Archive for “October, 2011”

Shipping Container!

Quite a while ago, some caring individuals packed a couple of shipping containers full of stuff for Haiti.  Some donated, some personal stuff, some of some stuff I might have to question as to why it was worth shipping here!

Well, we were informed last week that the containers had been released from the Port au Prince port authority or whatever bureau holds on to things for whatever reason.  Of course the costs keep climbing and the delivery dates keep getting pushed back, but today…the first of the two shipping containers arrived.  We asked for “The green one.”  This container had tools, hand carts, stuff we need to unload the other one…of course, we got “The other one!”  Oh well…we unloaded the 40 foot shipping container by hand into our yard.  We also bought the shipping container itself, so our plans were to take it to Jubilee and drop it by the school for storage.

It’s nice to have plans!  We were not sure how they would remove the shipping container from the truck’s carriage, but we figured they would know how.  Well, first of all, we were going to have to spend more money!  Next, we didn’t actually have a group of experts at removing a shipping container from a carriage at our disposal.  Long story short, the shipping container is no longer on the carriage and the truck is headed back to Port au Prince to pick up our other container.  On a side note, the container is not even close to where we want it and it is on its side!

Nobody got hurt, we can find a way to get it where and how we want it…I got a little sun burned…I did not plan on standing around for four hours this afternoon trying to drop this container.  Another fun day in Haiti!


What a great Sunday

Started off with some freshly made pastries from next door…thin flaky dough (kind of like that greek stuff…filo?) with crushed up meat, onions, peppers in the middle…dang good.
Then I went to church at Pastor Gonada’s.  Still don’t understand a word, but it gives me a chance to pray on my own.
After church, we bought bread and took it to Jubilee for lunch for the feeding program…had to have two passengers on my dirt bike and Amos took one passenger and two huge bags of bread.  I only have one set of passenger foot pegs, so they had to share!
After that, I hopped on the dirt bike and met the rest of the crew out at a neat spot on the river that we found Saturday morning.  Up in the mountains a little bit.  We played in the river for a few hours…moving rocks, making dams, ponds, seats, whatever!

Then I got to do something really fun!  A couple of days ago, a Haitian guy, probably around 20 years old stopped me at our gate to talk to me.  He introduced himself as Whitney and he spoke pretty good English.  He told me about a club for people that want to become translators and he wanted me to come to be a part of it…the club’s acronym was SCOFT, Shiny’s Club OF Translators!  At 4:00 he was at our gate to pick up Chris and have me follow him to the club meeting.

Not too far from where I am staying, up on the second floor, there is a little classroom and it had about 20 guys in it.  Chalkboard up front and a desk with the sound system on it.  (Car battery, car stereo, home stereo speaker)  The DJ had some beats going as people filtered in.  Probably about 25 people when the club came to order.

They started with a prayer, then they wanted a joke.  No one was jumping out of their seats, so I got up and told the joke about Sunny drinking the gas out of a bowl while I was fixing my lawn mower.  When I got to the part that she had just fell over, I was looking at entire room of Haitians in stunned disbelief…I was supposed to tell a funny joke and it appears that my dog had just died!  After waiting a few seconds, I told them that she was fine, she just ran out of gas…the room erupted in laughter!

Next was introductions of the new members, there were about 6 of those.  After the introductions, there was a phrase written on the board that was to be discussed.  “He who would climb a ladder must begin at the bottom”  was the phrase for this class.  Club members came up voluntarily to the front of class and spoke about what they thought the phrase meant.  Everything was done in English.

At the end of the class, they asked everyone to bring a friend to the next meeting and closed with a prayer.  An amazing group of guys working together to gain knowledge.  So, I need more jokes!  If you can remember a joke that I told you (clean) please email me a bit about it to remind me…I intend on making this club meeting a regular part of my schedule.


Work around the house and a great dinner!

Yesterday, Amos and I went downtown and bought a new faucet for the bathroom sink and some 4 foot flourescent lights.  Today I got it fixed so now you can wash your hands after using the restroom and you can see the dirt on yourself when you take a shower!

Tomorrow after a little recreational dirt bike ride, I am going to try and build a few things for my room.  I am looking forward to unpacking my suitcases and having a place to call my own. 

We had a great mexican feast tonight.  I made about 45 tortillas from scratch…my griddle came in handy yet again!  We had chicken enchaladas, flour tortilla chips, fresh guac, salsa, sliced avacados and of course, what would a meal here be without rice and beans!  Many hands helped prepare this wonderful meal tonight.

Transportation and Education!

Yesterday we went to Port au Prince to drop some people off at the airport, run some errands, pick up some more people and shop for my transportation.  Started off a little shaky because of a stolen wallet, expired tags on the truck, problems at the Haitian DMV, temporary driving credentials…etc.

We got to the airport with plenty of time for the departing guests, then we picked up a friend, Lionel, to help me negotiate the purchase of a motorcycle.  He helped me bicker price, but the one that I bought was in a different part of town.  I got to see a lot of Port au Prince…amazing how the city literally climbs the sides of mountains.

So, we loaded this thing up in the back of the truck and headed back to Gonaives.  We didn’t get to leave Port until around 6…it starts to get dark about then, so I drove to give Beaver a rest.  Driving at night in Haiti is quite an experience.  Tail lights?  Maybe on half of the vehicles on the road.  People, animals and broken down vehicles are all visible hazards during the day, but they can sneak up on you at night.  I got the group home safe a little after 9.

Today the paperwork got finished on my moto, so I can drive it legally in Gonaives…I have to wait until next week to get the proper paperwork to be able to drive it to and in Port au Prince.

Tomorrow I am going to the school to sit in on the classes…the teachers already have a list of things for me to fix / build while I am there!  I also got roped into helping teach the art class in the afternoon!  Should be fun.

I will try to take some pictures of the classes and our art projects.

I made it!

I was a little too nervous to sleep last night…maybe got an hour.  Took the 5 am shuttle from the hotel to the Ft. Lauderdale airport.  Took the 7 am flight to Port au Prince.  Had to wait around the airport for the 11 am flight and another couple of missionaries.  Then we went and ran errands in Port au Prince…went to a school and picked up another passenger, went to drop off some journals…nobody home…went to the supermarket.

I stayed in the truck and watched the luggage…there were also armed guards in the parking lot!
After the grocery stop, we started on the 3 1/2 hour trip to Gonaives.  It was dark for the last hour of the trip and we nearly ran over a donkey in the road!  Also, not many people care about their tail lights not working…got to keep your eyes peeled when driving at night here!
When we got back, the power was out so I couldn’t let everyone know that I had made it safe until after dinner…rice, beans, goat, fried plantain, pickling.  Pickling looks like cole slaw but it has a kick…lots of hot peppers or something…made my eyes water and my nose run but man was it good.
I brought my electric griddle down here, so tomorrow morning we are making french toast 8 slices at a time.  There are at least 20 people expecting breakfast!  Then it is off to church at Pastor Gonata’s.
Feels good to be back here.