I promised more detailed updates, so now I’ll get a little more into things.
When we first got into Haiti at the beginning of March, the house needed a bit of work. Unfortunately, we only had a couple days before we would leave for Les Cayes
with Dr. Jay, but we got it cleaned up a bit, choosing to focus on the rooms we were using and put off cleaning up the guest room/guest bathroom area until later,
since it is mostly full of my tools right now.
Overall, it was a good first week, and Jamie got an introduction of what Jacmel is like, including some common restaurants and the grocery stores and all.
Although I had a brief scare when it wouldn’t start, my truck was still working fine after I got the battery charged back up. Apparently my small solar panel that was
supposed to keep the batttery up doesn’t work anymore. Oh well, that’s what you get sometimes at Harbor Freight. I’ll keep going there, but I’m definitely learning
what is cheap and what is a good value. 🙂
After getting the house in a bit of order, kind of, we set out for Les Cayes for the week. It was great to be with Dr. Jay and the team out there again, and they were
all very excited to meet Jamie. I wasn’t sure what the plans were, but that’s typical of working with Jay since his plans change about 4 times a day. lol.
Turned out that the big projects for the week were the medical clinic, with 2 doctors that were new to MIA, placing the containers for their conference/educational
center, and putting up some new fencing to keep goats out of the farm-training plots.
It was a large team, so I ended up sleeping in a hammock all week at the clinic with a couple of the guys, while everyone else stayed at their guest house.
Unfortunately, they have a battery problem, so we had to rely strictly on the generator for power and I will have to work on that situation before they come back in
As it turned out, I spent most of the week figuring out how to move containers, square them up, and build footings under them. It’s amazing what you can and can’t do
when it comes to moving 5-ton metal boxes. I’ve still got some ideas for trying to make the process better, but at least having some farm jacks, piston jacks, and
chain hoists worked rather well.
Jamie, on the other hand, found a great place helping in the pharmacy. This was an interesting week in clinic since none of the typicaly doctors or pharmacy workers
for MIA’s clinics were there. So the new docs figured out how things worked, and Jamie got the clinic organized over the first few days and did a lot of the
counting/passing out of the meds.
One of our biggest takeaways from that part is the great relationship we started with Dr. Ketley, a haitian-american who was doing a lot of teaching to the haitians on
how to treat themselves with what is available, such as using charcoal to clean up a topical infection. I was quite impressed when I saw how well the charcoal did to
pull the infection out of a centipede bite on Dr. Jay’s leg. We’ll definitely keep that in mind for the future down here.
Dr. Ketley is also trying to start some work in Marigot, which may include trying to start a solar panel manufacturing facility, so we’ll definitely keep in touch as
And for one final note form clinic, I had to help Jay with a “surgery” of sorts. A small child got a bead stuck in his ear, and it had been there for over 2 weeks and
was infected. So, Jay and I had to search through the tool container to come up with a way to retreive it. As it turned out, our best solution was to use a piece of
insulation from #12 wire, put some super glue on the end, and get it to stick to the bead. We tried to let the glue sit as long as we could, hoping to wait about 5
minutes, but after about 2 minutes, Jay and I couldn’t handle the child’s crying anymore. He was dong great as a patient, but we just couldn’t let him sit there in
pain, so Jay pulled the tube out, and the bead came with it, just barely. In hindsight, we didn’t get all of the earwax off the bead, so it barely stuck to the tube,
but it was just enough. God was definitely helping us out on that one, as we were both praying through the ordeal.
Then, on our way home to Jacmel, we got to stop into Grand Goave. Jamie got to meet the Edme family at Mission of Hope, as well as the Sutton family at Hands and
Feet-Grand Goave. It was really funny, cause while we were visiting with Andrew and Angie, we came to realize that Angie’s college roommate was a friend of Jamie’s
from back in high school in Kenya. It constantly amazes me how small the world is, especially in the missionary community.
