Several people helped carry our supplies the 3/4 of a mile to the school where we were met with great anticipation. TLC forwarded money to have a storage unit built to house the batteries for the solar panel project. We were so happy to see that the structure was built with great care and planning. It was wonderful and far beyond our expectations. The main man that built the unit, Hermann, is very talented and we feel he can hired in the future for more masonry jobs as well as teach other men the trade. The storage unit is built of cinder block and next to it is a cement tower for the solar panels. Tim and Scott immediately started work to install the solar panel system and the wiring for lights. Hermann shadowed their work and did very well. The system was completed except for the installation of the panels themselves as they were still being held up in Customs. The panels will be installed by a trusted company in Haiti in the next two weeks. Just imagine, the excitement when there will be light in the school and church for the first time. Soon this area can be a gathering place for study, education and social events in the evening.
Tim and Scott did a lot of research for a future water project. We walked to the lower water hole and also hiked to the top of a hill where there was a second water hole. The water was tested and both holes contain bacteria. We will work toward installing a gravity fed water system with a filtration system.
We provided art supplies for the kids to use and collected many nice drawings. The kids will continue to work on art pieces and we will collect them on the next trip. Both adults and children made peace cranes and we hung them in the church where they will look beautiful not only for Sunday services but also for an upcoming wedding.
We served canteen twice which was greatly appreciated. The meal consisted of rice, beans, a red sauce and sausage. The school was presented with their first computer and the teachers grinned from ear to ear. We also presented them with a digital camera so that we could have more frequent updates on our projects. We gave the teachers English/French dictionaries and English/Creole dictionaries.
We met with the village nurse, Janet, who was thrilled to work with us on a maternal health program. There are 50 women pregnant in Rantlamouaie all needing vitamins. We managed to supply the women with the tablets. Janet was given a “history” ledger to maintain on the women and their children so that in the future this program can be expanded. Next we will provide "Bundles of Love" home birthing kits and "Bundles of Joy" newborn baby kits. They need the items so desperately. The women also need maternity clothes .
We were also blessed to be able to attend our first Haitian wedding and reception. The bride was dressed in a beautiful white gown with lots of lace and a train. She had a veil and wore white lace gloves. The groom wore a nice suit. Guests wore their finest clothes and shared a lovely service as well as a traditional meal of beans and rice after the ceremony.
We presented the family whose house we stayed in with many gifts to share(hot pads, soap, washcloths, lotions, clothes, aprons, etc.). I know this was greatly appreciated.
Exilent, the lay leader, told Father Milor that the people in the village are more enthusiastic than ever because now they see “hope” through our work.