Monday, January 31, 2011

Goodbye

Well, the toughest day of the trip is almost over. The last day when we must say goodbye to the staff and goodnight to the children for the last time. It is difficult for all. The children will be missed so much and we hope they will miss us too for a while. It has been absolutely wonderful to be able to make such deep connections in the short space of 2 weeks. Although we all wanted to get to know the kids as fast as possible it was the kids who dictated the pace. In that same short space all the kids made their own connection with all of us. Believe it or not each member of the team made that same connection to each other member of the team. It all added up to a wonderful experience. Let us reflect in photos, we hope you enjoy them.

Flag raising on our last day

The new drive gets completed

A final play time
 
Last visit and meal with Luckner
 
A final shot with all the kids
 
Saying goodbye to kids
 
...and staff
 
3 of our favorite people but only 1 goes home with us
 
and finally a quiz for Dickie..What's wrong with this picture
 
We enjoyed our stay, hope we made a difference in some small way and Lord willing will return to do it all over again. God bless you all and thank you for your interest and support.
Team Huxter 2011

Sunday, Beautiful Sunday

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.  We rejoiced in it and had a very wonderful day of church with Dave giving the message and Karen translating.  We had a fun time going to Ti Riviere in 2 trucks.  There were 14 of us in two trucks, 6 in the back and 8 inside and we took a drive along the canal and river up in the mountains to see a former palace and a fort.  It was a great trip.  Upon return we played with the children and had a great time.
We spent a couple of good hours last night chatting and listening to Karen tell stories about the children and tonight we have had a few hours of sharing about our trip and listening to more stories from Karen.  No time to write more.  Hope the photos speak for themselves.

Sunday Worship

Luckner and crew at the dam

Fording a puddle

...and a river

Touring King Christophe's palace ruins

David goes to great lengths to get the perfect shot

We are an object of curiosity wherever we go

loading up at the fort

transporting kabrit (goat) feed

The queen and her princesses

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday's Activities

We all slept in today! The first person up (on the team) was Ken about 5:45AM! We all dragged ourselves out with the last being up about 7:00AM (Dickie).There are no devotions on Saturday so we took our time with breakfast and then finally all departed to go our separate ways to work for the day. The workers were here to finish the driveway BUT the cement mixer gave out part way through the day and work stopped until Monday. It will be so nice when it is finished to the gate.

Work on driveway continues until mixer breaks

More painting for Cheryl, Lisa and Cathy and Ken joined them again today. Bob and Dave went for a stroll along the canal while waiting for wood for their projects, Jim was drilling holes in concrete and Dickie was once again on the water tower.

Have drill, will make holes

Some people came for their vaccines while Karen and Luckner were in a meeting so Don and I took on the job. Don did the talking and I did the vaccines. Don laughed and wondered if the man understood he couldn't eat for an hour or had to wait until he came back in a week! He thought he had a better clarify it before the man left. A young girl came by to get her goat and she almost got vaccinated instead. Dave had been up to look after the goat in the morning, he water and fed it and it stopped baaing.

Girl picks up kabrit (goat)

Some Government Officials arrived from Gonaives and they had a meeting with Luckner and Karen here for a loooooong time.
Painters quit at 2 o'clock and we went and played with the kids in the school yard...soccer, baseball, parachute, Red Rover, London Bridges Falling Down and more and then had a treat and drink to refresh us. Shortly after we walked along the canal with 11 of the children.

Playing in the school yard

While we were playing with the kids Ken got a knock in the head from inside one of the water tanks and Dave had to patch him up.

''Five'' men working (or looking) at water tank
 
Ken being treated after adjusting his head with pipe wrench

Ti Luc has entertained us for a couple of hours tonight and has just gone to bed. What fun we and he had! Karen is making something good for breakfast.
We are all very aware that our time is coming to a close and no one wants to talk about it. Tomorrow will be a slower day and then on Monday we will try to finish the most important jobs before we leave.
Have a good night.

