• Bon Fet Noel!

    Here is an update from our new place!
    I ended up renting the place that I blogged about over a year ago.  I am renting the main floor of the house.  There is enough room that I can can start my carpentry shop inside!  I have to make some cabinets for the bathroom and completely build out the kitchen, all stuff that I can do and I enjoy doing.
    Read More
  • Good news and bad news – C’est la vie!

    Feels like home again. We have been back for nearly two months and I definitely feel like I am home again.  I have been reconnecting with friends, students and businesses.  I think people are actually glad to see that we came back!  Hardware stores, food vendors, the lady I go to for diapers... it was great to be able to tell everyone that I'm back. Read More
  • Settling back in… for now!

    Well, we made it back to Gonaives safely on September 11th.  We flew from Omaha to Atlanta to Port au prince on the 10th, spent the night at CJ's Guest House and rode back to Gonaives with Beaver Brooks the next morning.
    This is how she traveled between gates in Atlanta!
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  • Back to Haiti!

    Back to Haiti!

    We've had a wonderful time reconnecting with our friends back in the states, but we are anxious to be heading back home this week!
  • Ready, Set…GO!!!

    We have everything in place to be able to return to Haiti.  My wife's green card finally arrived, thanks to the help from Christian at Brad Ashford's office.  We used the green card to secure all of the other legal documents we need...social security, state ID, library card!  Now my wife can come and go without much hassle.

    She speaks English!

    During the time we have been back, my wife has completed three sessions of English as a Second Language (ESL) at Metropolitan Technical Community College.  My friends that saw us in December and again lately can attest to her awesome grasp of the language.  Every Saturday, 9 to 1...she went to class, and Victoria and I would hang out in the lobby.

    Container is Here!

    I did manage to get a container and it is sitting on the ground in Council Bluffs - a few miles from my parent's house, but a great location - secure and right off the interstate.  I have already started filling it with my tools and other stuff from home, donated tools, clothes, shoes, school supplies, even some appliances for our house!  I am still looking for donations to fill it up.  Kids clothes and shoes (used is OK!)  New socks and underwear for boys and girls - this stuff would most likely go to Jan's orphanage, Christopher's Hope.  Any other clothes and shoes in decent condition would be accepted as well - if we can't wear them, my wife and her cousins will sell them - a method of support for us.  I am also still looking for school supplies like paper, pencils, pens, erasers, notebooks and books to read.  For our house, we could still use a chest freezer, microwave and rugs.  For my carpentry school, I would still accept hand tools and power tools as well.  I have a pretty good collection, but if you have something sitting around that you could get rid of, I'll take it while I can.

    Since I am leaving soon, donations will have to be routed through friends and family, so get a hold of me at my email - blueteamleader@gmail.com and we will set something up.  I will need a lot of help paying for the container to get to Haiti when the time comes, so please consider a special donation for that as well!

    Haitian American Drums

    I got a chance to build some of my Cajones here.  I think I built 14 or so while I was back.  I was able to get a logo created and a branding iron purchased, so now everything that I build in Haiti will be marked with my new carpentry business name.  Bon Bagay Chapant.  In Creole, if you see something cool, something unique, something you like...you say "Bon Bagay,"  That translates to "Good Stuff."  So my new business name will be Good Stuff Carpentry!

    What will we miss?

    My wife is ready to go back, she misses her family and friends - we have been here for nearly ten months!  But we will miss all of the food options.  There are so many restaurants with such variety of foods here in Omaha.  I like Haitian food, but it is not "on demand" like it is here.  If I am hungry at two in the afternoon, I will have to make something for myself because all of the vendors are finished serving lunch...if they do have something, it was cooked a couple of hours ago and has been sitting in the island sun since then!

    I will miss the availability of tools and supplies - a quick trip to Home Depot or Menards and I can grab nearly any tool or building material that I want.

    We will miss family and friends.  We have had a great time living with my parents.  We have spent some time with friends.  I have had many good work experiences here doing little side jobs like tile and countertops and working with a general contractor on some small commercial projects.  Good experience all around to take back with me.

    I won't miss the driving everywhere and the schedules.  I will be on my motorcycle soon and I will be on Island time.  Ready to slow down just a little...things down there happen when they happen, not on somebody's schedule.  I miss that a lot.

    Oh yea, she is walking!

    So our little girl was three months old when we arrived.  She is now a  year and a month and she is walking around everywhere...and pretty proud of herself for doing so!  She has a couple of teeth on the bottom and she is not really talking yet, but I think that will come soon enough.  I love being a dad, she can bring a smile to my face any time day or night!

    At our going away party last weekend, we made up some plantain and pikliz...no charcoal here!  Borrowed a turkey fryer from a friend and make quick and clean work of frying them up.

    Thanks for taking the time to check up on how we are doing.  The next blog will be from Haiti...and I promise it will not be very long before I write again!

    If you would like to help support my efforts in Haiti, please consider a monthly or a one time contribution.  The buttons are at the top of this page.

