Continuing from my last post, here are some more highlights of the week in an event based train of though:
Got to work very quickly at Mission of Hope.
Bruce got help from Jason Blades (Boston, MA), 4 Haitians that work with Mission of Hope, and Will (bass player, Audio Adrenaline) and managed to install the frames for the panels and the panels themselves by the end of the day.
The batteries, charge controller, DC breaker box, and inverter got mounted in place, and wire were run in the conduit that was pre-installed when they built the depot building.
It was an amazing day of work. We got so far ahead of schedule it was unbelievable. Had we maintained this pace we could have finished by lunchtime on Wednesday.
Thankfully, we slowed down a bit, or else we all would have been thoroughly exhausted and missed a lot of opportunities to reach out to the kids.
We quit just before dark and enjoyed a round of Coke’s to cap off the evening.
We again had a very productive day.
We got lightbulbs installed in several of the depot rooms, got the solar panel combiner boxes mounted, and drilled a bunch of holes. I think we also finished getting wires through all the pre-run conduit and added junction boxes for more lights in the last room of the depot.
Then, we quit working at Pastor Lex’s urging to go swimming in the ocean around 4:30. Then we had dinner and came back for church that evening.
We realized Tuesday night how dark Mission of Hope can be without power on. Until they kicked on the generator, it was very difficult to see anything.
Then, they turned on the generator and we got to experience church in Haiti.
It was a very moving experience, singing along in English as they were singing “In Moments Like These”, “Open the Eyes of my Heart”, and “Holy, You are Holy” in Kreyol.
Each team member was pulled into seats by some of the orphans who would not let go of us. 🙂
Then each team member got to share a little bit for the whole congregation through a translator.
It was a great night.
I think this is the day we first lit up a light bul in the depot off the inverter.
We also got a hole punched in the ceiling and got the panels wired in. (I think)
Then it was a matter of finishing the electrical distribution.
We expanded our scope from simply the Depot building to the orphanage building and the church area as well. And started those projects.
At the end of the work day, we took a hike with the orphans, led by Alexis Edme (Pastor Lex’s daughter) up the mountain to see the property where the Hands and Feet Project and Mission of Hope are expanding.
It was a lot of fun, but there was a very depressing moment on the way down.
As we passed through a very impoverished and run down area, a mother walked up to Tyler Rullo with a baby and asked him to take the child.
All we can assume is that she felt the child would have a better life with this “Blanc” (White person) than she could provide.
This was further demonstrated to us when Lex and Renee mentioned that not all “orphans” don’t have parents, but some parents just place their children in an orphanage because they cannot provide for them.
The plan was to finish up all our work this morning. However, due to some delays and confusion that didn’t happen by lunch time. Then, right after lunch, we were taken on a boat trip to the “little island” to explore the coral and tide pools.
While this trip was not about work, it was amazing to get to relax with Pezo, Smiley, and Jude. I think this really emphasized to them that they were part of the team, not just the Haitians hired to help us out.
We tried to finish up the work after this boat trip, but it was too dark, so it was put off until Friday.
Everyone came out strong to get our final push in. We could have finished by lunch, but decided to take the time to make some improvements and adjustments to things we had already done.
After lunch, we finished everything in about 20 minutes, then loaded 35 kids, a dog, and 9 adults into the Daihatsu to go play at the beach property.
This was an amazing time as the kids braided Mike Anfang’s hair, climbed the tree and got some coconuts for Tyler, and just overall having fun with them.
Woke up in the morning to a gorup of Haitian teenagers practicing their rendition for “We are the world” for a leadership conference.
Then we piled into cars to travel to Jacmel and visit the Hands and Feet Project orphanage.
This was an amazing trip over the mountains, althought Tyler and Smiley may have disagreed and they both got carsick. 🙂
We saw rampant destruction from landslides and building collapses during the earthquake, as well as a mine where a truck and some bodies are still trapped under all the rubble.
Finally, we got to Jacmel and toured the Hands and Feet Facility there. Mike Anfang and I took a look at their battery/inverter system. They have 12 hours of grid power each day, so they charge their batteries off of that and will not need solar, however, their batteries are experiencing diminished capacity, so we are looking into helping with that on our next trip.
Then, we had an amazing lunch at a seafood restaurant and swam in the ocean for a bit before returning to Grand Goave.
Mike Rezac and Bruce left camp around 5am to get to Port and catch their flights.
Tyler was sick through the night, so he skipped church and took some meds to get his stomach in better shape.
Mike Anfang and Travis went to church at Mission of Hope for the music portion, while the Haitians made their way to the bus station to get back to Les Cayes.
Then, Travis and Mike picked up Tyler and traveled to Pastor Hakeem’s church in St. Etienne, where Travis preached through a translator.
Then, they headed into Port and caught the plane home.
It was an epic trip.
There will be many reflections on lessons learned coming in the next few days, I just had to start with a basic overview of events. 🙂