on the cabinets where we left off and then moved over to the kids building to fix more stuff.  More cabinet stuff in the kids area needing repairs. After a while we moved over to the roof to put an air vent on the plumbing. We have been watching  the guys and they are moving along quite well on the finish.

I have been killing myself trying to get this language thing. You would think after being here five times I could carry a conversation without my hands. But again I am French.

Karen is going to Port tomorrow so we had to make sure we had all we need while she is gone. She had a slow start to her day - the helicopter had a malfunction like all Canadian helicopters. The props are moving a bit more this afternoon. She is in the office saying I hate this part of the job - bookkeeping and financial reports.

I was able to eat Martha"s eggs this morning ,soup for lunch and I smell something deepfrying and it smells good so I must be getting better.  We will set up tents tomorrow for our guests.

The other night we had some rain. It downpoured for about three hours. As I lay in my tent inside the devotional building I could only think of all the people without tents and even those in tents. We later learned that some people were trying to dig trenches with there bare hands to stop the mud slides around the tent cities. Babies face down in mud. How unreal this whole ordeal still is to these people.  When Karen came to get us last Tuesday they had to go in the city so Karen could see her doctor.  She got to see more buildings down . She also heard that some more people died from being in these buildings after being told not to go in. Over 10 people died .

I was just told that last night there was another small earthquake in Cape Hatian. It was a small one but a big high building went down with people in it. Don't know how many yet. It might be on CNN. There seems to be no end to bad luck and the people still praiseing God. How do they do it?  Awhile ago Luckner"s daughter Baby, for those who don't know her, left their house.  She left a note,I will be in touch don't worry. Luckner tried all that weekend to get her but her phone was off . Baby contacted him on that Monday to tell her father she had gone on a three day fasting and accepted Christ. Good news or what. I also missed her singing in church on Sunday because I had to leave early.

I am learning to appreciate or look at things in a whole new light. Trying to see through someone else's eyes. Seeing around here is a whole new eyesight. In the year 2010 and people are still living in tents or outside without tents.  Everyday I think of these people and Mike said the same thing you could cry on a daily bases out of pain for these people. People still dying after 2 months after the quake it's unreal.

We had a golf tryout thanks to Mel and his donation of golf club and balls. We might have a Hatian golf classic. It was interesting if nothing else.

By Mike
   I only have one thing to add tonight. There should be a picture here somewhere of how a Nevfoundlander sits in an office chair and does bookwork. Can't leave that out. Looking forward to meeting the group tomorrow. Other than that I can only think of one thing to add to Bob's blog. GREAT BLOG BOB. I think I'll go tell him. God Bless.

Karen here.  Nothing I need to add after that great writing. Perhaps after seeing my doctor again tomorrow and possibly another injection this helicopter can start flying low instead of being crashed. Perhaps too, I will be able to do my bookwork like other Canadians instead of Newfie style. After tomorrow we should have more bloggers too.  Blessings everyone.

Sunday Update from Mike

Sunday already. Hard to believe. I am sure that this is the hottest day we have had so far.

Bob is still fighting with his stomach. He says there seems to be progress but it is slow. I guess that fits right in down here.

We got to go and worship with the children from the orphanage, and others from the village over at the HATS school building. It was a privilege to be there among them worshipping and praising the Lord. Several of the young ladies there sang and everyone of them did a great job. One of the girls that sang (Effranise) was one of the students that Bob and Linda sponsor. Unfortunatly Bob wasn't feeling well enough to stay and had to leave before she sang. She did just fine. The student we sponsor was also there but she didn't sing. I hardly understood a word of what was said but I understood the Spirit. The only English was two verses of Power In The Blood which they wanted us blan to sing. Actually I think we were supposed to sing the whole song but they could only stand two verses, took pity on us, and changed back to Creole. Our God is merciful!!
Our Ti Service

Luckner's Daughter Baby Singing

After the service Ti Luc got to go and spend some time with Papa Luckner, so he was well pleased. He came back a little later in the day and I got see some of the things he can do with his feet. He is really quite amazing.
Too Tired to Kick again

Ti Luc holding Dieunel

Karen gave Bob some of her special drugs and they really worked. Only problem was he could only walk ten feet before he'd fall down and go to sleep. Took him five hours and seven snoozes before he made it up to the shower. He's doing better now though. That's why I'm doing the blog tonight. He looked at the computer screen and fell asleep. We poked him and he woke up, put his hand on the mouse and fell asleep again. Well maybe not quite that bad but you get the picture.