Friday, January 28, 2011

A Beehive of Activity

The morning started with Martha's wonderful porridge and then we went to devotions here on the compound with the children and staff. JJ and Mirlande lead the service and the kids played the tambourines and sang and prayed.

Devotions to start the day

Cathy & Lisa washed clothes with Chantal and Mme Saint Adieu for a while and then they went back to their usual tasks...guess what?

 Helping with the laundry

Don taught 2 classes this morning and Karen and I witnessed the fun they had.

Don teaches

Dickie and Jim were back at the water tower again.

Vladimy treats the water

Ken and Cheryl headed to the new Missionary house to continue the painting.

The paint crew

Dave and Bob made cabinets and shelves and installed them.

New kitchen cabinet for Karen

The whole compound was alive with activity. There were men everywhere....getting the paved driveway done, working in the Timbermart House installing windows, men bringing goats and people coming to pick them up, many coming for cholera vaccines, trucks delivering loads of gravel, a cement mixer working overtime and many other activities.

 Picking up the new family goat

Adding some wiring

At the end of the day we all drove down to Luckner's to see Ti Luc's goat and to have a short visit there. After that we picked up the kids and all walked along the canal for 45 minutes which gave the kids a chance to run and play and us to spend some time with them. Lisa and Cathy were so dirty that Dave washed them off outside with the hose before they could enter the house for supper.
Evening activity: games of auction, sleeping/snoriing on the swing, Karen still working on her computer and the 3 of us trying to find photos to give Jim to put up on the blog.
We will soon all be in bed.
Goodnight.

better late than never

We are a little late in posting this but thought that it is ' better late than never'...
Don, Ken and Jim were here, with Dickie, last year after the earthquake and all three of them had something happen to them that Dickie found really amusing.  When he knew all three were going to be here again this trip he thought about how he could enjoy it again and let everyone else know about it.  He prepared something for each of them and presented them at Montreal Airport.  He knew the presentations would require the telling of the story behind them and he could enjoy it all over again.
Here is the photo of the three:
Ken with the pink hat
Don with the "Guide to Red Hot Peppers"
Jim with the 'metal fence detector'

 Ken and the Pink Hat

Don's Guide to Hot Peppers

All 3 with Jim modelling his new metal fence detector

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Another Fun Busy Day !

Some early morning inspirational singing by the combined Kreyol - English Choir. After that morning session, Dickie, Karen, Cathy, and Lisa left in the HATS truck for the 45 minute drive to St. Marc for some necessary building, plumbing , painting, supplies. En route Cathy and Lisa would have a further opportunity to observe the beautiful Artibonite Valley which includes Pont Deschappelles. They were back before 11 AM.
The local crew continued working hard on the new driveway. It is amazing to watch them and see how quickly they progress.

Preparing for new driveway

There were seven more Cholera Vaccinations given local Haitian people here today at the ' Cholera Clinic ' in the Compound.

Cholera Clinic helps many

Dickie and Jim were rechecking the many connections re the Four Tanks water system.

Dickie and Jim still working on water system

Painting continued in the new Missionary Quarters at a very good rate - this afternoon, Ken and Don were released from other projects to also help Cheryl, Cathy, and Lisa who are the three main A+ painters. This work in these new quarters such as the painting and furniture making ( Dave has been nicknamed the Cabinet Minister ) is getting a lot of priority because Karen has made arrangements with a young Missionary couple who plan to come at the end of February to help out for a year.

Cabinet Minister and Assistant

Sandra seems to have an abundance of Office work and associated errands to do each day releasing Karen of doing the same otherwise on top of many other details, especially recently where some extra construction on the new Children's House, Missionary Quarters, and driveway, etc is underway, each project with its many details to be on top of.

