Monday, April 15, 2013

Downtown Port au Prince

a statue of some kind.  Must be someone who made a difference in Haiti.

We saw a couple houses like this.  Almost resemble old Victorian style houses.  There is more wood on this house than others that we've seen.

A doctors office that we passed.  The first clinic of this setting that I've seen.

I have no idea what the tower in the back ground is.

We noticed many houses and buildings that still had earthquake damage.  This is one of them.

Here's Haiti's initial constitution when they became free from France.

A building having some work done.  Look closely you can see earthquake cracks.

Another earthquake damaged building

Men working on a cement sidewalk.

Look at the cluster of houses/shacks.

Another cluster.  These people live is such close quarters.
As we count down the hours that we will be returning home.  We are all anxious and waiting around with nothing more to do.  We did a little more site seeing today.  We took a ride to the Nazarene Bible College not far from where we are staying.  Jim had stayed there and done some work on a building there about 25 years ago.  So it was walking down memory lane. 
Then we ventured to down town Port au Prince where we saw many buildings that were partially destroyed by the earthquake 3 years ago.  We saw a couple areas where there was close knit tent/tarp villages mostly hidden behind high cement walls.
I do hope to have another opportunity to travel and work in other parts of the world, maybe I'll return here some day.  Who knows!

Happy Ending!    Au Revior!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hope for Haiti

After a good night sleep, I only had to wake up once and apply bug spray, I'm ready to head up into the mountains again.  To do some final shopping and see what else I can see.

Last night as the sun was setting and "la lun apleve" the moon was rising, we let the cool evening breeze settle us down.
A young man who lost a sister in the earthquake lives here with Pastor Wilson and Madame Gladys.  They are, as he described them, his spiritual mother and father.  His name is James.  Every morning he goes to the gym before I'm awake.  He returns to sweep and mop down the hallway and into the sun room.  You can always tell when James is approaching.  He's always singing, humming or will greet you as he passes.  He joined us on the roof last night.  He said he would like to learn many languages so he can help people, but especially help the Haitians.  He already speaks French, Creole, English and "un petit" (little bit) Spanish.
He wants his country to be different, be better.  I think with the drive and motivation he has, he will accomplish this.
Last week we hung out with another young man, Marttenz who lives here also.  He is going to school to be an educator to the Haitians, to be able to advocate for them, to communicate between the people and the government.
This is two young people in one household who have hope and strive to make this country better.  The Children's Home, offering 3 meals a day and an education to 20 children is offering a real opportunity for those kids.
I am hopeful for Haiti, if this is only one household is all of Haiti that has these hopes and dreams, than there are most definitely many others who are working for the same goal.  Change for Haiti is going to have to come from within the country, not outsiders coming in and imposing their ideas.
I'll get off my soap box for now.

We traveled into the fresh scented mountains today for some relaxing down time.  I will share the photos I took today.

Saturday is laundry day.  This is the neighbors where we are staying.

On our way up the mountain.  We saw this top top filled to the brim.
Trash scattered on the side of the road.

Here's a larger top top also jam packed with people.

Saturday as usual.

Pet pigs just hanging out and wondering wherever they choose.

Take notice this women is carrying a full jug of water and bins on her head.

If you don't catch a ride, you walk with your wears for sale on your head.

A vendor selling goods on the dusty mountainous road.

A mother and daughter working and selling at their stand, maybe their house.

Ryan posing, attempting a sexy look.  What a doof!

We visited Fort Jacques today.  What history this country has.

Jeff, this picture is for you.  The drummer under the shade of a tree.

This was a freedom drum used during the revolution in Haiti.

 A saddle and a bed mat made out of cattails and banana leaves.
Au Revior Zanmi (good bye friend)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Feeling Warn Out!

Here's little Davinsley.  Playing with blocks.

Dad, proudly eating lunch, leaning against the completed shelf.

View from the roof.  How many goats do you see?  Hey look there's a burro of some kind.

After lunch, the girls came up and played hand games with me.  They chanter (sang) in French.  It was great fun even though I didn't understand many words.

Eating lunch

Turn the computer :)  I'm doing a fun dance with the kids.  They knew how to just lead by directing me with their hands.

The entrance to the kitchen quarters at the Children's Home.

Here's the whole group.  The women/teachers who stay with the children most of the time were doing their hair behind us.  They didn't want to join in the picture.

Rick, Vern and Jim talking and thinking, as usual.  Rick is leaning on a crate of batteries that hold a charge when the generator is turned off.  It will last for maybe 5 hours.  That's the main source of electricity. 

Rick was the master machinist behind the bunk beds design and the main spearhead for this shelving unit completion.     

Rick has been a huge asset to this team.  His precision to detail has proved to be very useful even with the limited machinery we've had.  We've all learned a few things from him.  I know I have.  Add a little oil to a screw and it will go into the wood much easier.  Use a nail as a drill bit to get through wood that might split. 

Vern, was the second in command when it came to the design and construction of things.  His knowledge of working with wood came in super handy.  He's able to give it back to Jim when the time is right.  I'm glad I've been able to have this experience with my super great dad.  I really came here to look out for him and keep him hydrated. :)

Jim's dominance, bold manner and ability to converse with the Haitians, has brought both humor and seriousness when necessary.  Thanks to Jim for coordinating this trip.  I hope he plans a trip to Africa next, hint hint!

