Saturday, April 13, 2013

Be Carefull What You Wish For

Thursday, 4/11

It was a month ago; we were gathered for the Davis’s early fiftieth wedding anniversary celebration here in Haiti prior to them going to the US to celebrate the actual date with family & friends. Sammy was in his walker and zipping around the banquet hall. A number of friends told me that it is very important that children master crawling before walking in order to learn a very important skill of arm/leg motor development. As a typical parent I went home and worked with him on the floor, coaxing to get up on his knees to get crawling (rally: to pull or crawl in Creole). Jane was more optimistic and said that he will do just fine, just watch. Now he crawls around the house on our ceramic tiles almost as fast as you can walk. He likes to stand and find his way around hanging onto the furniture. He will be walking, exploring and getting into everything all too soon.

Last Friday we were blessed with a hot water heater. We had planned many times to purchase one here but always something more pressing would come up. Last Saturday I was able to install it and connect it to our shower. We didn’t have any problems taking the cold showers, but during cooler weather they became quite invigorating to say the least, it’s also quite nice to run a pan of hot dish water than to monkey with the tea kettle on the stove.

Saturday evening it started to rain at 7PM getting harder and harder. About 8:30 our landlord called and asked if we were OK. We had a few drips here and there but nothing to be concerned with. Jane opened the front door and shown the flashlight around and we see that the drainage ditch that crosses our drive way had dammed up and filled the driveway with soft ball size rocks that flowed down the mountain. The storm finished at 9PM but produced many, many inches of rain. Back in November we had the same thing happen but with sand and at that time we had opened a large hole in the cactus fence next to us to prevent it again. Just last week two of the guys patched the hole with fencing to contain the goats in the field next door and low and behold the fence plugged with debris during the storm causing the flood again. Now the hole is open again. The guys spent a couple of days getting the rocks cleared and us back to normal. Our wonderful watchman/yardman Juslain found that his fiancĂ©e and their two kids who live down near the river were flooded, so Sunday morning we went and waded through 29 inches of water to move them up to Juslain’s house in our backyard. It was a busy place for four days with added house guests, meals, and school uniforms. By Tuesday they were able to clean the water from their house and return home on Wednesday. By the way if you are wondering the wedding is May 11.

Monday: it was work at Lifewater as Paul had brought parts in from Alberta, Canada to repair one of the drill rigs.

Tuesday: the Davis’s flew out for their time in the US and we are helping babysit 18 month old Savanna (Sammy’s kissing cousin)

Wednesday: I spent the morning out at an orphanage were we are drilling a new well. We had had some problems which Paul, Edrick, Junior and I was able to resolve. While returning at noon to Davis’s to take my turn at watching the kids so that Jane could teach at 1PM, I noticed a man at the tire repair next to the Total gas station was filling an assortment of 1 gallon jugs with gasoline and lining them up on a table next to the road. This is a “sign” that they are out of gas and he will sell you a gallon at a scalper’s price, hopefully it is 100% pure! I didn’t think much of it as that Total station often runs out. About 5PM Jane called me and said that they were at the National station closer to town and that National was out of gas. Oops, I told her about the guy by Total at noon but disregarded the “sign”. She had Juslain with her and later I found that she was able to purchase gas at the Sol station. She waited in line with many anxious cars & motorcycles with jugs, buckets and Tap-taps, some with 55 gallon drums. She was able to buy with what she had with her, 2000 gourdes ($50.00 USD) for 10 gallons. That will keep us going until the delayed shipment arrives from Port-au-Prince or Venezuela. Thankfully we have had quite a bit of EDH [Electric-du-Haiti] so the generator has been off most of the time. This happened about a month ago after Hugo’s funeral; usually we get word of a shortage thru the grapevine to stock up.

Thursday: This morning our internet was very fast for a while but it seems to have slowed down again, maybe just a tease. Our monthly bill is due tomorrow but we have been registering complains about the recent weeks of very slow or no speed. They continue to say that they are awaiting equipment to make repairs at our local cell tower, hopefully that is the case. Jane is off for the day to teach ESL and run some errands. She has been shopping for an outfit for the wedding. Sammy is in the middle of his morning nap so things are quite peaceful. MFI [Missionary Flights Int.] is not flying here today as they are headed with their staff and families to retreat at a mission in the Bahamas and will back on schedule next Tuesday. Hopefully they get some much needed rest and family time!

