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P.O. Box 174
Aurora MN 55705

Phone: 218.305.4100

Mission 18.1 Progress Report
(Click image to enlarge.)

Internet access is VERY POOR. I will try to get into town and update this page once a week with images and info. We are to be in Haiti the morning of February 19th. We have to travel to the compound up in the mountains North of Port-au-Prince. So we may not be able to enter anything onto this page until the 20th or the 21st because we have to set up the Internet from a local ISP.

If you have any questions, please send them to me in Haiti using this link to our contact page form.

Sunday, February 18th
Started the day on Sunday morning at about 7 AM when I got up to get the trip started to the Minneapolis Intl Airport. Arrived there in the afternoon and waited for my flight to Ft. Lauderdale Florida, which left at a little past midnight.

Monday, February 19th
Was in Ft. Lauderdale very early in the morning and caught the next plane on to Port-au-Prince, where I arrived about 9:00 AM. Pastor St. Luc Noel was waiting for me at the airport as planned. We jumped into his beat up Isuzu SUV and headed up into the mountains to his home.

The traffic was pretty bad in Port-au-Prince, it took better then an hour to get of of town. About noon we pulled into his driveway. They had already started working on the house and had the old roof off.

They had already started working on the house and had the old metal roof torn off.
They were waiting for me to get there to take out the old electrical system, because nothing gets waisted here. Just took a couple of hours for Nickol and I to remove all the old wiring attached to the wood roof beams.

They had also built Pastor St. Lucs wife Anita, a larger small store building. She sells cooking oil, soap, cold pop, cold water, candy and other small items to help create a small income for the family. She wanted a light in her little store, so I got started on that too.
Behind Anita's small store is a place where they get their safe drinking water. Water is a comodity here in the mountain area and this faucet was leaking badly, so they had to shut off the entire water line to keep from waisting water. I had picked up a replacement at Menards before I left and replaced it the day I got there. Now the line is back on and the 4 families on that line are getting safe drinking water again.
Wow... That was a long day, about 38 hours without sleep. Spent some time talking with everyone and went to bed before 9:00 PM and slept like a rock.

Tuesday, February 20th
I slept in and when I finally got up, about 7:00 AM, Anita quickly made me a cup of hot water so I could have a cup of coffee. Then she made me some bread with peanut butter on it for breakfast. I then proceeded to go look over the house at all the accumulative earthquake damage. It was worse then I remembered. Maybe it was the fact that the roof was off and there was more light in the house. In any case I think I know how it got this bad. I think Pastor St. Luc has been spending all of the funds that have been coming in over the years on building churches, schools and feeding the children in his schools. I am glad some sponsors decided it was time for him to fix his house and have given him some funds to get it started.



Wednesday, February 21st
Today the masons started putting the re-bar around the top of the walls. The re-bar will be covered in cement to make the house more earthquake resistant.

I decided to take a couple of days off to get more use to the heat. Would not be good to keel over on the job.

Re-bar on top of walls.

Beans and Rice the daily food staple.

Thursday, February 22nd
Felt better today. Heat not bothering me as much. I finished wiring Anita's small store. Everyone here laughingly calls it a boutique. Added a switch for the light just inside the door. The switch for the light in her old smaller store was in the house. Added another outlet on the opposite wall from the one I put in on Monday, when I got here. Outlets are important here because everyone has a cell phone and they all need to be re-charged.

Today the masons worked on busting out all of the cracked and severely weakened parts of walls, so they could be rebuilt. Other masons started setting up forms and poring the concrete for the concrete/re-bar earthquake belt.


Friday, February 23rd
Wall re-building started and the cement belt was mostly finished. The block above the cement/re-bar belt was started.


Saturday, February 24th
The slanted part of the end block walls were started and completed. Some missing pieces of the belt was pored. Some cleanup was done. Saturday is a half work day so the masons had lunch and left for their homes just after noon. During the week they slept here at the compound where they are working. Some of them live a couple of hours away. Not much else for me to do until the carpenters start their work. Then I can attack the re-wiring of the house. That should take me the better part of a week, providing I have funds to purchase all the supplies I need. Our bank account in Minnesota is pretty low as of today


Sunday, February 25th
No work on Sunday.

