Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sandra again.

It is Thursday 1:45 pm as I write this and I have no idea what we did on Tuesday or Wednesday BUT I do know what I did this morning.  (Karen here.  At least she remembers something about the past three days.) 

Last night Karen said "tomorrow morning the first person I see at the school with 2 feet, 2 hands and half a brain is going to help me with the text books"......I made a mental note to not be at the school (as I fit the bill exactly)! She is not the only one who fit the bill. . . . but the only one I caught to help me.) Guess what...I was doing something else and got caught, so from 8:15 to 1:05 (in the heat and humidity) I glued papers in a million?? text books.  The papers stuck to my hands and arms...not from the glue but from the perspiration on my hands and arms.  Even the Haitians think it is hotter than usual and Met David told me it would soon be cold here.....I guess everything is relative!

Always appearing busy when the camera arrives
While appearing busy when the camera is around they always seem to have time for mischief.

Now to find someone to let me know what we did the last 2 days...they are all gone in the truck so this should be short if they don't return soon!

The other 5 left Monday and with Karen gone with them it was so very quiet here...  is this a hint that I, Karen, was the noisy one before they left  Karen came back....not quite so quiet as Monday BUT still seems empty here. 

Jim has been working on Karen's computers.  Yesterday and today he is working on Luckner's computers for his Radio Station....they are all in French and have Windows 8 on them so he is struggling with the new program in French.  He will think working on Karen's two is a breeze after Luckner's.

Mr Computer working on only three at this time.

Dickie has been doing many jobs waiting for him and many he has noticed and decided to do too.  Today he is building a table for the teachers lunch room at school.

Another work of art by Dickie

Karen hasn't been doing much, as usual, she does EVERYTHING!  She is here, there, here, there, here, there a million times a day with BIG and small problems awaiting her attention every time she turns around.  Pray for a good Godly couple to come onsite to help!

We have had a lot of laughs,  a lot of them have been about us, some because we are so tired that we get giddy, some because Ti Luc has his mother's sense of humor and is constantly busy entertaining us.

I have longed for a good rain BUT I guess it is not to be.  We have lightning almost every night and sometimes it is quite spectacular!  We have seen a few rainbows and heard a few good loud claps of thunder BUT for the most part it is sunny and humid!

Yesterday we sorted a lot of dresses and shorts and t shirts and little girls 2 peice sets made lovingly by hands in Springdale, Newfoundland and Meteghan, Nova Scotia.  What fun when the girls came first and we tried on dresses until they had 2 each they wanted and fit.
The new dresses
A lot of fantastic clothes, toys, shoes brought down to bless children in the area
Our princesses Karena & Anne in new dresses

Then the boys came and we got 2 outfits for them...well the little ones did!  We will be passing the rest out into the community where they are badly needed and will be appreciated.

New shorts and tees for the guys

Karen, Jim, Dickie and I had a short walk along the canal last night.  It was short because we were all tired and it was getting dark.  We saw some little goats...the littlest I have ever seen!

New baby goat needed to be carried
Adults enjoying a walk just before dark
Taken on our walk along the canal just before dark

It is time to close for today...have a lot of work to do and the BIG boss is hard to work for so I best get on with my jobs.  Not sure who the BIG boss is she is talking about here - I just know it could not be her loving sister, Karen.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The blog today written by Dickie.

We lost several of our crew on Monday as they had to return to their other lives and some of them they are missed.

Bus trip to airport to head home.
Brothers Luckner and Don saying Bye until May
Luckner saying farewell to the NL group at airport

It has been a real treat to get to Haiti and HATS twice in one year.   We were here  in January as well. This is a special place and I love to come and do what I can. There is quite a difference in the temperature between January and October. It is close to 40 some days now.

Morning breaks over the compound

There is never a shortage of work, some small jobs and some not so small. The problem with most repairs is not the repair but trying to find parts to get them completed.   When you are at HATS tasks/jobs come up all the time and everyone tries very hard to help where they can.

Ti Fi helps by transporting empty laundry baskets

Last evening Jim and I took out the sink in the kitchen to replace some rotten wood. Taking it out was easy as was replacing the wood. The problems came when we tried to get the plumbing back together.  After 3 trips to our supply depot and some modifications we were finished and it was nearly 9:30 PM.

Kitchen sink repairs done after staff gone home for the night.

