Monday, September 8, 2008

Hurricane Ike Skims Haiti, No Water or Gas, School Opening Postponed, No Word From Sen Rafayel, Kids Sick

Hello Everyone,

It's Monday a.m. Weak sun, light breeze, very humid. Solar amps incoming less than 2.

Saturday p.m. I travelled to the airport with Jackson as Lynx had found missing luggage.

No gas anywhere. We are unable to pump water for the house as our generator is gas driven. All gas stations were closed, empty.

A few enterprising folks were selling reserves of 'gas' in dirty plastic gallon jugs for $80 Haitian (11.50 US) a gallon. Apparently, they were boiling zaboka (avocado) in water to get the color of gas, mixing with a small quantity of gas, and fooling a lot of people. One man's misery is another's opportunity.

The entire day was overcast. Wisky arrived for work at 6 p.m. He is working security here on the weekends from 6 p.m.- 6 a.m. We scurried around putting away everything that might lift off in a wind and IKE blew in about 6:20.

It was very fast -- no warning -- just overcast skies and light breeze all day. Wind and rain all night. Neighbours had been busy replacing tol (corrugated metal) pieces which had blown off roofs when Hanna passed through. All night one heard the tol ripping off and flying around.

Sunday -- overcast, light rain, no solar amps. Today we are back with all staff. Still no word from our students in Sen Rafayal after the initial call post Hanna re gardens and animals swept away. (See earlier post).

There has been a steady stream of kids in this a.m. with fever, diarrhoea, congestion etc. Our canal at the side of the house is still 'bouche' (stopped up) and the mosquitoes are multiplying.

As school now officially will start 6 October (thank goodness - if new funds come in we will be able to send more without losing our inskripsyon money), we will hire a few of the students to help clean out the trench. The owner cemented up the flow hole for some reason so we have to deal with that first.

Several people have stopped and asked if we can charge phones for them as they have seen our solar panels. Although our batteries are straining to fill half way, we are charging phones for those we know in the neighbourhood.

The gas problem appears to have no resolution -- no way to truck it up from PAP [Port-au-Prince]. Cost of everything has risen dramatically. We found phone cards after 5 stores and paid 50% more for them.

NO electricity as EDH [power company] uses gas generators. We are walking everywhere and using our trusty wheel barrow. We did find ice this morning -- that was a celebration.

Auguste is calling - he is alone in the office as Rosenie and Erzilia are in town trying to find textbooks.

More later


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