Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Out With Old, In With The New!

This week we've begun the process of deconstructing the old and broken structures to begin construction. We started with removing the old cement pad for the pavilion and the broken sea wall.

So it begins, 8 guys armed with sledgehammers and picks

The old broken sea wall and eroded bank.
Big thanks to the folks from Westwood Baptist Church, who sent down work gloves... Wilmon is very happy!
Temporary sea wall after 2 days of stacking rocks

A few weeks ago, our wall was vandalized. This prompted us to paint our exterior wall. It's actually turned out to be a great blessing. First, the new paint has made locating our property easier for visitors. The new paint has also helped us to take ownership in the community and provided a week's of work for 3 men from our community where unemployment in our area is above 80%.


32 gallons of paint later, it may or may not be UT Vols inspired...

I've been searching tirelessly for a water solution for the Retreat Center.  Water is critical for life in Haiti, we cannot build anything, work all day, or smell fresh without it. Being close to the ocean is only complicating matters. Luckily, there is actually a community water system that flows from a spring way up in the mountains. Currently the system is in disrepair, so I asked a representative from the water board to show me the problem, with hopes that we may be able to repair it.  What ensued was a crazy difficult & incredibly beautiful moto-adventure. I want to share the beauty I experienced that morning and share some of Haiti's beautiful places with our readers.

We started off at my house, and quickly picked up another passenger. This made the ride slightly more challenging, with roughly 475 lbs of passengers and the moto only weighing 320lbs...
Here we go!

Sixteen kilometers from my house to the village of Capiot and the giant springs.
 The Childrens Retreat Center is just on the otherside of the small hill to the far right.

The road started off pretty good, and got increasingly more difficult. This section reminded me of the Great Wall of China for some reason. After this section, the road turns to a path and get really steep!

There are some massive trees in the mountains.

This is the spring that flows from the mountain. It is diverted into canals for irrigation as well as through a powerhouse to generate electricity. Thankfully it was repaired in the last few weeks and it has offered us consistent city power for the last 2 weeks. This is a huge answer to our prayers and is savings us $100's every month in fuel cost for our generator.  The plants growing in the water are water cress  that is harvested and sold as a favorite food in local markets. These plants are the chief source of income for the village, and in turn, the community holds the spring and its water quality as a high priority. Lucky us!

I enjoyed the adventure, but I have yet to discern a solution for the water board. It appears that problems may be more political than physical.  Please join us in praying for the water to flow again. It is critical for our mission, as well as our community where there are 600-700 people who walk 3-4km for fresh water everyday.