Monday, January 28, 2013

Last nights are always hard.....by Sandra

We had another work/fun filled day. Karen, Ti Luc, Dickie and Richard (security) headed out to Saint Marc early for the bank and they were successful and back home by 10:20! A miracle indeed!

Jim and I attended our last recess today at school and had a great time with the kids.

Last chance to be swarmed by curious youngsters

JJ and Moise carried a lot of wood up to the storage room;in the water tower after school and I was the supervisor on that job...not Jim!

Enjoying time with Sandra

Eden was building cupboards for the kitchen in Kay Timbrmart and I was also supervising on that job...there were no photos of me supervising!Jim and I took a trip to the kids home after they had their homework done armed with cars, wristbands and treats and had a fun time with many photos of Jim and each child.

Eden & Dickie - cupboard for kitchen at Kid's house

We had soupe joumou for lunch and chicken, rice and beans for supper! Germaine had the weekend off and I was "chief cook and bottle washer" so she was a welcome sight this morning for everyone!

Going to miss Aunt Sandra

Dickie was busy as usual doing his thing, which is everything that needs to be done and more!

Getting Karen's new family photos up

Karen was running around 90 miles an hour as usual to bank, garbage dump, meetings, childrens home, construction workers, playing with and loving on the kids and answering 50 million questions from many people.

I got to pay the employees and give out food. I don't know why I get all the good jobs but I sure do!

More food recipients

We said our goodbyes a little while ago and it was hard...there were hugs, kisses and tears! We hope to be back in a year and do it all over again!

Sandra, Dickie & Sandra

We leave at 5:30 AM and 2 of us get to ride to Port Au Prince in the back of the truck.....see what I mean, I get all the good jobs! It is exciting and beautiful to ride back there.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday at HATS...by Jim edited by Sandra

Sunday is a favorite of many visiting teams to HATS, I know it is one of mine. It is a quieter pace than most days although quieter here is more hectic than in most places I've been. It starts with lying in until almost 6:15am then a leisurely help yourself breakfast and get ready for church. Church starts at 9:30ish and can run to somewhere between 11am and noon.

Dressed for church

After a quick trip to Luckners corner store with all the kids for a cold pop and a snack we come home and try to round up all the HATS kids for a group photo. It would be easier to round up 16 cats with a rat on the loose. Eventually everyone is gathered and many shots are taken hoping to get one where most are looking in the same general direction. Once we give up on that idea everyone races to get out of Sunday clothes.

Down to Luckners for a pop

everyone looking in the same direction...sort of

Then after a quick do it yourself lunch, Dickie and I took Ti Luc back to Luckners to play for a while. Back to the compound, while Dickie finished painting the small benches he made for the house mothers, Karen, Sandra and I were putting away various things in the depot where all extras are stored until required. Then as Karen worked on her reports and power napped (10 minutes) Sandra went looking for the makings for smores. Once Karen came to and found the marshmallows the older boys had all the equipment ready to go. As preparations were well under way Dickie and I again ventured forth to round up Ti Luc and a couple more small gaffers to join the smore party. It was a sticky success.

Sandra enjoying her smore

Enjoying 'smores'

wired

Once that mess was cleaned up the kids started an energetic game of football (soccer) which they enjoyed until it was time to return them to Luckner. Meanwhile Karen returned to her reports and Sandra continued preparing paperwork for Karen. I lost track of Dickie, easy to do, and I collapsed in front of a fan. Next thing you know it's time to eat again so we reheated some of last nights turkey and fixens ran for a quick shower then headed down to evening devotions with the kids. These kids generate so much heat and love to cuddle so much that the shower was probably wasted but I wouldn't change a second of that time with them for any fan or air conditioner.

Anne telling Mama Karen she is sorry for bad behaviour

Now as I type this blog, Karen thinks it is a good time to start looking at issues she has been having on her computer, after all I've only been here 2 weeks and I still have a whole day left to fix up everything that has gone wrong for the last year. Tomorrow, our last day, will be hard.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Our last Saturday...by Dickie M.

This was another great day at HATS. We started the day properly by taking a walk along the canal. It is stunningly beautiful and full of activity that hour of the day.

Our chicken lady early a.m.

Chicken lady chase, catch and tie

Chicken lady chases and falls

chicken lady being helped to her feet

Jim & security agent helping the chicken lady catch her chickens

Our early morning walk after chickens were caught and retied.

Sandra gave out the rest of the chickens and some food. We overnighted 20 chickens that were not picked up. As usual we had several escapees, it was fun watching several people chasing chickens.

Chicken lady still giving out chickens

Jim and I finished the basketball backstop and installed it. We made and partially painted 3 small benches for the house moms to use. We had a water fight this afternoon which was enjoyed by some.

Fixing the basketball hoop

Sandra spent most of the day in the kitchen making a turkey dinner with all the fixins. It was very good and a change from rice and beans. Left overs tomorrow. Our time here is drawing to an end, I try not to think about it but on the other hand Danielle, Molly and Lexi will be in Nova Scotia one week after we get home. This is a fabulous place to be and I hope I can return many times.

Chicken lady can do more than chase Haitian chickens.  Boy she can cook!

Canadian meal.  I have the best sister in the world.

Jim, Moise, JJ and I set up the school for Church in the morning, we had around 150 last week.