As a sidenote though, while it is great to have a worldwide network of missionaries that all know each other, it is also kind of sad to realize how few missionaries
there must be. Think about it this way, if someone grew up in Johnstown, PA the same time as me, they could have been part of about 10 different schools, and the odds
that I know them are pretty small. But, if someone grew up as a missionary in East Africa (or possibly just Africa in general), then most of them went to RVA, which is
a school of about 500 students. I’m just thinking that it’d be kinda nice if there were so many missionaries that we didn’t all know each other. I think it is just
that missions tends to grow in families, but for someone with no foreign missions connection it is just a harder jump to get involved.
Just some thoughts for now on that topic. I’m not sure what all to make of it. 🙂
Anyhow, we got back to Jacmel, and spent another week here. Again, we spent most of our time working on the house, but at least this time things were starting to get
in order. The kitchen was clean enough that we were comfortable cooking now, and things were getting a bit organized. Thankfully power was working, and water was
mostly working too.
Then we set out on our trip to Port-Au-Prince to work with Ed, Scott, Mike and the crew from Global Reach again.
As with last time, we were working on a school for Claude in Carrefoure-Furry. It is a neighborhood on the side of the mountain, and there are a bunch of kids that go
to this school. Last trip, we were able to put up the first story with a temporary tin roof on top. This trip, our goal was to put in the second story.
We had a great team, including some professional carpenters from Ohio who lead up the truss building. It was kind of funny cause last time we had to work so hard to
get the foundation level and all the walls squared and everything, and we had to hammer each nail, so the walls took a little while to go up. This time, the building
was already (mostly) square and ready to go, and we had an air compressor and nail guns, so the walls got put up before I even got to the job site.
I was running late, and basically missed the first day because my brake line went out again in my truck. Thankfully, I had ordered brake line in the states, and it was
waiting in Johnstown to be sent down to me. Even better, dad ignored me when I said it was a low priority and that I could wait to get it on another trip. 🙂
So, I had new brake line, I just had to get a flaring tool, and, while it cost me about 80% more than U.S. retail, I was able to get one and get the truck fixed, for
now. Eventually I need to get a double flaring tool to do the job right, but it is functional for now.
Jamie and I had a great time getting our things from Scott, who had carried down all teh stuff we ordered off of Amazon.com for our house. It’s amazing how excited you
can be about toilet seats, paper lanterns, and other random household items.
Anyhow, it was a great work week, and we got the job done, including running electrical work for the second floor. Claude was very excited, and we were glad to be able
to bless him in this way. The team from Ohio was awesome to work with, and we even got to partake in communion together one night, as easter was drawing near and we
were dining in an “upper room” or sorts. It was a great time of reflection for all of us.
Additionally, these guys decided to celebrate my birthday, and that was pretty sweet too. First, Scott brought one of the giant cookies from the bakery he works at,
and he had decorated it with a beach scene (I think), but it got kinda smashed on the plane ride. No worries, it still tasted great. But, they also bought a cake at a
haitian bakery we stopped at, and, since they couldn’t quite communicate how to write happy birthday on it, Scott just took the icing bag from the worker and wrote it
It really was a fantastic week with that crew, and I look forward to working with them again. Ed wants to bring a team next year to work on my place, whatever that may
be. So, that is another thing for in your prayers. Grant me wisdom that I can know what is to come next.
When we got home, we unfortunately found out that the inverter setup had failed on me, and the freezer had thawed, so we had the smell of rotten meat in the house.
Plus, the water hadn’t been given to us all week, so we had no water either. As another testament to how God provided well for me, Jamie’s reaction was just a bit of
laughter. While I still haven’t quite got the smell out of the freezer, the water is doing better, and the power is great now that I got a voltage regulator from the
Now, we’re getting our home settled in nicely. We’ve painted and decorated all but the guest room, and I’m sure Jamie will post some pictures soon. We have a better
water system setup, that even includes good water pressure at times, though my pressure tank/water pump still isn’t quite right. And it has been great to get to know
Ginny and David, Tommy and Joy, and everyone else we’ve gotten to hang out with so far. Now, we just anxiously await Nick and Gwenn coming for a visit in about a week.