    Scott, Ruthcher and Victoria

  • Homesick from Home

    For the last six months, and for my first 37 years, Nebraska has been my home.  From October of 2011 until November of 2014, Haiti has been my home.  I love being here and spending time with my family.  I love the opportunities that exist here for making a buck.  I appreciate the experiences that I am getting through school and work...But...I miss Haiti!

    We are still waiting on some paperwork for my wife.  If you think that the DMV can be a little difficult now and then...try working through an immigration case!  I have been and I still am patient and understanding.  The person I speak with on the phone is not necessarily an incompetent fool, they just have an incomprehensible system to work within.

    My wife is just finishing her second quarter taking English as a second language classes at Metro Community College.  I am very proud of her for that.  She loves to go to class and she studies during the week.  Her English is so great compared to when she arrived in Omaha (when it was seven degrees) at the end of November.

    I can't wait to share my new skills with my friends in Haiti.  I just finished a class myself at Metro for repairing window air conditioners and refrigerators.  I have the tools and the knowledge to make the classrooms at "Pursuit of Happiness English Institute" nice and cool!  I also gained some experience setting tile.  I kind of knew how to do it, but I got a lot of practice over the last few months.  And for the last month or so, I have been working with a general contractor.  His knowledge and experience has been filling many gaps that I have had in general construction techniques.

    First shower that I did when I got back

    Record display stand I built for my friend Steve

    Some tile work that I helped with

    I helped build this!

    My latest shower
    Tuned up my friend's garage wall for him!

    All of these skills will be put to work as soon as I hit the ground.  I have several beds to build for a friend in Port au Prince, (That's you Jim!)  I believe that some more benches are needed out in Myan, Jan Thompson is going to get to see my tile skills when we remodel the Pastor's bathroom at Christopher's Hope.  And then there is my place!  I will start construction on a place to live and a place to work alongside Much Ministries on the property of Market Place Gonaives.

    We are making preparations for departure.  I am looking for a shipping container and chassis to buy.  I will park it at a friend's business in the Omaha area until it is full, then I will have it shipped to us down there.  I always have my eyes open for things that we will need eventually down there.  Used laptops for the IT classes, tools for the carpentry classes, materials and tools for other ventures as well.  We will also probably look to put some appliances and other things for our home on there too.

    Please pray that all goes well for us regarding our return home to Haiti.  Many people down there miss us...my wife's family, our friends from America that live there, even the lady that sells me my fried pork has been asking about us!

    Thanks for reading.


  • Living in Nebraska (for now)

    That's right!  We are in Nebraska!

    After finally crushing all of the obstacles in our path, we arrived in Nebraska on November 30, late at night.  Our final obstacle put us a day late, but we are here.  It was kind of funny seeing my wife's reaction to seeing her breath on the jetway...I think it was 2 degrees that night in Omaha.

    My wife and baby ready to brave the elements!

    We have been so very busy with life here, I have neglected my blog responsibilities...I know you all want to know how things are going.  I am in contact with many of my Omaha friends, but there are those of you who are not in "the loop."


    My wife has never experienced temperatures below 65 degrees...seeing her breath on the jetway was just the first rude thing mother nature threw at her.  She got to experience a typical Nebraska winter...not a lot of snow this year, but we did have our cold spells.  There were stretches of time when she would rather not leave the house, she even spent some time indoors with her hat and gloves on!


    Thanks to Beaver Brooks, we already knew that she would like Mexican food.  Chinese - No, Italian - OK, Runza - YES, American - Yes.  Besides Runza, she is a big fan of Chik-fil-a.  She has cooked some Haitian meals at the house, my nieces and nephews are big fans of Haitian Spaghetti.  We have found some produce that she is familiar with at an Indian grocery.

    All of our stuff an what we spend money on

    My wife was not only surprised by the number of cars on the road, but also by the number of cars for sale everywhere.  For those of you in Omaha, imagine her surprise as we drive from 204 and Dodge to the east.  There are thousands of cars in many dealerships in a two mile stretch.  I took my wife to Goodwill and she was like a kid in a candy store...I told her that she could get as many of the weekly special one dollar items that she wanted.  The next day, we went to Sheels and looked at some of the clothes there...I was happy when she told me that the clothes there were too expensive.  She told me how many pairs of jeans she could get for the price of one sport top there!


    Our daughter is now 8 months old and she is doing great!  Omaha has a good health care option through One World Clinics.  We have gone for vaccinations and checkups and we have one healthy baby!  She is sitting up and making lots of fun sounds...no teeth yet and not quite crawling.  We have been blessed by so many friends and family members with toys, chairs and clothes.


    I have been doing some "side work" for friends and family to keep busy.  Setting tile, painting, carpentry, and other odd jobs.  I have also been building some of my drums stateside as well...right now I am actually behind on production.  I would like to do some fundraising soon too.  I am looking to raise money for the construction of my carpentry shop and school.

