Wednesday, September 12, 2012

We've got Power, Power, Power

One year ago today, I stepped foot on Chadasha's Orphan Retreat Center property for the very first time.  During those days in 2011, I wrestled with whether or not God himself was calling my family to a slice of prime Caribbean beachfront, or if it was the selfish desires of my heart.

One year later I can definately confirm beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was (and is) God's plan for our lives.  We've had more difficult and discouraging days than you can shake a stick at. However, the good has always out-weighed the bad. The past few days have renewed my sense of purpose...

Hurricane Isaac did very little damage to our property. Except for washing 100's of large rocks onto our beach. This week we cleaned up the rocks, restoring our beach.

Approximately 25% of the stones that were removed from the water.

We now have fresh water on our property. This is huge! We have been working to make this happen for 5 months. The next time you visit our beach, you'll be able to rinse off the salt compliments of our new shower!

As of Monday, we have ELECTRICITY!  This is especially exciting after hearing from several sources that it could take months to have a legitimate, legal connection to state power (know in Haiti as EDH).   We were able to secure a contractor and have our pole and transformer installed and connected in less than a week. Not only do we have a connection, we have all the papers from EDH making it a proper legally registered connection.

Here is  a 30 second version of how to install a pole by hand. It was amazing to watch this crew work. Three guys dug an 8 foot deep hole in 30 minutes and then dropped the pole into place.

They did everything by hand, including hoisting the 400 lbs transformer.

The transformer goes up!

Boss Josue supervising

The finished product, 50KVW power.

Soccer is a big deal in Haiti. American's love for football, pale in comparison to Haitian's love for soccer. Even the poorest of the poor find ways to play their beloved sport. They almost always play barefoot, and rarely have an actual ball. For many kids, getting to play on grass will be a huge deal.

For those of you who know my background, you understand why this is exciting for me.  We were able to round up a tractor to begin preping our new soccer field.   Machinery in Haiti is very rare, this is largely due to the abundance of cheap labor. I can't tell you how excited I was watching that green paint roll through the gate...

John Deere 5075E compliments of USAID and the American People!
Within an hour, the guys raked and burned the old vegation to allow the tractor to plow. It was hot, really hot, and the burning debris only made it hotter. For some reason, the heat didn't seem to affect anyone but me...

The heat doesn't slow down Octalem
Josue continues to 2
Turn and Burn!
Day 2 of field prep, tractor love.

Almost finished with the tractor.

Tomorrow, we will hand rake the surface and comb for rocks.  Josue and I have scoured all of our contacts to find grass seed in Haiti. Apparently, grass seed  is not sold in Haiti...

However, this weekend we will sow a hybrid, (traffic and heat tolerant) Bermuda seed. A big thanks to Bruce Hooper of  Hooper Supply in Murfreesboro, TN for helping us with the seed. Check out their website:

I can't wait to update everyone in 6 weeks when we have a lush carpet of grass covered with kids playing "football".  We've attracted quite a crowd with the tractor, and most of them have never played soccer on turf. Let's hope that the weather cooperates!