Monday, June 28, 2010

Update - Ti Luc and World Cup

Just a note to let you know that Ti Luc is better and Brazil is still winning - in case you did not know that.

Ti Luc is again back to his happy self - being a joy to his mama and many others. Thank you, God.

Today the big world cup soccer game was on at 1:30 between "THE REAL TEAM" - BRAZIL and Chile. I invited all the workers - construction and regulars - into my house to watch Brazil beat Chile. And that is exactly what we watched. Ti Luc went nuts every time there was a goal. He was so much fun to watch. Friday he was too sick to even put on his Brazil shirt or care less. Today he was back in fine form letting us all know who he was cheering for.


Work continued today, around the soccer game, on repairing the cement block fence of the mission. We are well over half way there.

A few of you have asked what happened with the stove that had the glass cover explode all over me and my house. I keep forgetting to do a followup. The store in PAP exchanged it for us awhile back. They were shocked about what happened but gave us another. This one works beautifully and no explosions. I was without a working fridge for over a month until I could stand it no longer. Today I took a photo of Martha happily using the new stove and the new fridge. Thanks to all who have helped these things become a reality.

That's it for today folks. Tune in again later in the week.

God bless you all.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

An early good morning to all of you.

My days are all hectically full and so I try to blog in the evening just before bed. On the last two blogs I made errors. I forgot to mention some children who had been to HATS on one and put in two photos almost exactly alike on the last one. Doing the blogs when I was very overtired may have had something to do with that ?? We will see. Now it is 4:00 a.m. Will this one be any better ???

The construction and repair work continues at HATS. Only one thing remains to be done on the Kid's home - a sink for the kitchen. And painting, of course, which will be done later on. The windows are in the missionary house upstairs. We need to get the plumbing and electrical work finished up there, and doors in. Those who have been to HATS might have difficutly recognizing the house in this photo. Can this possibly be the same building??

Windows going in missionary house

Is this recognizable to anyone who has been here?

The loud banging and crashing of cement, and the sound of cement debris being dumped down behind my office window continues as the top level of the house continues to be broken down. It is anything but pleasant but it is necessary. So grit the teeth and take ibuprofen for the headache caused by it all, and let't get it over with. The roof must come down. As it does the plies of rubble go up. A lot of cement dust caused from dumping the debris behind the house necessiated the closing of windows, and covering in sheets. Yesterday the pile became dangerous to the glass in the office windows so plywood had to cover the windows outside. And the repair work goes on.

Let's get this roof down

The roof came down and the rubble piled up

Falling cement broke the newly installed water pipes so Luckner did a repair job which gave us water on the compound again. What remains to come down is the section next to my two satellite dishes. What to do??? Take a chance and leave them in place?? Or remove them and possibly have to wait weeks to get them up and positioned properly again. Must decide today.

Luckner repairing broken water pipe from falling cement

The repair work has been underway this week on the compound walls damaged in the quake. A lot of the support posts (far more than half) were damaged and are being replaced. Work is being done on one section at a time as, for safety reasons, the fence wall cannot remain open. Yesterday heavy rain came quickly and the work continued as the workers knew they could not quit without the fence being secure.

Work on repairing enclosure fence

School is out for the summer and there is no one happier about that than I am. A break from that is needed. The students and teachers return for a couple of hours this week for the students to be given their report cards. Reminder: Sponsors of our students - please forward your sponsoring fees for the school year, Sept 2010 to June 2011, to the Hands Across The Sea Association in Yarmouth. Thank you for continuing to help your student receive a very necessary education.

Antoinette, the house mother, decided to have everything in the Kid's Home cleaned - all clothes, all cupboards, supply boxes, everything. The kids were helping with that job. I caught Leica helping and then my heart soared as I saw something else. Our precious Ti Fi who continues to blossom and improve these days was helping too. I saw her carring a small plastic tub, in which she had water and laundry detergent. (This is amazing for her.) She carefully set it down next to Mirlande and proceeded to help Mirlande wash their undies. Ti Fi's face was beautiful as she showed me what she was doing. Mine had tears of joy as I watched it. Good things are happening here with the children now. I have someone who is working with me - not against me. Thank you, God.