Please pray for:

• A Haitian friend’s protection,

• A friend & brother Ironworker’s chemotherapy treatments,

• Sammy and Savanna’s adoptions,


Friday, April 05, 2013

Busy Month

Hi Everyone, sorry that it has been a month since our last post. Our Internet service has been so slow for about three weeks that we feel fortunate just receive the e-mail.

It has been a very busy month;

I spent three days helping Lifewater Canada retrieve a broken drill pipe and bit from the bottom of a 115ft. well they were drilling. The drill pipe had broken off at a fitting at 85ft due to the difficult soil and rock conditions. We had to wait for a special retrieval tool to be sent in, weld it to a threaded drill pipe fitting. After an unsuccessful day of trying to attach the two [at 85 ft down], we had to fabricate a ring to guide the broken pipe onto the retrieval tool/pipe. The tool worked well but we found that the broken pipe was completely lodged in 30 ft of mud at the bottom and would not budge. With long distance advice from the experts, we were able to advance a plastic pipe down the well alongside the drill pipes and flush away the mud, finally releasing the broken parts. It gave me a real sympathy of how the drillers in the Gulf of Mexico must have felt!

Jane received information from her friend a local caseworker about connecting with the Government agency in Port-au-Prince to see what we need to do next to further Sammy’s adoption. This was on Saturday March 16, we made plans to drive to “Port” on Wed the 20th, meet on Thursday, return North on Friday. Karen Davis along with Savanna would be traveling with us to work on their paperwork also. Tuesday morning I made one last check of our car to see if Jane needed to pick up any last minute supplies prior to our departure. The radiator had been losing fluid and seemed to be at the upper radiator hose clamp. I started to tighten the clamp and the hose came off in my hand revealing the hidden broken plastic fitting on the radiator. This is not what we wanted to find, but was a blessing that it was not in the middle of the grueling trip along with two babies in the middle of nowhere. I made a quick call to my buddy Bob at Missionary Flights and he would send a new radiator on Thursday’s flight. We scrambled to prepare the Davis’s four door pick-up with two more new tires completing a full set of new rubber. Jane was in Cap-Haitian buying another Pac-n-play folding playpen for a bed and also a car seat for Savanna.

Wed. morning Jane and Karen had to return to “Cap” for some last minute paperwork and after loading and prayer we were on the road by 8:50AM. The back seat was filled with two car seats, diaper bags, toys & snacks, Jane also was able to find a small spot to sit. Karen & I in the front along with more “stuff”. All of the luggage, pac-n-plays, coolers & tools were under the bed cover. The trip went very well; the roads were in excellent shape due to ongoing repaving since the earth quake in 2010. The dusty desert stretches have been replaced with smooth asphalt, the areas of cactus where you could stop and relieve yourself are no longer needed due to numerous new “National” and “Total” gas station/mini-marts. Although we could make good time we still needed to make rest stops for the kids to stretch. Jane certainly had here hands full keeping the kids occupied for two seven hour days. All in all the kids were great considering. The meetings went well with a mixture of questions and answers and waiting for the next step. We are still praying that God will open the next door. We know that He has a plan for Sammy, we are just unsure if it is the same as what we envisioned yet.

While staying at the OMS Villa-Ormiso in Port we were able to see old friends, and meet the visiting construction team building houses there. I was able to take the kids for a swim in the pool but forgot to remove my 3 year old cell phone from my trunks pocket, needless to say it didn’t survive the swim. I am happy to say that phones here are pretty cheap and was able to transfer the SIM card to a new one, retaining my old number & contacts.

March 27, we took 19 orphans from Potters House along with 8 chaperones to the beach to swim, celebrate birthdays, picnic lunch and fly kites. Most of these kids had never been to the ocean before. We shoe horned everyone into two vehicles. Along the way we had one soft tire and one flat. We left one tire along the way for repair to pick-up later. An approaching weather front gave us strong winds which made for good waves and great kite flying. It started to rain during our trip home; many kids were trying to catch a nap, thank-you Lord for a wonderful day.

Easter morning was a true outdoor sunrise service. We were setting up benches and power cords in the dark for the 6:30 AM start followed by a wonderful pot-luck breakfast.