Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hurricane Tomas, Student sponsorships,

My Scottish grandmother always said that no news is good news.  I, on the other hand, would rather have the news, no matter the quality.  Auguste was able to send news via email twice this week.  He is tenacious - no electricity, daily rain, yet he managed to find a cybercafe with a signal.  Good news to me.  Cap-Haitien has had rain every day since Siklon Tomas (Hurricane Tomas) went through last week.  No surprise as the north coast has a rainy season from October to May, followed by hurricane season from May to October.

A week of rain means mold and mildew.  It also means that everyone is cold - Auguste did mention that.

As our centre is made of concrete blocks, it holds the heat in the summer and the dampness in the winter.  Apparently we have also sustained some water damage from the hurricane.  Staff will be back to regular hours and jobs this week, so we'll tackle the problems.  Interior painting was on the agenda anyway.

Good news from Léogâne.  The road to Ti Goave is passable again (which can mean so many different things) and our nursing students are re-scheduled to begin their hospital practicum (staj-la) Monday 15th.  More good news.  One of our nursing students, Gaby, has been sponsored for the remainder of his program.  Daniel and his wife Nadia have started a campaign called "Starthrowers in Action", an invitation and a challenge to make every dollar work. They have gathered a group of friends who have pledged $10 or $20 dollars a month. This group of donors is giving Gaby "possibilité" for a lifetime, and giving Haiti a well trained, dedicated nurse.  Awesome - in the truest sense of the word.


Daniel here - we have since expanded the campaign to everyone interested.  Here's the "pitch":
Many of us would like to help sponsor a Haitian student through Starthrower Foundation but cannot afford to take on the full cost of the sponsorship. I don’t know many people who can afford $220 a month to sponsor a nursing student, or even $55 a month for a high school student. However, many of us can spare $10 or $20 a month, but we often don’t donate thinking our small donation won’t really make a difference. So this is where “Starthrowers in Action” comes in. The concept is simple.  Individually, we feel that we cannot make much of a difference, but TOGETHER, we can make a BIG difference.
Go to our website (which was built under Sharon's supervision) for more information.


Daniel made the trip up to Orangeville this afternoon (Sunday) to bring gifts and cards for staff and his sponsored student.  I leave tomorrow (Monday) morning and will be home in Cap-Haitien early Tuesday.

Repairing storm damage will be first on the list.  As the weather is changing, our "drop in" meal for the kids will change as well.  We'll be back to making large pots of homemade soup with bread, a beverage and piece of fruit.  Carmene's cabbage soup is a work of art.  Sometimes study and eating go hand in hand.  Our centre in Sen Rafayel doesn't have the luxury of a kitchen so we will continue to distribute crackers and cheese with potable water.  Our students are welcome to drop in Monday to Friday for a snack.  Both centres are a brief respite from the reality of home life.  Photo:  Wilsaint's house in Sen Rafayel damaged by the earthquake.

Jack has been scouting for new batteries to bring life to the inverter.  As we are back to no electricity again, the solar panels will become our life line.

Cindy phoned from Pennsylvania with good news - her Fed Ex account has been reinstated, so supplies will again be able to flow into Cap-Haitien from Pennsylvania. We're looking at a variation on the Christmas package program this year.  Versatility is the hallmark of a Starthrower.

The coffee shop is closing in 5 minutes so I will send this abbreviated post to Daniel now.  More next week from Cap-Haitien, when I find time to get into town for banking and internet.  Special thanks to Sproule's Drugstore in Orangeville for their donation of hand sanitizers.  It will be more important with the spread of Cholera.

Beni tout moun (blessings everyone)


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