We had a 5.5 hour board meeting at AUC today. Although it was long (and we’ll do the same tomorrow,) it was a good chance to see what we’ve done and realize that a lot has been accomplished in the last 6 months! Given what we’ve heard about the weather in New England we also didn’t mind being out on the third floor porch on campus.
This morning Greyson flew out of Les Cayes on her way home. At the pretty little Cayes airport we also met a team leader from Pwoje Espwa who was from Charlton MA.
Gordon Clark is here with us; he arrived with Paul on Thursday. Yesterday they walked around the whole campus, taking stock of the building, the farm, and other infrastructure aspects. Gordon is interested in seeing where he can plug in with Engineering Ministries International.
While they were touring campus Elke and I were reviewing student graduation records and carefully checking each one.
This past week has gone fast. We took a break on Thursday afternoon and went to Eden Haiti, a privately owned and managed botanical garden just past Torbeck. We bought some rice and beans from a street vendor Robert knew and had a quiet picnic. Paul and Christo played soccer; I showed Amoce how to play Chinese checkers. Vilia wandered around enjoying how pretty it was and Greyson blew bubbles for Christo. We could see the ocean, but it was very rough because it was quite breezy. I’ll try to post a picture of Eden here because a picture of a board meeting just won’t be very interesting.
We have just approved a budget to replace the roofs on three more houses in Platon. This will be the 14th, 15th and 16th houses. It’s hard to believe that families are actually living in these houses right now, but they are.
Mustard Seed’s purpose is guided by the need for clean water up in Platon. At our medical clinics it is clear that health could be improved with access to clean water.
Each of these houses has an approximately 5000 gallon concrete cistern. When the roofs are repaired and water collection gutters installed, then people from the local community will share the water that is collected. Each homeowner signs a pledge to share the water in the cisterns.
There are many houses up in the mountains that look like these. Hurricane Sandy damaged some of them very badly…roofs that were already in terrible disrepair.
The Haitian families have little hope of being able to afford to repair these themselves. MSMs cost to repair these — for materials and transporation only, is approximately $1000 each. The average Haitian income is less than $2 per day, and that goes for food.
Once the materials are trucked to the foot of the mountain, the local men (and some women) carry the metal sheets and wooden rafters on their backs up the steep mountain. Local people all contribute to the building effort.
As I write this our medical team is at JFK waiting to take off. There was one scheduling mishap, but that got rectified and they’re all drinking coffee at the gate. Amoce is in PAP waiting to pick them up already. I’ve been in Haiti for two weeks, so the house will be already when they arrive, including beds and nets. Usually it’s a scramble to get everything set up when we arrive after dark, but not this time! It’s been raining for the last few days, including all day on Tuesday. However, yesterday was bright, dry and clear for the whole day, so I’m hoping this is the beginning of a dry spell. We need dry weather to be able to get up to Platon!
I arrived in Haiti two days ago to help prepare for AUC Graduation. Everyone at AUC has put a lot of work into preparing for our first graduation in over two years. It will be large – over 45 students have completed their degree requirements. The student graduation committee is busy putting up tents; the carpenter is building a stage; Keteline is busy handing out caps and gowns, and Saunel is busy preparing diplomas!
The excitement is building!