Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sweet Sorrow

Parting is such sweet sorrow...

It was hardest to leave this trip because of all the time I have spent with my Paraguayan friends.  I always hate leaving, but for some reason I always know I will be back.
Packing up 3 months worth of stuff.
SOP Santacruz and Emily.  He has a true servant's heart.
Saying goodbye at the airport.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

An Illness and a Party

Sick all night and all day.  Threw up 6 times, Doctor on the base gave me an injection at 11pm-ish last night.  Slept, relaxed.  Kevin helped me change my ticket while Marty and Gary went out to the village.  Lots of people checked on me.  Colonel Britos even brought me a Teddy Bear.

Felt better around 5:30pm.  Got up and showered.  Tonight was a big party on the base.  On the last Saturday of each month the Paraguayans have a party for the people who had birthdays during the month.  It was fun to be able to spend my last night with a group.

The soccer team that won wanted a picture with all the women present. 
Thats a big birthday party!
Hermanito (Carlos Martinez) and I

Friday, May 25, 2012

Last Full Day

To Downtown PAP.  Stopped to see Alain at IOM.  He is leaving June 15th to work in Congo.  I am so bummed he won't be around, but am grateful for his help with the village and support during my time in Haiti.  This is an amazing opportunity, so I am extremely happy for him.
Alain and Emily at the IOM Office near the Presidential Palace.
Drove by the Presidential Palace so that Kevin could see it.  It mostly looks the same to me a year later, but I've heard they have been cleaning it up.  
Afterwards, we met Samaritan's Purse to pick up a FREE (for us) 700 gallon tank.  Amazing!  Strapping it to the top of the van is another story, but we were successful!
Lunch followed at the National Gas Station, a favorite pit stop.

Out to the village to deliver the tank and check in on our multiple projects.  Miss Coutard, the principal of the HELP School came for a tour of the new houses.  She was very impressed!  One of her teachers lives in the village and she said he was proud to say he lived there and wanted to show off his house to his coworkers.  I can already see a huge change in the spirits of the people.  It is so encouraging to see them brainstorm again on ways to use the other materials to better their community.  After Denise's passing, many of them were very low, but this seems to be a tangible sign of hope for them.

Roly in his home. 

Miss Coutard and Emily
Stopped by to see the Paraguayan's progress.

The beautiful church we pass every trip to the village.  It is a beautiful disaster and a wonderful reminder.  I love it.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Visiting Friends

Thursday night was so fun!  We got to visit my friend Franck at his house with his wife, Fanta, her sister and her mother.  Marty and Kevin came with me to spend time with them. Fanta made us a dinner of Pumpkin Soup, a traditional soup served on New Year's Day and special occasions.  After a tour of the house, Fanta gave me a pineapple as a gift for visiting.  This was a favorite night in Haiti for me.  I loved working with Franck.  He is so talented and to be able to spend this short time with him and his family in their home was a complete blessing.

Afterwards, we stopped by to see my friend Jeanilia who I also worked with at Victory.  She makes amazing rice and beans.  While Franck speaks Haitian Creole and English, Jeanilia speaks Haitian Creole and Spanish.  I wish I could have spent more time with her, but we had to head back to the base.

More Construction

More construction

Emily and James

After being here in January 2010 to build the temporary shelters,
it was hard to watch them being torn down to make room for the new houses.

We stopped to see Jeffrey today and he wanted to show us information
on the organization he has been volunteering with.
SO COOL to see Haitians excited about helping Haitians!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Construction Day

Another day of construction.  We were joined by Jennifer, a PhD candidate at UC Berkley in California.  She is doing research on the relationship between UN and NGOs (Non-governmental organizations).  
We are considered one of these groups, so she tagged along to see our project and our relationship with the Paraguayans.

Kevin, Emily, Jennifer

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Border and Three New Homes!

Weird morning.  Change of plans had me heading to the border to change the paper for Floyd (van) to extend our permission in Haiti.  The Paraguayans were heading there to pick up Colonel Gonzalez and they invited me to tag along.  Meanwhile, Kevin and Marty headed to the village to find 3 new houses!!

One the way out - this truck fell off the truck in front of us while going over a speed bump.
"Organized" Construction Site

Kevin, Pastor, James

Monday, May 21, 2012


Today my friend Max helped us with translating.  It was good to catch up with him as I haven't seen him since I left in April.  He is a great translator and friend.

In the morning we visited Pastor Abne' at his home to see his community garden and discuss water tank options with him.

UNOPS began delivering supplies to the site.  The first three new homes!

We stopped by to see the Paraguayans working at the well house and these sweet girls were heading to school.

Max, President, Emily and Pastor met to discuss the transition time with the new homes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Overlook and Church

This morning we went up to the overlook to see all of Port-au-Prince.  Five Paraguayans had time off and were able to go with us.  We were happy about this because they could show us the way.  
For most of them it was their first time also.
Kevin, Marty, Don, John

Alfredo Almada, Emily, Carlos, Kevin 
Carlos, Kevin, Emily
Video interview at the overlook with a few Paraguayans.  My Spanish really is getting better!
In the evening we stopped by the Evangelical Church and Catholic Church to distribute Bibles in Spanish.  Everyone was very grateful because they do not have easy access to the resources here in Haiti.
We had dinner with a large group of visitors and the officials tonight in the main Dining Hall.  Afterwards, Kevin and I went for a walk and my friend who was working in the guard station snapped this photo of us.  It gives a good overview of the layout of the base.


Here is how our day looked:

  • Morning Hardware Store Errands all over Port-au-Prince
  • Afternoon "Off" - quick nap.
  • Paraguayans had a Mother's Day ceremony with some of their wives and mothers in Paraguay through a Skype video conference.  They sang a few songs and read a poem.  Commander Britos said a few words and his wife had organized all the women in Paraguay.
  • Played Volleyball
  • Stopped at Russ and Sherrie's to discuss well house plans.