Sandra gives Karen much needed relief from office

Martha and Germaine continue to treat these tired workers with wonderfully tasty meals. In the midst of all the work, meals, relaxation times, there seems to be an overflow of jokes, banter, laughs, and practical jokes ( funny, but Dickie's name is first to be associated with any practical joke, though they usually bring gales of laughter ). Late afternoon, we drove a few kilometers to the nearby town of Borel, so Karen could show us where she lived for the first 9 years in Haiti - the house she lived in, and the house she rented for her first attempt at promoting an Orphanage, before buying the land and and starting the present HATS Mission site.

On the mission compound where it all started

The text must close now, so Jim can get some photos included. We are running out of time for tonight, because our "Inverter" seems to now be inoperable, and once we shut off the generator, there won't be any accessory lighting tonight, but we all have good flashlights. Again today, Karen and Luckner needed some meetings at the school and on the Compound not only keeping up to date with the regular running of the School and Orphanage, but with all the extra projects presently underway.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Another Day In Paradise

The day started quite early with Bob and Karen being interviewed on CBC radio from Gander and Cornerbrook at 0530 and 0550 respectively. The usual questions.

To those of you that did not know, Bob and Elaine's son Gordon and his friend Jon have a band called Wading For Mark. Today we posed in their t-shirts in front of the HATS sign which is on the outside wall of the compound. We did this in support of Gordon and Jon. We felt this would give them something to put on their site.

Everybody Wading For Mark

Bob still Wading For Mark

Just before dinner Luckner called us all out to the yard. When we went out the lights were on in the Timbrmart House for the first time. This house will be used to house some of the children.
The house is basically finished except for windows, door and paint.

 Luckner and helper wiring new children's home

The very hot painters are painting the Master Bedroom of the mission house. As in most jobs we do on the Compound we do it with limited or the wrong supplies. However the painters made up for any lack of equipment.


Karen sent a Taptap to Port to bring back some supplies including Formica countertop to keep Dave happy

Cathy, Lisa, Cheryl and Karen went to the Hospital for a tour of the facilities. We are all thankful for our Health Care System.

Don helped with the painting today and actually had sweat on his brow.(Comment by Lisa)

Don poses with roller, notice no paint on him

Dave, Ken and Bob continue the cabinet making in the Mission house kitchen.

Jim and Dickie finally finsihed all the repairs to the Water System. This is the first time since we arrived that we have 4 working tanks.

Dickie working on water system

The workers started to level the ground and lay rebar for the new driveway. The new fence to keep the children away from the driveway will be done last.

Sandra is continuing with the payroll, clothes distribution and anything Karen can find for her.

Grade 6 gets new clothes


We are all aware that our time here is getting short.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hot, Hot, Hot

This morning started with devotions and the flag raising ceremony at the school. It was a joyous beginning to our day, they certainly have rhythm!

Flag raising ceremony at school

Cheryl, Lisa and Cathy painted AGAIN! Master carpenter Dave and helpers Ken and Bob made a wonderful wardrobe for the bedroom in the Mission House.

Cheryl still painting herself

Lisa and Cathy still painting

Great cabinet work

Dickie and Karen went back to Saint Marc for supplies and upon return Karen took Dave, Ken and Bob to the Hospital with some supplies for them. Bob, while at the hospital, met the mother of a one time sponsored child of his who is now in her 3rd year of Nursing.

Donating medical supplies to HAS

 We gave clothes to grades 4 & 5. We hope to do grade 6 tomorrow and then we will be done. Cathy is still wondering if she shaved her legs for this.
Cheryl and Sandra were jumping rope to apples, oranges, peaches, plums while playing with the children. The children all got a toy...girls got a doll and the boys a dinky toy. We colored and played under the parachute and boy did we have fun!

Skipping rope

Playing with the children

Jim was busy being photographer, while he and Dickie were not plumbing.
OF course you all know Karen was just relaxing all day as usual!
Supper was Martha's yummy cornmeal dish and after eating Ti Luc was on his way to brush his teeth and get ready for bed when he spotted something ugly on the toilet seat. He had a good laugh and instantly knew who did it.

 Bathroom surprise

We look forward to whatever tomorrow will bring.......we are sure it will be sun!
Goodnight
Lisa