MacKenzie has been my female companion, she has talked in her sleep and even cuddled up a few times.  She has good insight into the world from a young perspective.  She seems to be the happiest when bonding with the kids, especially little Davinsley.  She would take him home if she could.  She was always willing to do more sanding, hammer a nail, use a drill or saw.  She's missed her perfume, makeup and proper shower situation for doing herself up.

Last but not least, Ryan.  Oh what to do with that boy.  He has energy of a bufu monkey.  He climbs everything, he does headstands but most importantly he played and played, ran, chased, tickled, and had fun with the kids.  He did lots of hardly working, he said he was our supervisor.  :)  He's good for a laugh and for being a giant pain in the butt. 

Tomorrow and Sunday we will have another tourist day and attend many hours of church.  I will post when I can.
Thanks for following me to Haiti.  This has been my way of keeping a journal and recording my observations, feelings and thoughts right when they happened.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ice Cream

Many people of all ages carry things on their heads.  Many boys/men have a motorcycle and hang out in the shade with their freres (brothers)

This women just caught my eye.  She's selling sunglasses and other things.

Honking of horns, swerving of tires.  Motorcycles squeeze through lanes of traffic.  They create their own path.

A local city water fill up station.  It's city water.  It doesn't look like a pretty color.  All those buckets are for filling with water.

Vern is playing football (soccer) with T and some kids.

MacKenzey and Vern working on the shelf for dishes.

Ryan proudly pole dancing while he sands down the edges.  He tries to have fun in all he does.  Funny boy!

Rick, Jim and Ryan working on shelves in the hallway.  They are looking good.

Haitians working in the heat of the day on scaffolding, mortaring the bricks.

Taking a little break for some silly fun!

Just a picture I snapped as driving past.

Piles and piles of garbage.  Everywhere.

I love watching the people.

A stop at the Hardware store for some wood screws and a screwdriver.  Completing our projects tomorrow.

Just another picture I took as we drove past.

Their cemeteries are above ground, just like in Louisiana.  In the wet season the water table come up pretty high.  They wouldn't want the dead and buried to resurface.

Lots of people are on moto (motorcycles).  As you can see, there's no helmet laws.

They even carry soda bottles on their heads.

More garbage.  I think there might be pigs foraging through this pile.

If you don't carry things on your heads, wheel barrows are a good way to transport thins too.

We lost electricity and the water barrel ran out of water.  Dad got into the cistern (the metal square on the ground by him), filled up a bucket and took a manual shower with a bucket.
As our time to work comes to an end tomorrow.  I'm amazed at how fast my time here has gone.  It's been wonderful, eye opening and such a revitalizer for me.

I want to give all my readers a challenge.  This weekend, be sure to try to walk through your house or outside with something on your head.  Fold your laundry and balance it on your head to deliver it to it's designated place.  Carry your book or a basket or a folded blanket on your head.  I'd love to hear everyone's experience.

 I awakesometime at night.  I have no concept of time.  I can't tell it it's night or day.  When I think it's night there are still sounds around me, singing, children crying, cars passing.

For breakfast we had fresh bananas, pain potat (potato bread), toast, eggs and course thinck, rich Haitian coffee.

MacKinzey had a touch of Haitian happiness today.  This morning after breakfast, it returned back out into the toilet.  She had a nauseous tummy for some of today.  After a peanut butter power bar, lots of water, a little relaxing and several trips to the potty she was feeling much better.

Today we got alot of work done at the Children's Home.  We arrived earlier than we have past mornings.
We have two teams working on two different projects.  Jim, Ryan and Rick were working on the shelves for the kids supplies.  They almost completed them today.  Vern, MacKinzey and I were working on two 4 feet long shelves for dishes in the kitchen area.  We cut lots and put the frames together today, we just have finishing work to do tomorrow.

For lunch we had fried plantains and fried potatos and spicey colesalaw for lucnch.  All of our lips we couldn't feel after we were done eating.  Jeff, I know you would love the spicy food here.  No need to add hot sauce, they just add fresh garlic, onion and jalapenos to lots of things.

At the children's home they have 3 classrooms.  The kids have school from 9 to 1:00.  There is a baby  who's 18 months old who sits in a playpen at the back of one of the classrooms.  When he got fussy today, I went and grabbed him up.  What a distraction that must be.  It reminded me of homeschooling; having various ages all together.  Davinsly is the little one's name.  He was so happy to be in someone's arms.  He just grabbed on and put his head down on my shoulder.  When we first arrived, Davinsly would walk around crying for someone to pick him up.  His little fuzzy hair and his dark skin is so beautiful. I don't notice any outward affection, in the Children's Home or out in the streets.

To get to the title of my blog.  Tonight Jim and I ran with Madame Gladys to the Eagle Supermarche (Supermarket).  We have offered to make dinner tomorrow night.  So we went to get the ingredients.  We will be making taco salads in case you want to know.  After the supermarche we ran to a local bakery to get ice cream.  We bought strawberry and vanilla.  We brought it back and all 6 of us indulged.  We were happy to have a nice cold treat that was a comfort of home.

My youngest insect collector, Ryan found you a moth today.  It's very pretty.