Leica helping clean

Precious TiFi doing laundry with Mirlande

Ti Luc has not been well since Wednesday. Luckner and I went to PAP Wednesday to do some necessary shopping. We returned with a refrigerator and other needed items. When checking home with Martha that day I was told Ti Luc was not well. He had a fever and was vomiting. He has been ill since then, and yesterday, Friday, he was in my arms the whole day - 8:00 a.m. to 7:15 p.m after which time he spent the night hours lying next to me. Presently he is asleep here next to me and I am trying to get this blog done before he awakes. His fever was not bad yesterday - low grade - but he was having seizures (or that is what I am calling them.) Please God may he be somewhat better today.

Ti Luc ill

Thank you everyone for your support in our efforts to help the children in this area of Haiti.

Remember: IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN

God bless you all. Karen

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

World Cup soccer mania still strong in Haiti

Hello everyone. Not a good time to need something urgent done. Very difficult to keep workers on the job. A match with Argentina is going to start in fifteen minutes. The construction workers at HATS are not getting time off today. I know that if they are honest they would say that their hearts will be more in what is happening in the game than in the job they are doing. But the work must keep going. Will I feel guilty watching it inside my house while they are working outside? A little, but not enough to let them off work to join me. They had time off to watch the first game with Brazil. Then the second one was on Sunday so that worked out for them. They watch what matches they can at Luckner's place. Luckner, being the business man he is, has things set up for people to come and pay to watch at his place. He has 2 televisions set up in different areas of his place with benches. On Friday Brazil plays again so it might only a dream to think the guys will work through that one. Guess I won't be a meanie on Friday. We will all be watching that game. On Sunday past I had my own little group of Brazil supporters watching the game at my house - Ti Luc, Leica, Moise, JJ and Mirlande and Vladimy. The little kids all searched for some yellow clothing to put on. They did a lot of yelling and dancing as Brazil scored all three goals. Just as they got the 3rd goal the rain started and we lost signal from the satellite. We never did see the other team get a goal but were told about it later. This is rainy season and the rain means no signal for internet or television.

My Brazil supporters

Today, we need a legal paper for Ti Luc signed. Yes, well dream on. There is a match today with Argentina. Forget anything else. Everyone left the court room in Verrettes around 11:30 this morning because this match was going to get underway at 1:30. Luckner said he will go to Verrettes after 5:00 p.m. today and hope to find the people whose signatures he needs at their houses. Tomorrow morning we head to PAP with paperwork and to do some shopping. One thing badly needed tomorrow is a fridge.

I mentioned on the last blog that the last water tank had been moved to its new site. On Saturday Luckner spent 4 1/2 hours in the sun hooking up all plumbing so all four tanks are working well together. How good it is to have that huge job done.

Luckner doing plumbing of the four tanks

With that job finished today another big one got started. The top level of this house that held the four big tanks is now being broken and removed. Two men worked up there in the sun today breaking up the cement. I had to put serious restrictions on the children running in and out of this house. Lots of cement was falling from the roof. Tomorrow the men will return with two extra men so it can go faster. Ti Luc and Leica had helmets on for protection when they went in and out today. They thought that was great fun.

Removing the top level
 
Soon to be a two level house

Ti Luc -watch out below

Leica preparing to leave the house with Ti Luc

This afternoon we had a delivery of rebar - five tons - so the repair work can move forward on the enclosure walls, with some left for the additional Kid's Home. We save money by purchasing in large quantities and it will be available when needed. Our repair work has been delayed often due to the unavailability of blocks, rebar, and cement since the earthquake. Shortage of supplies of course means higher prices constantly.

The important thing is the work is continuing and is being done for a very important reason - the children!!

Let us continue our work together "Changing Lives, One Child at a Time".

I haven't forgotten the photos of my girls. I will keep my 'girls day' for the next blog.

Thank you everyone. Blessings to all.
Karen

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hello to all followers of the HATS blog

Thanks for doing so, and for your comments on the blog and/or on e-mail.  Your words encourage me to keep it up.