Karen got a little bookwork done today, but its like a drop in the ocean I'm sure.

Tomorrow we're back at it. Hopefully Bob is better and we will keep moving.

Tuesday Brian and his group will arrive. Looking forward to meeting them. I hope we're not scaring them with our blogging.

It rained just enough last night to send Karen and Ti Luc back under cover, but thankfully for the people around PAP that was it. It will be terrible there when the rains arrive. Well I guess that's all that's in my head. Maybe Bob's turn tomorrow night. God Bless.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday in Haiti - Bob, Mike and Karen

Saturday, March 21st - By Bob

We are making progress in many areas just not finishing anything! I am starting to see how Karen feels when everyone comes at her every time she starts something. We are working on some plumbing, cabinets, running for stuff. Life in Haiti. Would not change it.

Well some things I would change like the last 28 hours in and out of the bathroom. I seem to have picked up a bug . But this afternoon I seem to be snapping out of it, keeping my fingers crossed.

Mike is a fisherman but takes orders well as a carpenter . I gave orders and he, Vlademy, Ti Luc and Leica took charge.

I got to relax to recoup off and on I could check to see how it was going and give other instructions. The kitchen cabinets for new house are coming together very well. The finish on new housing for support workers is going well it is looking sharp.

I drove to the hospital to pick up 3 ladies from Toronto they must have taken a wrong turn to land here. But we were glad to meet them and show them around the compound.

We went to see the kids at the school yesterday at mealtime. They are very much in line and respectful and appreciate the meal that is given to them never a word or whine. I can just see Canadian kids go through this (oh that again. )We are so fortunate and don't know it. When I go home I was asked to speek in Truro at my 2 granddaughters' school and there are so many things to say I don't know where to start . You just want to tell them how spoiled they are but we are as much to blame.

BY Mike

Another day is drawing to a close here. The sun is gone down, the generator is on, and it's still hot. Saw a baby tarantula today. Man he was cute. Think I might try and catch a few to take home and show the family. Yesterday was a full day. We went over to the school and saw the kids there in their uniforms and as Bob said they were all very polite and seemed very happy to be there. I got to fill in at the preschool for a couple of minutes and gave them their first offical English lesson. I was doing fine until I tried to be cool and sat on the edge of a desk which quickly began to fold up and I nearly ended up on my butt, And guess what . They all laughed at me. I never knew that preschoolers could be so mean. Fortunatly the teacher's assistant rescued me.

I got to meet our sponcered student, Radmilla. She seemed very shy, and very precious. These kids really seem to appreciate everything and anything someone does for them. Someday we will find out just what a blessing we have when we are able to help others in whatever way.

We made another trip to St. Marc, and this time it was in record time. No market, and Bob was able to get the materials he was after with only a couple of stops. We took Ti Luc with us and my job was making sure he didn't go to sleep. Got an F in that one, but I think he needed a short nap. He was pretty peppy after that and he got to surprise Papa Luckner who didn't know he was coming. So let's see. We got the plumbing for the bathroom and kitchen pretty much in place as far as it can go at present, and got a start on the cabinets. Afterwards I was crazy enough to try and kick a soccerball around a bit. Ti Luc lasted longer than I did. I ended up being the goalie because all they have to do is stand there. Ti Luc scored on me twice, but I did manage to stop a couple for a save percentage of 50%. I'll take it. He kicked the ball twice in a row with no help. He's just starting. He was feeling better yesterday, but his fever came back last night. Hopefully it will break soon.

Today I was at the compound all day and Bob and Karen only had to make a short jaunt to the hospital for the three ladies. Bob got some kind of bug yesterday as he said and had to take it easier today. Fortunatly it didn't affect his brain, so he was able to keep all his helpers busy, and there were alot of helpers. Bob was using his brain, most of the rest of us were using our hands, but one guy was using his feet. All and all we were able to get some of it together. Got to spend some time with the kids before supper but no soccer tonight. Karen is still looking for a couple of clones but even if me and Bob had red wigs it wouldn't work. Well almost time for the roosters and crickets.

God bless all.

Karen now. The guys have done a great job again. My blogging work is easy with them here. I just take and add photos. This is good for me. I want to take a minute to thank Edith, Angie and Mandy for coming to visit today - all the way from big TO no less. It was nice to have them here and show them around. They were interested and truly caring about what was going on here.