Sandra worked with Ti Luc and was paymaster once again. Tutoring began yesterday for some of our HATS children.  Their classes are held in the school.

Hard at it again

Karen was gone most of the day to PaP escorting the NL crew to the Airport and doing a few errands.

The best part of being here is spending time with the children, going to devotions and interacting with the staff.   We are looked after very well by everyone.

Precious Sandra during devotions

I hope we can get someone, or a couple, to come here to help Karen.  Since the Reimer's left everything has fallen on Karen again. This is too big a job for one person and it is a 24/7 responsibility.

Monday, October 28, 2013

We had a fantastic Sunday at HATS.

The day started early, as does every day here!  After a delicious breakfast we all got ready for church and waited for those beautiful children to come up for us.  How beautiful they all are (whether dressed or naked) and yesterday they had on their Sunday best!  They are all eager to go to church and they all sing together every Sunday.  We had almost 200 people in those rooms and it was hot in there. Dave Buckle brought us the message with Karen translating, the staff here at HATS sang 2 beautiful songs, the children sang 2, the visitors with the help of the children at Hats did one song ( if we didn't have the children's help it would have been a solo for Dave), a man sang 2 songs, a lady sang one and a childrens' group led by one of the house mommies sang 2 songs.  This was all in addition to prayers, Bible readings and many rousing songs by the congregation!  It was an awesome 2 1/2 hour service.  After the service en ded we served everyone a pop, cookies and cheesies!  Everyone went home happy!

Hauling supplies over to church for fete
Full House
Karen mirrors Davids Preaching
Angelic voices praising God
Party time
Help putting benches away after church

We had another soccer game on the school field with some HATS kids and others, had to return the many benches we had to take from here for the service and gave out another few gifts, sorted some of the many things we brought down to bless the Haitian people.  We all donned our beautiful t shirts Jim gave us all with a picture of Karen and all the children and went outside the gate to have a photo shoot along the wall.  The wall is getting a new facelift and is being beautifully painted by a very talented Haitian.  After supper we went down to Radio Creole to spend an hour on the radio with Luckner.  While there Luckner played a song that Jess (David's daughter) sang when here in January!  Dave sang a solo so now Luckner will have 2 Buckle solos in his repetorie!

A visit to papa Luckner
The five Huxter children
The team on Radio Creole

We had a quiet time after we returned home to sit and talk with each other about our week.  Five team members (Don, Ken, Bob, Lisa Edison and David Buckle) left this morning at 7:00 AM....I wanted to go with them to PAP just because they would be in an air conditioned bus for 3-4 hours!  It is very quiet here this morning...does this mean all the noisy ones have gone?????  Just sayin'

Ti Luc tries to sneak home with Lisa

Saturday evening we had planned to go to radio Creole with some delicious snacks BUT that was not to be as Luckner had generator problems and men there trying to fix it.  So we stayed home BUT we ate the snacks ourselves!  We had smoked salmon from Springdale Newfoundland ( it doesn't come any better), aged cheddar, blue cheese and black pepper  sausage.  It was a feast!

Our snacks

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The blog today written by Don.

It's 5:30 AM, by a quick push of my watch background light,and I'm eager to get up.  I hear the start up of the generator (delko in Creole) at the far end of the compound.  It, too, has had a night's rest and hopes to get us a sufficient electricity supply for another day.  It is somewhat elderly and needs replacement but that is another story.

I think others are awake too but being quiet like me watching the fireflies which would "spark" anyone's interest.  No one else is commenting on the giant fireflies flitting over the mountain ranges that guard the beautiful Artibonite Valley.  Then I realize that is a spectacular display of lightning in the distance.

This is Saturday morning and I know Lisa is eagerly awaiting some sports news from Springdale.  Today Indian River High School is hosting NL High School Provincial Cross Country Running Championships for the first time.  The Indian River High Team will compete as part of 223 runners from the island and Labrador-and LISA IS THEIR COACH!  Coincidentally Lisa is here on a humanitarian trip  and I know they will do their best running their hearts out for their very popular coach. Lisa's grade 11 daughter, Emily, is one of the runners.