The last water tank has been removed from the roof of this house and placed on the roof of the new water tower building .  Now to find time to get all the plumbing for all four tanks hooked up and running properly again.
# 4 tank almost there

The two storage rooms below the tanks have been finished inside.  By late today the construction workers were doing steps to those rooms. When the doors are hung and electricity is hooked up they will be ready for me to start moving stuff.

Work was done yesterday on the gallery of the Kid's home and today on their kitchen.   A sink needs to go in and the work on that house will be done.  Then only painting, inside and out, will be left to do.  That will be left for a workteam to take on.

Work on gallery of Kid's Home

This week there was a dental workteam in Borel.  We were blessed yesterday with some of them, a dental hygenist and two assistants, coming to this mission.  They checked and cleaned the teeth for all the kids and seven employees.  All those seen were very thankful.   Almost everyone around here needs dental work done but the possibility is almost nil.  A beautiful 7-yr-old girl, Arielle, daughter of one of the women, was with them.  She was a big hit.  While dental work was in progress others of the team at Borel dropped by and a little brother to Arielle, Zach, came with them.  He, too, was an instant hit.  He and Ti Luc quickly became friends.  My kids were all quite taken with Arielle and adorable little Zach.   They love to have other kids here.  Workteams come and workteams go.  My kids are used to visitors, but seldom do they get children.  Last time was when Liette came for Christmas with her four precious children.  That was a wonderful Christmas for all the kids - Chocolate and Vanilla - different and very special.  
Ti Luc & Dentist - Not sure of this Mama

Judel getting teeth cleaned

Ti Luc's teeth done Judel in line & Arielle

Merise - I'm ready
 
Final step for Mirlande
 
Zach & Ti Luc - fast friends

All of us at the HATS-Haiti Mission are very thankful to everybody who comes and helps in any way.  

Hebrews 6:10 -  "God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have for Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them."

Let's continue to do all we can to help those in need.  Together we make a difference. 

Thank you everybody.  God bless you all.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

World Cup Soccer mania has hit Haiti.

Haitians call soccer football.  They really love the sport.  They are basically for one of two teams - Brazil or Argentina and most are for Brazil.  We just finished watching Brazil play North Korea.  My little Ti Luc was sitting here with a group of us and he kept yelling "Brasil, Brasil".  When they scored the two goals he was standing up and yelling.  What a riot.
Ti Luc cheering for Brasil

My daughter, Liette, saw that game in person as she is in South Africa for the World Cup.  She has a lot of envious friends and family members.  The people watching the game in my house kept hoping to see Liette and Ti Luc was also yelling  "Kote ou Liette?"   ("Where are you, Liette?")

Today our school was closed due to the Brazil game.  Final exams started yesterday.   We knew that  today no one, teachers or students, would have their minds on anything but the Brazil game.  Tomorrow the exams will continue.  Our construction workers borrowed half a day today to watch the match too.  They assured me they will work the four hours during this week.   No doubt they will.  No doubt too they were thrilled to leave and watch the match.  Almost no one works during an exciting game in Haiti.

Well folks - exactly five months after the earthquake, on June 12th - Ti Luc slept back in the house in his own bed.  I had been talking about it for some time to prepare him, about how special that would be, etc.  He went willingly and is ready to go to his own bed every night now - no problems whatsoever.  I have yet to make it to mine as my room had become a storage depot.  I am, however, almost there.  Sleeping in the house but not yet in my bed.
TiLuc in his bed exactly 5 months after EQ

Ti Luc has a new trick to share now.  He can turn on the TV by himself without a remote.  He asked for television and I had said "tomorrow, it is too late in the day now".   He walked away without any fuss.  I came into the living room and saw him trying to turn it on himself so I grabbed the camera and hid.  He knew which button to push and tried to get his fingers to rest on it, but that is a very difficult task for him.  He is a determined little guy and soon I saw him use his elbow to turn it on.  He was thrilled but knew he needed to push one more button (smaller) to bring the picture from the satellite dish.  He managed that by himself too, also by using his elbow.  What joy of accomplishment on his face.  Today I saw him turn it on using his chin.
I saw my mama push this button

