I have mentioned on almost every one of my posts on this forum that I am a missionary to Haiti.
I have just returned from Haiti on, 1 April, and am just now beginning to get caught up on things that I left undone while I was getting ready to go and while I was gone.
I had to extend my stay for 10 days because we were going to drill some wells in and around the village of Les Anglais, Haiti. The opportunity for the wells came sooner than we had planned so I stayed longer to see them dug and see that they were properly plumbed.
As I have read many places on this forum how important water is to our hobby/passion of gardening. Well, try to watch your family die because of contaminated water and your passion will take on a whole new meaning.
Here are the Picture.
Your brother in Christ, His servant, Paul.
This little girl is typical of children in Haiti. They are the ones who are sent for water. She is young but she can walk for miles with that bucket balanced on her head.
This is how one of the wells looked when it was finished. I don't have a picture, but when they first saw water coming out of the pump; grown men were splashing water on their heads, dancing and crying. The man in the middle of the group is our agronomist, Etienne Francois. I will write more about his work later.
Along with the girl in the first picture, here are more youth early in the morning, about 6:30 AM, sent to fetch water. They approached the well with some hesitation until the young lady you see grabbed the pump handle and started pumping. Once water started to flow the rest knew what to do.
Kids have learned that it is cool to dance while they are pumping water.
Here is a boat under construction. This boated started life as a Mango tree.
This is one of the problems in Haiti. This Mango tree took about 50 years to become the size large enough to make a boat. The boat might last 5 years. Again the man looking on is our Agronomist, Etienne Francois.
This is the home of my very good friend, Mrs. Gedna. She is 85 years old, ancient by Haitian standards, the average life span for a Haitian is 45 to 55 years.
This home is made of sticks pounded in the ground at each major point along the wall, not more than 24" or 30" apart. Thinner sticks are woven horizontally and mud is mixed and plastered over the whole wall, inside and out. This home has a tin roof. It originally had a thatch roof.
This home is about 50 years old.
This is a view of downtown Les Cayes, Haiti. Les Cayes is over 500 years old. Some of the old buildings in the center of town are still in use. Les Cayes, populations is about 2 million.
When I go to Haiti, I stay with some missionaries here.
Another view of downtown Les Cayes. With gas costing over $6.00 a gallon, imperial gallons, (roughly an extra quart), bicycles and hand carts are everywhere. Diesel is about $5.50 a gallon, so most of the pickups you see are diesel powered.
Here is a typical, "Everything Shop," we were looking for some magic markers. I think we found some.
I will say that most of the Haitian women are very attractive.
The guy in the picture is Gary McLaughlin, one of the missionaries that I live with when in Haiti.
Here is a charcoal fire. A major problem for the equatorial belt is the environmental damage caused by getting wood for cooking fires. Haiti in an ecological disaster because of deforestation. The top soil is not that thick to begin with and when you remove the trees what little soil is left runs into the ocean.
Every time there is a reforestation project, there come hard times and the trees are cut down to make charcoal for sale.
This is a, "Tap Tap," they are the main mode of transportation besides donkeys and feet. Every square inch of the vehicle is loaded.
Tap Taps can range from pickup size vehicles to Mack trucks.
Behind you can see one of the rivers we have to cross to get to our village of Les Anglais.
You see market day along a river. People come to market, do their wash and bathe at the same time. Anything that is done upriver obviously flows down to the people below.
This was taken from a bridge over the river.
This is the end of my pictures that I am going to show you right now. Thank you for looking. If anyone is interested in my support please contact me by Dmail.
God bless, Paul.
Paul: enjoyed this thread. I'm putting money back every pay check in a "missions trip" account. Looking forward to my first trip, where ever it may be. Leaning toward India or Africa, but waiting on the Lord.
I suggest that you pick a place where you can return. I found that once I started it got into my blood and I had to keep returning. I started traveling to Haiti in 1991 and am going to keep returning until The Lord makes me quit.
His servant, Paul.
Bless you and the work you do, Paul, and thank you so much for sharing the pictures, and your experience, with us. It's so important for us to keep some perspective, and your posts help us to do that and to know how truly fortunate we are.
Please Pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti.
Give thanks for the teams God has placed in Haiti before the quake.
It turns out that they were medical, Isn't God Great!!
Your grateful brother in Christ, Paul.
Here is an email I received this morning, 16 January.
Hello friends and family; Thank you for the many emails and prayers and encouragement you have given during this time. This is just a quick update to let you know our status here.
Yesterday was a busy but good day as we held a large medical clinic for the people of Renault where we do the Sunday School / children's feeding program. We had a large, well trained group of medical professionals who worked well together and many patients were seen and needs met. None of the people seen at Renault were victims of the earthquake, but there were still many sick people helped.
Continued on the next Page.
Yesterday we were also able to load and send many supplies into the missionaries at Christianville , just this side of Port au Prince.
The missionaries here in Cayes worked together and sent sheets, medicine, food, water and other supplies.
Last night after the long day of medical clinic, we realized that many wounded earthquake victims were making their way out to Cayes and our mission hospital here was filling up. Our son Tim, quickly drove 4 doctors from our medical team back from the guesthouse, and they worked all night at the hospital caring for patients and receiving victims as they arrived from Port au Prince. Kara worked all through the night translating for the doctors and Tim helped also. Our medical team is covering the night shift at the hospital again tonight and they are a great help.
The stories these poor people tell are amazing. One well built young man (Vilneve) who is an electrician in Port au Prince will need to have his left arm amputated. He was together with his partner when the earthquake hit, and the building they were working in collapsed. His partner died, and his head was pinned against Vilneve's left arm with such force that it cut off circulation and now Vilneve will need to have his arm amputated.
Many people are so desperate to get out of Port au Prince that they are walking towards Cayes. The people that have arrived here already have nothing so the local people here and missionaries are working together to provide food and meals for all the earthquake survivors who are here. Even though the stores have been closed and most shops are not selling what little food they have remaining, I was able to purchase a lot of food tonight from a merchant friend. This food should help the needs of many at the hospital for a week or two at least.
In Canada, World Team has offered to receive donations towards Haiti, and they have reduced their administration fee to 5% during this difficult time. Please mark you donation '" Wrays- Haiti relief", http://www.worldteam.org/giving/give-now .
In the USA , please send any donations to Harvest International, http://www.harvestinternational.org/donations.html
Please continue to pray for us.
Deb is working at an alarming pace taking care of our 18 visitors and providing meals, baking and keeping a clean guesthouse for them. She has some Haitian workers helping but she shops and organizes it all, which isn't easy with dwindling supplies.
We need God's wisdom and guidance as we try to determine the best way to evacuate our visitors out of Haiti and back to the U.S.
We need strength as we try to meet the needs of so many hurting people around us,
thanks, bye for now,
Love Rod, Debbie and gang
Agape Flights Cay# 18089
100 Airport Ave.
Venice, Fl 34285
This is Just one place where you can send donations and be SURE that they hit the ground running.
Please Pray for our brothers and sisters in Haiti, Paul.