We have had an early rise and we and the older children had a daylight breaking walk along the canal, seeing vintage rural Haiti-horses and horseback riding, cows, momma and baby donkeys with momma donkey warning Dickie when he got too close, goats-mommies and wee ones, Heron and sandpiper type birds, and workers with long handled hoes en route to the farms along the canal.  We extended cheerful bonjous (good morning) to each other on both sides of the canal.  We see no sign of farm machinery just these workers.

Early morning walk along the canal
Three donkeys in a field early morning in Haiti.  Which one is different.
Stay ahead of Lisa Moise

This is supposed to be a less busy work day and it gives me a chance to go off on a tangent or two.  I am going to list SOME of Karen's titles and jobs as we see them: founder and volunteer director of Hats Haiti mission, on site treasurers, on site secretary, receptionist, host, fundraiser, paymaster, communications director, blogger, momma to 15 children, school teacher, role model, school text books distributor, pharmacist, nurse, planner, church and spiritual leader....... LONG DAYS/LONG WEEKS WORKER whether in Haiti home or Canadian home.

A great Canadian sport played this morning...hockey!  It was a great workout and everyone enjoyed it immensely.

Hockey game at seven in morning

Another story- back to the generator:
Electricity is a MUST for HATS.  The generator runs the pump that gets water from the well to the tanks, it charges the batteries that run the inverter that supplies electricity to run a fridge, fans, some house lights  and computers which are needed for the daily operation. At present the Haiti Electrical System is not only quite inconsistent but is almost non-existent.
A new generator is needed as the present one is almost worn out, unreliable, sometimes needing costly repairs and increasingly unable to carry the heavy load required to operate this very busy mission.

Four of our team (Dave, Lisa, Bob and Ken) went to market in Verrettes this morning. Lisa called it a life changing experience!

Saturday morning market experience
Market at Verrettes
Bringing chairs home from the market

HATS children have Saturday chores and today was no exception. 

Saturday morning laundry chores
Saturday morning laundry chores
Saturday chores - kitchen duty

Dickie, as usual, has not stopped working since he arrived.  Today he once again tackled cleaning up and organizing the tool room.

Dickie cleaning up the tool room once again

A huge clean up job was done today, at the school to prepare it for church tomorrow, by workteam members, our children, and our Chief Security.  It is true that many hands make light work.

Many hands make light work - cleaning up school for church in morning

Breaking news: Lisa's team mentioned above won the silver medal in the senior girls category.....Hooray!!!!!!!!   (We are proud of Lisa and her team.  Too, we are very glad Lisa is here with us, even though, no doubt she was missed by her team today.)

Friday, October 25, 2013

The blog today done by Bob.

We made a momentous decision today to go back to October/ we found November to be too cold.

I was asked to write the blog today.  It started as usual with devotions where Karen led us all in a march for  “Jesi”   all around the compound.  A good thing we all had a healthy breakfast.  Then it was to tasks  at hand.

March for Jesi

Registration of Grade 7 and Grade 8. This was a little less confusing than doing preschool 1 but almost as busy  and exciting.  Photos to follow.

Grades 7 & 8 letters

Demolition of the inverter house and rebuild-ation of the same structure.  Termites deemed it appropriate to take up residence in it without permission of the Hats Board of Directors . The house constructionist took it upon himself to eliminate this assault and renew the structure to an even greater status.  He managed to accomplish this in spite of the help offered by other members of the visiting team.  Thank you David.

Demolition and rebuilding with supervisor Ti Luc

Risking life and limb on roller blades - Djemina and JJ were the winners of the first Hats roller derby.  Every one was good and will get better with practice.

Roller blade and scooter fun time
Josie with her new scooter

A soccer match at recess hour this morning at the school.

Dave playing soccer with little kids at recess
Recess time at the school

At noon six goats arrived to be a blessing to six families in the area.

Goat delivery
Gift of a goat to a student in our school

Another soccer game with HATS kids and friends was underway in the school yard at 4:30 p.m. while the rest of the adults and kids had a short walk along the canal.  It was short due to to some very hungry, tired and cranky kids. After all it was after 5:00 p.m. 

Ti Fi helping Ti Luc

The day ended with a fabulous devotion time with the children playing five drums while the rest tried singing.  This was followed by a short time on the roof of the house with four of the kids - JJ, Moise, Djemima and Leica. 

We do what it takes when necessary to keep some people quiet and out of trouble - as noted but the photos.

Tie Dave up to keep him quiet and out of trouble
Don't need to tie Bob up to keep him quiet