First, here’s a picture of the truck that we will be packing soon to bring to Haiti.
If anyone has a garage that I can use to enclose the bed of the truck and pack it, please contact me or my parents. We will be working on this truck Feb 11-26, or thereabouts.
So, things always seem to swing between boring and extremely busy.
The past few weeks have been on the incredibly busy side, but it has been great.
We’re finally making great progress on the shop/school land.
This week, we had a team of Haitians laying foundations for where the two containers will end up, and I hope to finally put the containers in place on Monday or Tuesday of next week.
Additionally, I’ve had a bunch of projects for other people I’ve been working on as well. I’ll give a brief overview of those:
-For Joy in Hope (Nick and Gwenn Mangine), I’ve been working with Nick to set up the electrical system in their new house, since they recently moved. As usual, it’s a mixed system with a generator, grid power, and an inverter/battery system. It looks like it’s almost setup.
I had to laugh yesterday while I was there when Josiah, one of their sons, asked “why is the power always on in the United States?” It was just interesting to hear it phrased that way, noting that to only have power sometimes is the expectation. 🙂
-For Children’s Hope (Tommy and Joy, Ken and Maria), I was up telephone poles and running wires so they could move their generator, and consolidate their power system across their whole campus. Thankfully, I was able to use my rock climbing harness and do the job safely, though I would be curious to know what “real” linemen do in the U.S.
Additionally, we’ve started metering the power usage on this campus with a Ted-5000 device, so we will know exactly how large to plan for a solar power system for their property. Currently, they end up running a diesel generator for about 12 hours or more daily.
-For the Global Orphan Project, I’m also monitoring their power with a Ted-5000 unit, with the hopes of putting in solar in the future. Their ministry includes a hotel, used for hosting short term missions, with the profits supporting their ministries, including orphan care. It’s a sweet setup, and we were blessed to spend the night at their hotel as well.
-For Isaiah House, a guest house run by CCH here in Jacmel, I need another TED unit to monitor their power and adjust accordingly. They have a larger generator to upgrade to, but I think some minor tweaks would allow them to stay on their current setup and use a smaller, more fuel efficient generator, saving money all around. However, I can’t be confident in that until I pull one of my TED units from the other places to verify their power usage.
-For Laura, a friend of mine trying to rescure a group of children from an abusive orphanage, I was able to get a power system up an running at her soon to be children’s home. She ended up with a 1.2kW solar array, batteries, and a generator to run her property, and it has worked well so far. Initially, she was running with grid power at night, until her wires connecting her to the grid were stolen (similar to the situation at our house), so we shifted to solar being the primary power source.
In the mean time, Jamie and I have also gotten our residency permits (finally) and are very excited about having those taken care of.
I’m also getting better at care care and exploring other new tasks. I had to swap out my left-rear brake cylinder this week, the same job I did on the right rear about 1 month ago. It was quick and uneventful, which was nice. With all the practice, I’ve now got tire changes and brake bleeding both down to 15 minute jobs. Sadly, I also have lost 2 tires in the past 2 weeks. So, my current situation is 2 brand new tires, 2 good tires, 1 average tire, 1 that needs replaced, and 1 flat and punctured “spare”. Haiti is brutal on tires, and I’ve learned the value of quality, as the most recently “punctured” one was a cheap tire, and the tread has worn thin already despite the fact that I’ve only put 12k miles on my truck since it came to Haiti, so that tire has <10k miles on it. I like my Goodyear Wranglers, which are my 2 new, and 2 good condition tires, but they are expensive here ($250/each), and it kills me that I've had to buy 4 tires in the past 3 years, despite only driving 12k miles. Anyhow, enough complaining about tires. I also tried my hand at using some of the concrete that was already being mixed (for the foundations to put the containers on), and I need more practice with concrete. I was just putting in a single step at our front door, and at our back door. Apparently I didn't shake the form enough, as I let some big gaps near the bottom of the form. Oops. I'll fix it soon, and learn the lesson for next time around. On a more personal note, though, I really enjoyed the interaction with some neighbors as I was working on my truck this time. Several guys stopped to help, which was nice when it came time to pull the springs in my drum brakes. They were all very excited about the idea of the shop/school as well. I told them I want to host seminars, basically 1 or 2 week courses, taught by a professional from the U.S., on various trade skills (mechanic, carpentry, electrical, welding, etc), and that I just need to get volunteers to come teach. They thought it was a great idea and were curious about the price. For those of you interested, I'm thinking that these would be great classes, and I would try to charge a nominal fee, because free stuff is taken for granted, but I would probably charge some sort of fee that winds up similar to the cost for what they "receive" from the class. Each class, I would like to end up giving basic tools, or even just that they get to keep the "teaching project" when it is finished. For example, we could make chairs, or shelves, or something practical, and they can keep it when they are done. The "school" and community workshop ideas are awesome to me, especially because God has been conviting me a bit lately that I need to be more active in evangelism. That is our primary call on our lives as Christians. First priority should be intimacy with God, second should be to let the overflow of his presence be the motivation to witness to others that they could know Him too. Thank you to all of you that read this, and thank you to those of you who have been helping my dad get stuff ready for the truck that will be shipping down here soon. We look forward to being in town for a couple weeks in mid-February. I think it will be Feb 12-26 at the minumem. If you know anywhere that would like me to come speak about what God is doing down here, I would love to, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org God Bless.