Jim appears to be supervisor again - even in preparing for a water balloon fight

After devotions tonight we went up on the roof with the older children. It is so bright you can see for miles.

Full moon over HATS

Friday, January 25, 2013

Chickens in the grape vine......

Today we discovered that chickens like to sleep in the trees or bushes and not on the ground. We still have about 18 chickens for overnight and they wanted to roost in the grapevine and several of them broke their tether and got up there.

a chicken that made it's way to the grape vine

Another busy day at HATS....I wonder if there is ever a non busy day here.

Dickie was on sewer duty, sinks, basketball net & backboard and a million other things as they arose. Jim was a Dickie helper, painted the basketball backboard, fixed a door in devotions room and of course is still attached to Karen's computer.

Jim worked really hard today

I (Sandra) went to school right after devotions, did some more payroll, went to grade 7 and 9 to get photos of sponsored children, helped feed the children, and had my favorite meal for lunch! When the chickens arrived we had no room for them as the desks that Eden was making for the school were all in the chicken spot so Eugene and I moved 12 desks to make room for the chickens. This doesn't sound like much work BUT it was very very hot and the desks are big and very heavy. After lunch I did food and chicken distribution. I now handle the chickens like the Haitians.....pick them up by the legs, hang them upside down and tie their legs together and pass them to them. I long to be able to handle the rice, beans, corn and oil as they do BUT am far from being able to do that yet.

New desks.  At HATS we send even the chickens to school.

The chicken lady has become good at her job

Thankful parent with food for his children

Karen and I went to Deschapelles to visit Josue and it was over a very narrow rough road. He was very pleased to see her and spoke English to me. A very handsome young man who is recovering from a bad accident.

Josue and Karen

Jim was the only one who made it to night devotions with the children!

Ti Luc had a great day after school. He loves to work on the computer with his special keyboard and then he got to use his new tools on the work station that Dickie made for him. He is a whiz with his tools and such fun to watch.

Total concentration on working with tools like a man

Ti Luc practices typing.

Karen, of course, had a very lazy laid back day as she does every day!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh, how I wish she could have a laid back lazy day!

After their "easy" day these two lovely ladies definitely resemble each other


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Our last week is passing too quickly....

After devotions this morning I (Sandra) headed to the school with Karen to get five sets of grade 2 text books and 2 sets of grade one! It took a little longer than we expected and we were there until recess time which is always a joy to watch.

Preparing textbooks for some grades 1 & 2 students

Dickie was busy with a sewer line...a crappy job, but needed to be done. He was busy with water lines, sinks, doors and many other chores ...including fixing the gun! Jim was working on the computer again and came to school for recess with a snack for the children, helped Dickie with the water line, helped sort and distribute clothes etc. and got adopted by Karena.

Dickie deserves a medal. This time he has his head and hands in the septic tank again.

After lunch we gave out more food to needy families, gave shoes to all the ladies working at HATS, shirts to all the male employees, clothes and sleepwear to all the children. We had a short drive to Luckner's in the back of the truck to try to cool off and get some cold pop.

Food ready for distribution

Parents taking food home to their children who are students in our school

Papa of another preschool student picking up food

New duds

pleased with the new clothes

sorry Mariah, she picked me.

We just finished devotions with the children and are heading to bed soon...it has been very hot the last few days and the best place to sleep is in Karen's bed and we have all threatened we were going there tonight.

for explanation of this picture see blog post of Jan 11, 2013

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dickies Blog

This has been another great day in Haiti. We were all up by 0600. We had pancakes for breakfast which is a favourite of everyone. It was one of the least noisy nights since we arrived, which makes for a better sleep.

Early this morning I saw the neighbour climbing a coconut palm tree. He was fascinating to watch. He climbed barefoot with no mechanical aids carrying a machete then began to harvest most of the large palm fronds from the top of the tree. When he had gotten all he wanted he threw the machete to the ground and after knocking off a single coconut climbed down. A couple of hours later on our way to the school we saw him heading to the marked with the results of his labour.

up or down, equally easy with experience
harvesting Palm fronds
newly woven privacy screen heading for market
I spent most of the day doing small odd jobs, from fixing the truck door to stopping a leak in a washing machine. Doing the jobs is easy, it is trying to find parts or proper tools that take the time. I have been cleaning up the tool room and putting away duplicate tools which will help the next work team. I also posted a large sign asking for help to keep it organized and clean.

Sandra was busy all day doing jobs for Karen. She even has her own desk. Some food was given out but some of the chickens have not arrived yet. She spends a lot of time answering the door and diverting calls needing Karens attention. Jim was busy working on Karens computer. We also put together a clothes rack for the Reimers apartment and transported that and 3 mattresses to the apartment.

assembling clothes rack, who needs instructions?
We all helped feed the children today at School, which we all really enjoy. I saw a lady fixing TJ Kerrys belt at recess this morning and I went over and asked her if she was his Mama, she was and posed for a picture. TJ is sponsored by the Yarmouth Wesleyan Church Kids Club.

Sandra helping feed the kids at school
Dickie and Sandra with TJ and his mom
Jim and I just got back from the Kids home where we had devotions and played with the children for a little while.

We really enjoyed having Pastor Dave and Jess Buckle here for a week. They fit in really well and were a tremendous help to HATS. They got to Canada with no problems, which is a blessing.