Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Rain, Sen Rafayel, Rose-Guerlande

Although hampered by persistent rain and spiralling prices,  our new education support center in Sen Rafayel is beginning to take shape. By the end of last week, masonry foundations were finished, 1000 blocks had been made (one at a time) and installed by the 3 masons, their apprentices and many of our students. It's the only summer job available in the village and like everything else there is a waiting list.
Taking shape - our storage depots and security room.

Rain continues to present challenges. Jack arrived  in Cap-Haitien Saturday at noon for funds and to see his family. Auguste and I were to travel back up the mountain with him Monday, however the mountain track was so bogged down by mud and rock slides, Jack returned by public transit and we rescheduled for Thursday. He phoned Sunday night to report a 6 hour trip in the pouring rain . He traveled squeezed in the back of an  open taptap along with 30 other people.  I'm glad we waited. Two weeks ago we burned out the clutch trying to get out of the mud on a home visit.

To-day he arrived back (Wed.) to purchase  cement, plywood and plumbing supplies.  Again, he reported heavy rain nightly in the village, and when he left, the truck (kamion) delivering sand was stuck and it's hydraulics were not working. The load was deposited by back-aching shovelling.

The search for supplies took the entire afternoon. In the last 2 weeks, cement has gone up in price by $1.30 (USD) per bag and plywood has increased $13. (USD)  a sheet . We needed 15 sheets but only found 6.

Add 'carpenter's assistant' to Myriame's job description
In addition to rain hampering construction it plays havoc with the water supply. Kolera has again become deadly. In our village, 8-10 cholera deaths are being reported daily.  There were 8 Tuesday and Jack knew everyone of them. Tomorrow we'll have more information. Malaria cases are also surging however, that was expected. Auguste's sister is ill, with cholera-like symptoms. He put in a very full day then left in a hurry to travel to Milot where she is in hospital.

Thank goodness for the addition of Myriame to education office staff. We continue to be run ragged. Paying attention to the needs of 170 young people is a feat of juggling. Every situation is unique.  Jean-Ricot was 'ajoune' meaning  in August, he will have the opportunity to rewrite the subjects he failed. Carline pulled off a 75% average on her finals for the same year and came looking for a summer job. Turns out she is an excellent  tutor. Jean-Ricot told me  that Physics is starting to make sense.
Edwige, all smiles after completing Nationals
for Grade9.
Her sister Sherlyne prepares to write Reto this week.
Carline -a born teacher
I have  begun to notify sponsors of their student's end of year results. As some schools have already distributed results while many still have not written (Philo - Nationals next week) those results will be arriving until September.

In closing, while 150 of our young people are in various stages of year end exams, and our 20 post secondary students enter third term,  there are still twenty who have been waiting for a year for support to continue their education. I leave you with Rose-Guerlande, our 'dentist-in-waiting'. Five years ago she appeared at our gate with her aunt, who had somehow heard of us. Both her parents were dead, her sisters scattered to live with relatives. She is a scholarship winning student with a compassionate heart and her goal has not wavered - she wants to become a dentist, knowing the woes the poor suffer because of the lack of dental care. After almost a year of trips to Port-au-Prince we have fiinally secured her passport. She has been studying intensive Spanish to help with integration into student life in Santiago, Dominican Republic. She just needs a few of you to say yes to her dream.

Rose-Guerlande -last month

Rose-Guerlande -5 years ago

4am comes early - more from the other side of Sen Rafayel.

Kembe pa lage


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