Well, folks, it seems hardly possible that we have been in Haiti for less than a month and we’ve already experienced so much.    No two days are alike and each day has a gamut of emotions.   Some words to describe the moments of our days would be:   eventful, grateful, challenging, pioneer-like, memorable, stretching, awesome, overwhelming, frustrating, action-packed, exciting, and so much more.    

Several days after our arrival into Haiti, we were blessed with a medical team of 10, with most of them being from BC, Canada.    They were a huge blessing to the people of Haiti and managed to treat well over 1,000 people during their time.    Each patient received an average of 4 prescriptions, and so it wasn’t difficult for the team to use $15,000 worth of drugs during their 2 week clinic.   The pharmacist said she filled more prescriptions in one day in Haiti than she does in a week in Kelowna. You can check out their full blog of their trip at Cranbrook Community- HFL Medical Team. It has lots of great photos.

We survived Tropical Storm Sandy.   For some in our area, though, their houses did not.    Some of them were washed down the river.    Many of the banana plantations were flooded and many more temporary structures collapsed.   We were thankful that Sandy didn’t pack as big a bunch in Haiti as she did in the US.    The Haitians don’t need more natural disasters.   

During the storm, we didn’t have any city power for almost 5 days.   Thankfully, Haiti Arise has a generator so we ran it several hours each evening to top up the inverter batteries (for lights) and cool down our rooms to sleep.    Unfortunately, the person responsible to keep the diesel on hand didn’t do his job so in the middle of the storm we were scrambling to find someone willing to drive to Petit Goave (1/2 hour away) for fuel.  (Marc had both trucks – see next paragraph)  The fuel that came back to us was 1/5 water so that wreaked havoc with the generator.   It was pretty tense around here until Joe, the mechanic, and Howard got the generator going.   

The day after we came back, Pastor Marc got word that his mother had passed away that morning.    That took him away from the campus for the better part of a week.  He left the day after the medical team arrived.   

In the last couple of weeks, Howard as Logistics Manager has had more than his fair share of daily challenges such as keeping the water tank full, the generator running, the vehicles working properly, etc etc.    One of the unexpected blessings that we received upon our arrival is the gift of a resident mechanic in the person of Joe Park.    Joe is staying for 6 months (we’re hoping more) and is working alongside the local mechanic.  He’ll be writing his own blog so stay tuned for his adventures.

I’ve been more busy with team related activities and trying to get a handle on what has been done in the area of Human Resources.    Computer problems and inconsistent internet have been my biggest challenges.    I put a USB stick into a computer that was infected with viruses.   The stick was then used on 3 other computers before we realized what was going on.    We’ve managed to clean the offending computer (it had 1,344 viruses on it not to mention some Trojans and worms) and 2 other computers as well as the USB stick.   However, my computer “died” before we figured out what was wrong.   All efforts to revive it have failed.  We’re hoping an IT specialist in Colorado can at least get the data back for us as it has all our corporation and personal finances on it.    

Some of our more eventful activities have been to dedicate some EachONE BuildONE homes, fix a boat motor for a local fisherman, enjoy the lively Haitian worship every Sunday and Tuesday, and take a day trip with the medical team to Jacmel.   We are looking forward to attend our first Haitian wedding on Saturday.   Geanne, the secretary/bookkeeper, is getting married.    

The temps are cooler than what it was last spring but the humidity is not any less.  We both feel like a sticky mess every day, all day.    It would be bearable for me except that I have to keep slathering on the mosquito repellent.   I think the biggest adjustment for me is that I just feel like I’m being “hunted” all day long by those tiny, yet very effective, “hunters”.   I get at least 10, or more, new bites every day.    Our daily prayer is that God will protect us from dengue fever and malaria.

We’re so thankful for you, our partners in holding us up in prayer.   We can’t do it without those prayers --- we need protection, wisdom, health, hearts of compassion and understanding, favor with God and man, love, divine guidance, provision and so much more.  We’re also grateful for those of you who have joined us financially in this faith venture.   We are hoping to not only raise all of our personal support, travel costs, health insurance, etc but we are also hoping to eventually fund the expenses related to the work that we are doing.    We also want to renovate an area of the guest house to be our mini-apartment.   If you’d like to be part of that, simply visit haitiarise.org and you can make a tax-receiptable donation on either side of the border.       

We will be having an electrician and plumber arrive at the end of this week to lend their hand to finishing the Tech School, and then on Monday (19th), a team of 14 arrive to give us a big push toward the finishing of the tile, electrical, plumbing, and welded steel railings. It is a welcome challenge to keep them all fed, watered, healthy, tooled up, and supplied with necessary materials. As always, pray for safe travels for us, Haiti Arise staff, and our visitors as they come and go from PAP.
Even though our internet has been very spotty (read more off than on), please do keep in touch.  We love hearing from you. You can comment on this blog and even subscribe to receive it by email by Becoming an Online Member of this website then subscribing to this specific page once logged in. We’ll send pics when the internet is more reliable.

Love/Howard and Val