Saturday, June 18, 2011

Busy Time

It has been a very busy time here in Haiti. We have been back just over two weeks but seems like months.

A Resounding Hope team from Columbus, Indiana were here with Kate Michelle doing evangelism and distributing solar powered radios for the radio station. They were a lot of fun and a great asset as are all of the teams.

The team helped dig up and replace a weeping waterline that has been keeping a driveway wet. This had been a big concern of mine for over a year.
Dave & Marylyn Shaferly were covering for us while we were home, completing many of my mechanical items on my To-Do list. It was good to spend a little time with them as they are a great inspiration, sharing some 40+ years of Haiti experience.

Wednesday we took the team to the airport early and then spent the day ordering parts and getting caught up on little projects.

Late in the day Maxi from the Seminary called and said that our John Deere mower had a broken hose and was making a strange noise. Thursday I grabbed my tool box and headed out to work on the mower. Upon first look, a breather hose had become brittle from time & heat. We were able to make one from a piece of rubber hose until one can be flown in. Upon starting the engine there was still the noise, with a closer check, a head gasket had blown. While we were home Edric had replaced that cylinder head with a new one because of a problem that we had a year ago and had been running on a temporary fix all of that time. Knowing that there was an extra head gasket back at the Vaudruiel shop (5 miles away) I prepared to go get it.

Abel said wait a minute, “T-Louie” was here the other day and said that we have an electrical problem, pointing to the main power transformer atop the utility pole behind the shop. I could see long lengths of insulation hanging from the now bare wires and dangerously close to shorting out against the transformer. Maxi told me that he and John had to wrap the tops of the wood utility poles with metal because of the wood peckers, and now they were destroying the insulation on the wires!

One more thing, Abel said leading me to the “motor house” the float in the “day tank” that regulates the diesel fuel to the generators was slowly leaking and causing it to overflow and creating a puddle on the floor. That one was a quick fix with a close of the valve and instructions to keep it closed when the generators are not running. I made a quick trip back to Vaudruiel for a gasket and the “hot stick”. Upon returning we pulled the fuse on the transformer and covered the damaged wires with lengths of garden hose. I was able to get the engine disassembled and the parts cleaned up for the new gasket but when starting to torque the head bolts I found that one had stripped the threads in the block, after measuring I found that possibly a longer bolt would catch some good threads further down in the block, we called it a day.

Thursday night I was able to find and download a service manual for the engine with torque specifications and sequence to make sure that all would be Ok. On Friday morning I was able to find a longer bolt and returned to finish the job. Again starting to tighten the head, a second bolt stripped out so another round trip to the shop for more long bolts. Finally I was able to get the engine finished and Maxi was able to start mowing at 4PM, it’s a good thing as the grass was getting very long. During one of the trips I left instructions in Creole to go buy 100 goats which got a good laugh.

During the engine assembly, “T-Louie” had called that the generator at the radio station had overheated again and Edric would try to take care of it. After Maxi was mowing away I headed back to Vaudruiel, stopping at the radio station, Edric was standing by with another radiator to change. The generator overheated again and so we started a quick change out, releasing the boiling water onto the floor, me in sneakers and he in flip-flops we danced around and in about 10 minutes we were ready to start-up. Quickly we found that a hose clamp was leaking and now the thermostat wouldn’t open causing it to overheat. Again the boiling water and a very hot removal of the thermostat. Soon the generator was running again at a cool 170 deg. We will install a new thermostat when we get the second radio station generator up & running, parts expected in a week.

It’s now 5:30 PM and we are both grease to our elbows, it’s time for a shower and call it a day. A new team arrives Sunday afternoon, only God knows what next week holds.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

We Are back to Work

We have been back for a week and we started off running. Bud has been trying to catch up on all that was done while we were gone. Yesterday we had a big rain storm and it took out our security lights so he was working his way around the compound trying to find the problem. The construction of Plain du Nord school began while I was out and so I have been very busy working out communication problems on it. We have wonderful Haitian workers here and their work is great but sometimes communication can add to problems. This is very common when you have two different cultures working together.
Monday and Tuesday I gave the final exams for my English classes. We also have a Resounding hope team here as well. They are here to learn about missions and do radio distribution. I have been under the weather for the last two days. I spent yesterday in bed all day and today I am much better. The body aches have stopped since my fever has broken but I still have no strength so Bud is taking the vistors to the beach by himself. I am grateful for Dr Rodney being here. Yesterday he made a house call for me. Next week we have teams coming in to do vacation Bible school for two of our churches. We have teams coming in to do VBS for the next two months. Please pray for my health to be restored so I can do the work I was called to do. Jane