Monday, January 11, 2010

Day 8 - Odd Job Day

On Tuesday, Major Peter Rowe (Salvation Army), who had hoped to be with us for two weeks, will be heading home for health reasons. Thank you Peter for ALL you have done to help us accomplish the project.  God bless you and have a safe journey home!

We all want to take a moment to thank those of you at home for your prayers, comments, and personal emails.  Our trip and our work are going very well thanks to God's blessing on the work and your prayers for safety and support.  Please continue your prayers, especially for:
  • Spiritual strength and protection for the mission team and HATS mission staff
  • Continued personal health and safety for all involved here, both Canadians and Haitians
  • Successful completion of our projects
  • Blessing upon the overall mission project and its efforts
  • Unity of purpose and spirit for all
Please also continue your comments and emails.  Nothing gets team members excited like hearing of a comment or email for them, and your words are a tremendous encouragement.

We actually had a bit of rain overnight last night, and a couple of very light showers during the day. That combined with the cloud cover made the temperatures very moderate and quite comfortable to work in, which we are very grateful for. We're at a relatively quiet point in the construction cycle, with the Haitian workers doing most of the work preparing the apartment. They've been finishing off the posts and started pouring the headers (beams) by working late (after dark) tonight. There are a few more beams to frame up and pour tomorrow. We've been able to fill in some gaps and chinks with mortar, but otherwise the work has to take its own time at this point.

In the meantime, we've been dividing up into small workgroups of two to four people and rapidly knocking off a whole list of smaller projects.  Some of the projects we've completed or worked on today include:
  • New table (picnic-style) for the orphanage dorm
  • Rennovating a small storage room to be a new laundry room with running water and drain for the wash ladies (currently they haul water from the tap to a large wash basin outside)
  • Blocking in the generator room (almost complete)
  • Digging out and pouring a cement pad for a new shelter/hut for the security guards
  • Repairs to the screens in the gallery (porch)

We'll be wrapping these projects up within the next day or so we hope, which will be just in time to start framing the roof of the new apartment.

Today was the first day back to school here after the Christmas / New Year's holidays.  The kids from the orphanage as well as the other community children all looked very sharp in their school uniforms.  Unfortunately, the normal start-of-day routine at the school was thrown off a bit due to a rain shower and the usual confusion of a new term.  Here are a couple of photos for now - we'll have some more probably tomorrow when things start to get back into their normal school rhythm.

Part of the school program includes providing a very nutritious lunch made from a rice/soy/flavoring mixture obtained through the US Aid organization. Several ladies come to the school each day to cook the rice over some cookfires in the porch of the kitchen area:

With school back in, things were pretty quiet around here, especially during the morning. The Newell kids spent some time catching up on homework and journals, as well as a bit of down time. Heidi unpacked what she thought was "really the last" suitcase of donations (until we found another one later...), helped with Alex, and took care of some of the laundry in addition to helping with homework and supervising the kids.

Although Gerry didn't appreciate them all that much (grin), Erin is loving the mini-mosquito-tents Dickie sent down. She's taken over one and set it up right next to Grampie (Gerry) and is loving being out there. Aidan has one of the regular tents right next to them. They both love organizing them and "customizing" them by adding towels or sheets for shelter from the sun:

Being right next to Gerry works out well - both Aidan and Erin are definitely early-risers. This morning Erin surprised Gerry by getting up so quietly at about 5:30 a.m. that when he woke up and went downstairs to the kitchen she was sitting there by the door (Marta, our cook, was already there) looking expectant and waiting for him!


  1. So sorry to hear about Peter having health problems. God Bless you Peter as you travel home tomorrow.
    So many projects...and the more you do the more Karen will find for you to do! Right Sis?
    We attended the service for Sgt. Kirk Taylor today at the arena...very big funeral and sad.
    Snow expected and more cold temperatures so enjoy what you have there.
    I love watching the school children come and go! They all arrive so clean and fresh but don't always get home the same way.
    Our love and prayers are with you all.

  2. Someone deserves a huge commendation for planning and organizing all these projects!

    Of all the smaller projects mentioned here, the one that stood out to me was the laundry room. Imagine how much easier the wash ladies' work will be now that they don't have to lug water!

    Your team is really blessing these folks in practical ways. I'm sure God is smiling.

    Earlier posts mentioned donkeys, but has Kate seen any horses?

    And will Heidi be wanting a rooster as a pet when she gets home??

    Janet Sketchley (with greetings from the whole family)

  3. Cody, rooster, Cody, rooster... hmmm

    Yes, there are lots of horses. Some in better condition than others.... Of course Tim has lots of pics.


  4. hi I am watching you on here everyday...kind of stalking the blog site actually. I look forward to all the pics of you guys working and doing looks fun but it also looks realllllyyy hot!! I am impressed that you actually have let people take some pictures of usually hide from the camera:)
    I also see that linda has not been able to post on here....hopefully you have heard from her. I talked to her a couple of times...she misses you....especially when she locks herself out of the house and has to break in. I thought that was quit funny though:)!! anyway I am waiting for you to get home....i need to see if I recognize that black man this time:) I love youuu......adam says hi....and the cat!! miss you.
    love vanessa

  5. Hi Gramp,
    It's Noah today, Daddy came home from fishing early yesterday and came back again this morning. It is really cold! We all brought the website to our Madame's and they are going to go on it today. Hope you have a great day, I have soccer tonight and Hailey has dance. Hannah danced last night! Love you lots and lots and lots,
    Noah xoxoxo
    Have a great day gang, our Prayers are with you, be safe!!!
    love the Roberts Crew

  6. Patricia, Tracey, Weldon, Baby Dolls and Boys.
    Just saying hi!. Hope everyone has a good day. The sun is rising now with just a few clouds around. It was cooler yesterday and it rained for quite a while -- first time its done that in the 3 trips I've made. It felt good!
    Love Ya. Brian, Dad, Gramp.

  7. Hi everyone, Glad to here you had a little cooler day yesterday,the temperature is quite cold here still around -10 but not much wind. It really great to see all the pictures and to read of your progress on the blog. Brian un the Fowlers said hi and Corinne and Scott say hi. Keep safe and healthy. Love to Brian un Patricia

  8. I want to know what the qualifications are to become a member of the Chia Club. I would like to become a member and can supply good photos with resume.
    Have a great day. Looking forward to your reply.

  9. Howard,

    Thank you for your interest. The basic qualification is to remind people of a teddy bear or rug when shirtless. Being able to scare a Haitian (or at least to cause them to break out in laughter) is also desirable. According to Leonard, the ability to use chest hair as dental floss is also preferred.

  10. Hi Big Bro Bobby
    I see you must be feeling much better than the last time I was talking to you on the phone. You guys sure are making quite an impact on the job. I know that you are taking care of so many but Don't forget to take care of yourself. We worrie about you and miss you much. Now you know you can't come back darker than me, you can try but it will all vanish with time. Love you forever

  11. Hi all
    Thank you for taking the time to update with pictures and eveything!! Julia was just looking at them with me and was not impressed by the bathroom pic that Aiden took a couple of days ago!! I'm not sure you guys are going to want to come home???? We continue to pray for your entire team and look forward to your return and many many stories over tea!!

    Mosher/Godin clan


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