Monday, February 26th
Monday morning came and everyone was back at work early! Hammers pounding, wheelbarrow hauling sand and rock. The clanging of re-bar as they tied the re-bar into a grid which terminated in holes they had make in the walls. Then bucket after bucket of concrete was hauled in and pored onto the re-bar grid. This second floor with re-bar is about 3-4 inches thick and also serves as earthquake reenforcement. To the right you can see the re-bar floor grid and our cement mixer.  
Notice the new re-bar in the floor.
A Haitian cement mixer...

Tuesday, February 27th

Tuesday started out pretty much like Monday. Lots of activity starting early in the morning as work continued on reenforcing the floors in several other rooms in Pastor St. Luc's week2-. Here is another look at one of the rooms after the cement has been pored, and a look at two more of our cement mixers.
Earthquake damage above door removed.
Two Haitian cement mixers...

Wednesday, February 28th
Today work on the roof began. 2x4s and the roof tin can be seen in the images to the left. Also did some planning on installing the last thing you would expect someone to donate. Yup that's right, A Used Kitchen Sink. They have never had a sink in their kitchen so we are going to see if we can get it hooked up and working. The pipes will need to be put through the bottom of the kitchen block wall and across the hallway then through the bathroom wall and across the shower floor and through the exterior wall, before those rooms have the re-bar and concrete added.  

Thursday, March 1st

Its another roof day. They got the rest of the complete sheets up and we discovered that I could cut the metal roof sheets with the battery powered circular saw. That really saved some time and we managed to finish the room by the end of the work day.
New roof going up.

Friday, March 2nd
Plastering walls started today. That should take several work days. All of the smaller cracks in the wall need to be enlarged by chipping them out and re-cemented before they can be plastered. All of the new cement and blocks need to be plastered as well, so that is almost the entire house.

I had a chance to fix an old foot powered sewing machine today as well. It belonged to a young fellow named Lama who is a tailor, and a pretty good one too. I have 3 pairs of work pants and I managed to rip the knees on 2 of them. He took them and fixed them, the repairs are holding fantastically, and the rips are on the knees too.

More cement! More cement!
Lama and his repaired sewing machine.

Saturday, March 3rd

Today plaster work continued until quitting time at noon on Saturday. The left image is the one side of the wall needing to be plastered and the center image is the opposite side of the same wall, after it has been plastered. Sorry for the quality of the second image it is rather dark in that room now with the roof on. I had a computer issue when I arrived here and lost all of my files, including my Adobe Photoshop, so I could not fix it.

I spent a better part of the day changing scraps into another shelve rack for Anita's little store. I think she should be good to go for a while for storage space.

Shelving for Anita's little store.

Sunday, March 4th
No work on Sunday.

Monday, March 5th
The masons continued plastering the walls.

Have a lot of work to do on the house and I have to work around the other craftsmen, which can limit my access to certain rooms.

Tuesday, March 6th
More plastering. Installed the electric fencer. It was not charging so I modified it with an old telephone charger they found me, and I installed an electric outlet in the ceiling of my room in the clinic to provide power to it. The ran the high voltage line outside through some PVC to the fence. Seems to be working great. The cell phone charger provides just enough power to run the charger with a little extra to charge the battery. So when the power company stops providing electricity, the fence stays charged, for a while, from the chargers internaL battery. The fence seems to be working, only chickens in the garden this week, no goats or cows to eat his banana trees, Congo beans or okra.

Wednesday, March 7th
More plastering and the ceramic tile came and they started installing it.

Thursday, March 8th
Tile Work continued and more plastering. I got access to a couple of rooms where the tile was not installed yet and started re-installing the electrical.  

Friday, March 9th
More tile work and more plastering. Finished the electrical in the living room.  

Saturday, March 10th
Long work day. plastering and tile work continued. Ran some of the main feed that runs through the house. A lot of drilling 1/2+ inch wholes through block and cement walls.  

Sunday, March 11th
No Work. Went to church in Antibonit then went to St. Mark to see the ocean. After all these years of going to help in Haiti this was my first time seeing the ocean there. Was nice and a bit cooler there.  

Monday, March 12th
Masons were gone. But the ceramic guys came and continued working. I started working on the kitchen electrical.

Tuesday, March 13th
Ceramic tile installation continued. I finished wiring the kitchen and the front porch. I also fixed the water to the sink and the toilet in the new inside, guest, bathroom. Then found that water was leaking out of the toilet tank. Once I put the light in the bathroom I will be able to see what is going on and fix it.

