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Consolation Center Haiti Journal – Monday, Nov. 2, 2009.

Consolation Center Haiti Journal – Monday, Nov. 2, 2009.

It’s the second trip now to physically work at the new property for Consolation Center. This time Peter Kikot is with me so we hope to accomplish a lot! We are starting out with our first day and night in Port au Prince. We have arranged to meet with some representatives of Pure Water for the World to see their factory and to hear about their part in putting water purifying filters in every school in Haiti and in as many homes as possible. We meet with one of their US representatives and with Roman who is very involved in running the factory and training people that receive the filters that are being made here. We have a good meeting at their “mission house”. We make arrangements to have 1 or 2 of our guys come to a seminar here next week so that Consolation Center can qualify to receive one of their filters. Its impressive how much they have accomplished with this project since I first heard about it at the Rotary Water Conference that was here almost 2 years ago. They not only have a factory employing 30 people making water fliters but they have placed filters in hundreds of schools and public places, training hundreds of people in the process in clean water handling and general sanitation practices.

Tuesday- We have rented a 4×4 crew cab pickup for this trip to help with picking up supplies in PAP where they are more available and also to have transportation readily available when we need it. We meet up with Honel and Yvald, the two guys who are working (mostly volunteering since they don’t have any work otherwise) with Eddie and help out with all sorts of things. They are here to make sure we get back safely and not lost. We run around PAP a bit Tuesday morning shopping, find out that the 2 – 20′ containers that Express Logistics thought were available to purchase, are currently full of stuff and they don’t know how soon they will be unloaded. We decide we will look anywhere and everywhere to see if we can find a couple more somewhere.

We finally head off to Les Cayes around 1 PM, arriving there about 6 PM. Not too bad really considering the several detours we have to take because of washed out roads and bridges! What a ride, you can tell its Peter’s first time across this country by looking at his photos! He has tons of pictures of people carrying evey imaginable thing on their head! Pictures of people and conditions of extreme poverty, huge mountains of garbage right next to the “open air” market, cooking on the street, “open air” bathroom, “playground”, etc. The mixture of sights, sounds, smells, levels of poverty and struggle are hard to describe or even begin to fathom for anyone, unless you have been there.

Wednesday – Everything here is going along typical Haitian style which means its incredibly difficult! Hope to have 2 more containers delivered tomorrow and the well finished being drilled, but it will be months before we can move

girls to the new property without more support and that is becoming a problem. ask for prayers for more support so we can make the new property liveable sooner than later. Peter cut his other thumb today but still went back to work in spite of the blood and pain. long hot days here, had a bit of heat exhaustion my self today but after a break, lots of water and some time in the AC from the truck we rented , I recovered and worked the rest of the day. Now I just have a bunch of little burns from welding all day, the gloves only cover a foot or so of the arms.

Had a good meeting with Eddie tonight and are meeting with the people from his board here tomorrow night. Hope to agree on a mission statement and some basic goals and guidelines for moving forward.

Thursday- We did a lot of cutting and welding today. Onel finally finished all the arrangements to purchase and have delivered 2 twenty foot containers late today. They are supposed to be delivered tomorrow. Lord willing the crane will be there on time and working and we will set the containers up level on blocks that we had delivered today. Tonight we met with Eddie and 3 of the people that are on his board here to discuss plans, ongoing maintenance, goals, fundraising, etc. It was a good meeting. We finally got back to the Hotel about 11 pm. A long hot day but we are getting a lot accomplished. We did have one big holdup today, the “mayor and his counsel” came out to the property and told us we had to stop working until we got authorization. Of course it is just a question of money, Eddie met with them, straightened things out and paid 1,000.00 gourdes, about 25 dollars. So the well drilling continues tomorrow along with the rest of the work!

Friday- No containers today! Typical Haitian style, Honel says they will leave PAP today but doesn’t know exactly when, doesn’t finally leave until late afternoon. They arrive at night, after dark so we arrange to meet them early in the morning. Only problem now is that the good crane we had reserved is not available on Saturday, we end up working out a deal with the guy we tried to use last time. Its not ideal, but it works. We make sure everything is marked out where we want the containers to go, finish welding security bars and the door hinges and latches. Now we can store stuff on the property.

A friend of Eddie’s, Petual, asks us to come visit a poor child with deformed legs. We go

into a ghetto area of Les Cayes to a make shift house where the 9 month old child is sleeping. We take some photos, arrange for xrays, we will submit to doctors here once home to see if surgery is a possibility. On the way out, Petual mentions this is probably not a safe place for white people, good thing its night time so not many saw us come and go!

Saturday morning comes early, another hot one! Oh yeah, we’re in Haiti, its always hot here! It takes all day, but we unload the 2 new containers, go to Espwa to get the one 40′ that is there, eventually get all 5 containers placed where they belong up on cement blocks so that we can dig the footings. Next trip down, the guys will have the footing poured, we will do a final jacking into level and then build block and concrete piers and a set of step for each.

One of the nicest things this trip has been the interaction with the local neighbors. Not only have many of them come by to watch but they have often been helpful with chairs, water, and even a mat for Peter to sleep on when he was really tired and waiting for the truckers to finish their work!

Peter and I feel like we have 14 new girl friends at the house where the girls are living now. Every time we stop by there they greet us with hugs and kisses all around! Peter ordered a “Sawyer” water filter to install in their house, it will filter out 99.99% of all impurities. Peter has been using one all week for his own drinking water, taking water from the local faucets! It must work pretty well, he doesn’t get sick from the water at all this trip, too bad it doesn’t keep mosquitoes away! He does come down with Dengue fever right after getting home. Spends a week in the hospital and a week at home recovering! The price we pay for helping others! True service above self.

We are committed now, Consolation Center is well underway. It feels great knowing how much we accomplished this week in spite of the difficulties! Until next trip, January, Lord willing, Andy

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