I ask you to remember to pray please for all those living in tent cities in and around Port au Prince. It was raining hard recently. I can't imagine how awful life is for them in the rain. It hurts to think of it. Dear God please keep them protected, dry, and provide toilet facilities, food, water, and medicine. They are desperately in need of help.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Bob and Mike Arrive

Thursday March 18th

A big sorry for the delay in getting out a blog, but Bob and I both agree that this will be the hardest job for us here. Neither one of us are big on writing but we'll do our best. Obviously we made it here after two good flights and then total mayhem at the airport. The main airport isn't being used yet so we got diverted to a big garage. One hour and a half later we had recovered all our luggage, after Bob came to the conclusion that his brown suitcase we had been looking for was actually blue. The whole scene seemed really familiar to me. It was like a flock of gulls after a handful of bait in the water. MINE MINE.

We bumped into Pastor Larry Pennel and four others from Canada coming down to check on about two hundred churches, to get some idea of what was left and who is left. Bob had to borrow their phone at the garage where Karen hadn't arrived yet to find out that she was struck in traffic. It turns out there was just as much chaos outside as inside. So we left the airport an hour and a half late which put us home an hour and a half after dark. Which meant driving in the dark dodging bicycles, buses, taptaps, mostly without any lights on, and 200,000 people all in the road. Welcome to Haiti. We had a late supper of spaghetti and sauce and right to bed, to listen to the beautiful melody of the roosters, taptaps, horns, and various other sounds.

First full day. Off to St Marc for supplies with Karen's newly found driver Bob. (Dickie, you have competition, big time.) Something Karen forgot to tell us was that Wednesday was market day. You should have seen Bob pushing his way through 100,000 people in 200 yards of road. Finally we got to St. Marc and began shopping . Three hours later we had pipe fittings, groceries, and the fridge to put them in. This was after their attempt to put a deepfreeze on the truck instead of the purchased fridge. So we ate out in St. Marc in an interesting restaurant. Luckner pulled a sneaky trick he picked up in Canada. He paid for our meal and sneaked out. So it's off to the compound through the traffic again. Yes there are still some standing !! So home, carry the fridge into the house, plug it in and it doesn't work. Freezer part freezes, but the fridge part stays a bamly 12 degrees.

After that we tackled some plumbing for upstairs apartment. In the midst of this we had time with the world's most hugable kids.

Day two. More plumbing. Bob gets a little out of line sometimes, but it only takes a small tap with the hammer to the head to staighten him out again. Oh, surprise, we're off to St. Marc again for more supplies. No market, so it's just a flash with Bob behind the wheel. First stop was to argue with the man who sold us the fridge. Eight- thirty in the morning a man will be there to fix it. Ok , we'll see. Next stop, more plumbing supplies, groceries, and back home. When we arrive we have Haitian Power. To take advantage of it we grab the extension cord, drill, chisel, hammer, and up on the roof to get a hole knocked through before dark.

Had a great Quiche for supper , compliments of Martha. Then Karen gave us the bad news that we had to do this blog. So this is it . A joint venture between both of us. Will blog again in about ten days. Just kidding.

Karen here. Did a good job blogging, didn't they? Now I am off the hook for awhile. When we picked these two nuts up on Tuesday Luckner and I saw a lot more buildings down in Port than the previous trip. Every time we go in we see newly fallen piles of rubble. And still tons of the older ones that you know have many bodies underneath. Looks are so deceiving. Buildings can look okay to the naked eye but have fallen a week later. I cannot go to PaP and return without shedding tears. We had to purchase some items downtown PaP. Luckner parked the truck in front of a police building and then when he looked up he jumped back in the truck and parked in the middle of the road. The only safe place to park on that whole street was in the middle of the road.

Last week more than ten people were killed by entering one of the damaged government buildings to look for things and the building collapsed on them. People take a chance even though the buildings are condemned and more lives keep being lost. Desperate people take desperate chances.

For those of you who have asked, my hip is doing a little better due to an injection by the doctor in PaP, but I still suffer when sitting. Thanks for the prayer support.

While Bob and Mike have been running around and working on plumbing the work has been continuing on the outside of the new house as well. The work on the water tower has been held up for a day or so due to not being able to purchase necessary wood to cut up to make the forms to pour the concrete. In the meantime Valiere has been a good help on the outside of the other construction and also to Bob and Mike.

Kids are doing well. Ti Luc continues to want to walk all the time, but has not been kicking the soccer ball with Bob and Mike yet due to not feeling quite up to snuff for the past couple of days. Hopefully tomorrow.

Blessings to all of you.