Fingers not steady - try the elbow

Got it on Mama

A start was made on moving the fourth tank yesterday but something important came up and it could not be finished.  The room on that level that was being used for storage, however, did come down.  It looks empty up there now.  Now when the last tank gets moved to its new home we are ready to have that heavy cement roof knocked down.  That might mean that both satellite dishes (for internet and for TV) have to be taken down for protection and put back up after.  I might possibly be without internet service for a day.  If I have to loose it, hopefully it will be no more than a day.  I would like to find a way for that roof to come down without the possibility of it crashing the satellite dishes so they could stay where they are.
Going to take down the room upstairs

gone

The workers have also been continuing with the cement work on the storage rooms.  That will soon be finished.  The railing for the stairs up to the tanks is almost finished as well.  Luckner said today the doors for the storage rooms are done so soon they will be put on.   Slowly and steadily the work is getting done.  Because we have been working on a few different things at the same time it seems to be taking a long time.  But things are happening and I am pleased with how it is being done.
trying to get storage rooms finished

Remember:  IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN !!!!

That's it for this time.  Good night friends.  God bless you.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hello from all of us at the mission.

Not much news.  I just want to get in touch.

All kids love to play and mine are certainly no exception.    Anyone who has been here with us knows the joy my kids get from people playing with them.  Recently they have been blessed with visits from people doing short term mission work in Borel.  Steve has had teams coming and going a lot.  They come to help Steve with the work at Project Help but they also come here to meet the kids.  Once they have met them they like coming back to share time and attention with them.  Looks like a win/win situation to me.  Everyone gets blessed.
Visitors to play with the kids

Visit from workteam members at Project Help

The work has been continuing on the building that houses the water tanks.  Still one tank to be moved but we have been busy at other things.  Three are there and water is flowing to the compound.   The two storage rooms on the first level are being cemented inside.  When that is finished and the doors and screens are on, I will start moving things there.

Preparing the storage room under water tanks

Preparing 2nd storage room for cement walls

Today is  'boy' day.  I am sharing some photos of my boys - Vladimy age 14 and doing grade 7;  JJ age 8 and doing grade 3;  Moise  age 7 and in grade 2;  Ti Luc  age 4 and in the prescolaire class;  Dieunel  - just turned 4 and also in the prescolaire class;  Judel  age  2  (3 in August) and a definite wannabe in the precolaire class.  Judel cries every morning when the other kids leave for school.


Strong man Dieunel

Moise (Moses)

 JJ

Vladimy
 My Judel

Ti Luckner

Next blog I will give photos and info on my girls - 'girl day'.

Have a blessed weekend everyone.    Karen and crew

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Moving those tanks!!!

I promised on today's blog to post photos of the moving of the four 1000 gallon water tanks from the top of this building unto the top of the new water tower building. Here they are. Today three of the tanks were moved and hooked up. The last one will be done tomorrow.
Moving tanks started with Luckner disconnecting plumbing

This was one very busy and interesting day. Watching Luckner and his crew remove the tanks, and by hand get them down one level, then over the side of this house to the ground, and back up the side of the new building was amazing. When they were being pulled up the side of the water tower building one man stood in a window opening on the new building and supported the tanks with his butt, to prevent them being damaged on the side of the building. I found this huge job interesting, amazing and funny. One thing I know, without Luckner it would not have happened.
 Moving tanks #1

 Moving tanks #2

Now over the side to the ground
 
Starting up side of other building
 
Almost there
 
Great job Luckner & team

Today I went up and down the stairs to the top of this house and to top of other one far more times than I can count. Too, I went through everything in storage in the room (former office) at the top of this building, organized it, and had it carried down one level. Reason - when the floor where the tanks were is knocked down there will be no roof for that room. We will use the plywood, window, and door elsewhere. I needed to get the room emptied in case they start knocking it down tomorrow. I feel totally exhausted and at 9:00 p.m. am going to my tent. It is raining but not hard tonight so hopefully we will be okay.

Getting the last tank moved tomorrow will be swiftly followed by the knocking down of that whole floor that housed them. When that is done Ti Luc and I will once again be able to sleep inside. We have been sleeping outside now for five months so not sure how Ti Luc is going to adjust to going back into his bedroom. He sure likes being close to his mama.

Good night and God bless everyone. Karen