18Nov11

18Nov11

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. When I’m

working with Dr. Jay and MIA(1) out in Les Cayes,

we spend pretty much the whole trip as a team. We

work all day, then eat and sit on the porch

together each night until we’re all too tired and

fall asleep. Not much time to myself equals very

little in the way of blog posts.

Tonight, though, I am sitting in my room in Grand

Goave at Kay Militon(2). It’s raining, so everyone

went to their rooms fairly early tonight, and then

the internet stopped working. That tends to be a

perfect storm for setting the conditions to write

a blog post.

I didn’t plan to sleep here tonight, but after I

slept in until 11am in Les Cayes, I decided not to

drive the whole way to Archaeie tonight. Turns out

it was a great chance to meet up with some guys

from Massachusetts. I’ve spent the night talking

with Kristen (a student doing an internship with

BLB(3) for her MBA program), and a reporter and

photographer from up in Boston who are here to

cover BLB. It’s been a good night talking with

them, especially as the reporter has been asking

me questions about my life, ministry, and what is

going on here in Haiti. It’s been a lot of fun,

especially since I do things in such a unique way

down here. Maybe I’ll get a little snippet in the

paper, that’d be kinda cool. “Tomorrow they may

wrap fishes in it, but I was a star for one whole

minute” Name the movie, and I’ll be super

impressed. No cheating and using google. 🙂

Anyhow, I should probably give a bit of an update

on what I’ve been up to, and what’s coming up.

First, this past week was great out in Les Cayes.

It was a chance to see a bunch of stuff coming to

fruition. I managed to get the solar power system

at the school restarted. I think I need another

charge controller, which will be about $150, and I

want to put in some more panels (which we already

have), but I finally understand the system and

should be able to get it up and running.

We also swapped out the well pump that was non-

functional (thankfully the backup was still

working), and found out that the pump was not

actually broken. Turns out it was just a broken

wire. Learned an important lesson though.

Apparently, it is crucial to tape or otherwise tie

the electrical wires to the water pipes on a

submersible well pump so they dont shake

themselves free or end up holding the weight of

the pump.

Those projects got finished in the first two days.

Then, I finally moved beyond “putting out fires.”

For the rest of the trip, I was able to stop, look

around, and decide what I felt should be done

next, but had no really pressing issues.
We surveyed the land that MIA is looking to buy.

They are looking to build a guest house/farm

resource center and have a 3 acre plot to put it

on now. This center will be used for agricultural

training seminars for agonomists all over haiti.

The exterior walls will be made with shipping

containers to double as storage, and there will be

lots of gardens and pastureland on the property.

As a side note, I am also looking at using

shipping containers for building a

workshop/garage/living quarters down here now.

Some are available for $600 or so in PAP, with

about a $300 delivery fee. With two, I could put

up a structure to meet my needs. I would place two

containers parallel, with a 15 ft gap in between

to park the truck (with plenty of space to work on

it). Then I just need to put a gate between the

containers on one side and a wall on the other

side. Eventually I’d put down a roof and other

things, but it would be a cheap and safe start.

Also, this week, we got to teach the residents how

to build rabbit cages, organize the container a

bit, and put a passive solar lighting device in

one of the containers.
One day I even spent rewiring the solar panels

(which were the first ones I ever installed) to

catch up to my more current standards, and in the

process started teaching the haitians about

electrical work. And I managed to do all that

without a translator. 🙂

I’m still not fluent in normal conversation, but I

can talk construction just fine with the guys.

Now I’m on my way to Archaeie to work with

Children’s Lifeline. Bill Riggs, from Somerset

welding, donated a welding rig to this

organization, but it was broken during shipping.

He has asked me to take a look at it for him, so

that’s where I’m going next.
After I work on that unit, I’ll head to St. Marc

to visit Destiny Village again and pick up a

couple puppies from them for Dr. Ken and Diane in

Jacmel.
Then I’ll head to Jacmel for Thanksgiving (I

think).

I still need to catch up on Josh’s plans to figure

out what else I’ll be doing before returning home.

In the past two weeks, I have also been stongly

reminded that my factory idea needs to move

forward. One, because of the desperation of the

unemployed that we hire for a week in Les Cayes

with MIA. Two, because I am looking at ways to

provide lighting to the poor who do not have any

other power at their houses.
Boss Luger, Smiley’s older brother, asked me

yesterday to fix his 400 Watt inverter. I couldn’t

without more equipment on site and spare parts,

but it made me realize that even a masonry boss,

whoc should be “middle class” here, is depending

on a 400 Watt inverter, like you use in your car,

to provide lights for his children at night.

Oh, and btw, my truck got used as an ambulance. A

haitian woman came to the clinic that MIA was

running and had a fever of 103 and couldn’t walk.

She had a post-partem infection and was in bad

shape. We got her to the hospital and she was

stabilized and looking like she will recover just

fine.

(1) Missions International of America, based in

Perrysburg, OH
(2) Kay Militon is the beachfront guest property

for Mission of Hope International, run by Pastor

Lex and Renee Edme
(3) Be like Brit, an orphanage project working

closely with MOHI in Grand Goave.

3 Comments »

  1. mom Said,

    November 19, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

    sounds like you had a good week. glad you finally got to talk to bill riggs. also glad you got to contact aunt deb

  2. POPPOP & MOMMOM Said,

    November 19, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

    Welcome back. We look forward to your updates.

  3. Sue Leatherman Said,

    November 20, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    It was great working with you, Travis, and learning about all that you do.

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