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September 13-18 Consolation Center work by IHAF volunteers

September 13-18 Consolation Center work by IHAF volunteers

What a week!  Met Ken DeYoung who brought along Les and Kathryn DeRoos, their son Jonathon and an electrician friend, Reid.  What a good team!  Ken picked me up in PAP on Monday, shortly after I arrived and paid our shipping/importing agent’s bill.  Once settled we took all out to Consolation Center to see the girls and do some initial planning.  Everything was looking good until we realized that one box of essential solar power system parts was missing.  Apparently stolen at the border while under the supervision of Hatian customs.  Still we had a lot to do.  All the solar panels were there, the batteries, as well as the 120 volt inverter. Just not the charge controller, the load controller, cables, combiner box, solar panel cables, etc., $1,200.00 of supplies that we couldn’t get the system running without.

(We started our week by sharing gifts from Albert City Evangelical Free Church sponsors in Iowa and from Calvary Lutheran Church, Allendale, NJ. – the coloring, puzzles, playdoh, etc. kept the girls busy while we worked! They had a great time with everything the whole week! School has been delayed until October because the earthquake has affected so many and they would like to start everybody in country together.)

While we tried to figure out what to do about the missing solar system parts, we took some time to visit Cedrick Pierre who was recently with us for corrective foot surgery.  We visited him and his mom Rema at their home, got to see him walking around, down the road and back!  No braces on his legs or anything!  He walks a little stiffly so I am hoping Rema is doing the therapy that she is supposed to with him.  But it is still a bit of a miracle to see this boy who was born with his feet on sideways, walkin on his own, and knowing that he will be able to get around by himself and have a somewhat normal childhood in Haiti.  Rema was so thank-full, the next day she cooked a duck dinner and had it sent over to the hotel for us!  It was delicious!

We also found a place to distribute the many wheel chairs, walkers, cruthces etc., that we had in this container, thanks to a donation from Abed Medawar (Somerset Marine) and friends from Hillsborough Rotary. The wheel chairs were specially made for use in countries with few paved roads and lots of rough ground like Haiti by Free Wheelchairs Mission. (www.Freewheelchairmission.org)

The organization distributing the wheel chairs and other handicap supplies is the Ministere des Affaires Sociales et du Travail.  It is a Haitian office set up to help handicap people, especially those since the earthquake, get re-integrated in life and work.  They had some very interesting posters that they use for encouragement and they do rehabilitation training.  They did not have any more wheelchairs at the moment, so our delivery comes just in time to give them a good supply!

Thank God, and I do mean Thank God, that Ken and the others have a heart for what we are doing in Haiti and are willing and eager to go the extra mile to get a job done.  We worked all day Tuesday and Wednesday installing solar panels on the roof of the newly constructed depot/kitchen.  The solar charging and control room is inside.  We searched through the containers and all the donated relief supplies that we are still distributing for the missing solar parts with no results.  After much discussion and consideration, and Ken’s generous offer, we decide that if I can re-order the missing supplies (which I just happened to have originally purchased from Sun Electronics in Miami) and they are in stock, Ken and I will fly on Thursday in his plane to Miami to pick up everything we need, get back by Friday morning, finish installing everything, and with God’s grace, we will have lights and electric by the end of the day or by Sat. early morning at the latest.

A lot of things have to come together to make all of this happen.  First the weather has to cooperate, then we have to be able to get fuel in Inaqua, Bahamas, get to Miami early enough to have several hours to get everything together and get back to the airport in time enough to get back to Exhuma in the Bahamas before dark when the airport closes.  We thought about trying to get back to Les Cayes all in one day, but there was no way it would be possible. If we made at least to Exhuma, then its only an 1 ½ hrs. or so to  Les Cayes first thing in the morning.  To make a long story short, except for the pouring rain in Miami, everything goes reasonably smooth. We get back to Exhuma about 5:30pm,  very tired, have dinner  at a quiet beach side fish and BBQ shack, then finally crash about 10:30 to get up again at 5 AM (Haitian time).  We do need to make a stop in Inaqua to finishing paying for the fuel we picked up yesterday that we did not have enough cash for.  While there we fill up again so we can get back to Les Cayes with enough fuel so the Iowa crew can fly out on Sat. directly to Exhuma.   Inaqua, which is closer is only open until 10 on Saturday- that would not allow enough time to do anything more if we needed to on Saturday morning.

We finally arrive back in Cayes about 10, Yvald picks us up, we spend the rest of the day installing and wiring the rest of the components.  Working and sweating (its still very hot and humid here) until about 8:30 pm, we finally have almost everything ready.  We are able to turn on the 24 volt side of the of the system and the girls let out a great cheer when the lights come on!  Those 24 volt flourescent bulbs are really quite bright!  Everyone is exhausted and hungry and thirsty after another long hot day of sweating.

We have been looking forward to the incredible grilled lobster this little place on Gellie beach has, tonight is the last chance, so a quick shower and we are there! Delicious as usual!  (but still cannot wait to get to bed!)

Saturday we are up early to finish a few things. Ken offers to fly me to Port au Prince so that we can work a little, then the others can finish up before he gets back to pick them up.  We are able to finish the inverter connections and the 24 volt refridgerator and freezer hook up just before we have to leave!  Now,  Consolation Center has Lights, 120 volt power, and a refridgerator and freezer!  They are really moving into the 21st Century!!  The girls might even be able to have ice cream!  All of this is possible because of our many generous supporters and God’s grace!  We thank-you all!  Please keep up the good support and work. Yours in His service,  Andy

P.S.  please keep the donations coming, we really need more funds to finish construction!

You can donate at: http://ihaf.us/donate/ or send to:

International Humanitarian Aid Foundation, Inc., P.O.Box 13, Midland Park, NJ 07432 .

All donations are tax deductible.

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