    The Carpentry Shop and School

    As many of you know, I have been very successful with my accidental carpentry business.  It started when I was trying to help an orphanage find a source for beds.  I ended up making the beds with a Haitian carpenter friend of mine, Jean Philippe.  The quality product started to sell itself and word soon got out that I was a decent carpenter.  My product line now includes beds, desks, benches, tables, drums and storage boxes.  With no shop, showroom, inventory or marketing - I am busier than I can handle.  I want to capitalize on this success by making it grow.
    Some of my product line

    With a building, I can actually have some people working with me every day.  I can build up some inventory of my commonly sold products and have a showroom for some of my more unique work.  Also, with a place of my own, I will be able to hold workshops on specific projects.  For example, I would have a stool workshop where the students would work and learn for two weeks about shop safety, general carpentry knowledge and some practical experience.  Their class fee would cover the cost of the finished product as well...they keep what they build.

    I see this quickly moving to other disciplines.  Like I have said before, I have a lot of experience in many fields that I would like to share.  Electricity, Plumbing, Computer Skills, Painting, Tile...etc.

    If you would like an email reminder when I post a blog, please send me an email at blueteamleader@gmail.com or post a comment to this blog with your email address.  I send out a quick email whenever I finish a blog with a link, just to give you a heads up that I have an update.

    Also, if you would like to help me with this dream of a carpentry school and workshop, please use the donate buttons on the top right of this page.  The donations go to "Tools for Success" a Nebraska corporation.  I am working on the 501(c)3 status for it right now, but it does not yet have federally recognized nonprofit status.

    I am also working on getting a shipping container for physical donations.  When I have that in place, I will let you know the kinds of things that we can put in there to ship down to Haiti.

    Thanks for following my adventure,

    God Bless You,

    Scott, Ruthcher and Victoria.
  • To Omaha for a visit soon?


    We have cleared nearly all of the hurdles involved with having a Haitian travel to the United States...it is not easy!  We are now just waiting for the passport to be printed for our daughter Victoria.  The people at the US Embassy told me that all of our documents are finally in order and now she can get a US passport.  If all goes well, we could be back to Omaha late November or early December.  Nothing is a done deal down here though...so we are not buying tickets yet!

    Victoria Renee Peters

    I will just start off with some pictures of the sweet baby.  She is now just over two months old, still not doing much more that eating, sleeping, crying and filling her diapers.  But, she has cracked a smile now and then and I think she is beginning to make other noises than wahhh wahhhh!

    Finished a big project

    The project that I wrote about earlier is now finished.  My friend Jacob Sangster is the man on the ground here in Gonaives for a large project about 30 minutes outside of town.  They have built a big orphanage and a school already and they have plans for more...a medical clinic, vocational school, community center.  I have already worked for them building the large rolling cabinets for their cafeteria.  The project that I just finished was for furniture for the new school.  I built 24 bench desks, 12 chalkboards and 7 teacher tables.

    It was a fun project, I got to design the furniture and Jean Philippe got to help me work as well.  I built a jig to build the legs for the benches...that worked great...they are very strong, attractive, and I was able to make them quiclky.  The chalkboards are a little over the top for down here, but I wanted them to be quality.  I glued a piece of masonite to a sheet of half inch plywood with contact cement.  I got to teach Jean Philippe what it is like to install laminate countertops - same principle, same tools.

    The tables that I built are popular...I have orders for more already from people that saw me making the tables for this project.

    Four of the 24 bench desks

    Here I am standing over the Jig that I made for the legs

    8 tables nearly complete, some of my in laws in the picture too.

    Once in a while, I can convince my wife to help.  She likes the router.

    Some of the chalkboards
    The school opened a couple of weeks ago.  I was able to get them all of the benches and six of the chalkboards for the opening day.  I came up with the other six chalkboards and the seven teacher tables a week later...not too bad.  Here are a few shots of the classrooms.  As you can see there is plenty of room for more benches...and I am pretty sure where they will get them!

    So, now I am trying to finish up any half finished projects that I have around the house.  For those of you that know me well, I could spend a lifetime doing just that!  But I would like to start getting ready for our visit back to Omaha.  I think we would like to spend about six months back with my family.  I will try to get a day job and also do my usual handyman work in the evenings and on weekends.  I want to build up some money for our return to Haiti.  

    I plan to work and save in order to purchase a piece of land and build our house, my school and my workshop as soon as we get back.  I might have a deal on some land in a nearby village...I have some friends working on that right now.

    Our friends in Georgia have a container that is coming down here in the relative near future.  I have some tools that are scheduled to go in it from a friend in Georgia, and I would like to put a few more things on it.  I would like a good shop vac, thickness planer, drill press...maybe even a radial arm saw.  They are loading the container on November 4th, so whatever I can buy on Amazon and ship to the container's location, I might be able to see when I get back.  If you would like to help me buy a tool, please do so with the one time donation button up top and put "tools" in the space for "Special instructions for seller"

    Ok, I think that is enough rambling for tonight.  I am so happy that many of my friends and family follow my journey down here.  Again, I will ask for support...please consider a monthly contribution or a one time contribution for my work down here.  

    Thanks for reading!