Wednesday, March 14th
Tile installation continues. The masons are back to finish the plastering. It is starting to look like a nice house. I am taking the morning off to rest my bad knees and get this web page updated. Then back to work this afternoon. Going to tackle more of the feed running across the house, then the bathroom, then Anita and Pastor St. Luc's bedroom. Thought I would be finished with the house tomorrow, but now it looks more like Saturday. Working in cement slows things down.

Thursday, March 15th
Tile still going down. I am working on wiring the bedrooms in the rest of the house. Making some good progress.

Friday, March 16th
No power today again. Had to start the generator to charge up the battery packs for the tools. Got sidetracked to fix the toilet drain pipe where it leaves the house. It seems that one of the masons dropped a chunk of cement on the elbow and broke it. Decided to cover the whole with the plastic from a pop bottle and apply cement over that to make the repair. It seems to be holding, and probably will for the next 20 years. But it is ugly.

They also started re-installing the doors. This made for some tense moments as I often did not have free access to the work areas and had to wait or find another way into the area I was working on.

Trash, it is everywhere outside here. It is just one of the things that we just have to get use to. I don't know why they don't pick it up, but no one does. When they are done with a bottle of water or pop or package of cookies, they just through the packaging on the ground, without a second thought. After Anita came to visit us in Minnesota, all she could talk about was just how clean it was. When she got back to Haiti she went on a clean up streak for a while.


Saturday, March 17th
No power last night, thus no fan. Made for a hot sweaty night.

Finished most of the wiring except for a light fixture in one of the bedrooms and 2 outside lights. Got sidetracked to drill a 1/2 inch drain whole in the bathroom floor so the floor would stay dry if the sink or toilet bowel were to leak. The drain whole will keep any leaks from flooding the bathroom floor.

Also got sidetracked numerous times to cut wood with the circular saw, drill wholes and screw things together. The also finished re-installing the doors to the rooms.

The house is really taking shape. when the masons finish with the outside and it gets a coat of paint inside and out it will look like a brand new house. The earthquake cracks removed or fixed, the leaking roof replaced. The uneven cement floors redone with re-bar embedded in the cement for strength and covered with ceramic tile, and new electrical. WOW what a difference!!!!


Sunday, March 18th
Today, is suppose to be a rest day, but I still have several things to do before I go the day after tomorrow. I need to install a light fixture in Pastor St. Luc's bedroom and two outside lights. For these I just need to mount the 4x4 boxes and attach the lights. The wiring has already been completed. Then I need to install a used kitchen sink that someone gave them. Inside plumbing is rather new here.

By the end of the day, the light were done both outside and in.

The sink was mounted but still needs to be hooked up. He says he can find a local plumber to come and finish it.

Monday, March 19th
Today was suppose to be a rest day. That did not work out. Spent the morning packing and getting ready to leave Tuesday morning. Then I spent the afternoon taking the equipment cupboard I built on the last mission. Seems as though this cabinet has to be moved from the house to the clinic. Once they moved the pieces to the clinic, I then re-assembled it in the clinic and re-loaded it with all of the tools and supplies. I got finished just in time to take a shower and get some sleep.

Tuesday, March 20th
Up at about 4:30 AM and double checking everything at least twice. Passport, cloths, paperwork and a snack (the rest of the smoked almonds I brought with me a month ago.). Pastor St. Luc was ready to go at 5:30 AM and had made sure the Isuzu had enough antifreeze and oil to make the trip to Port-au-Prince. And we were on our way.

Got to the airport just before 8:00 AM. Got all checked in and took off for Florida just after 10:00 AM. Got to Ft. Lauderdale at about noon.

Wednesday, March 21th
Left Ft. Lauderdale for Minneapolis at about 1:00 AM. Got to Minneapolis at about 3:00 AM and to the hotel 3:30.

At 10:00 AM we left for home and Northern Minnesota. Got home about 3:30 PM and went to bed for some much needed sleep.

The mission is now complete and was a wonderful success.

Some Miscellaneous Photos From The Past Mission:

Picture of part of the Banana garden.
Some Bananas in the garden.
Their belongings from the house stacked in the middle of the yard, with my little buddy Elie sitting in front of the pile.
The clinic where I am staying with cloths lines stretched down the walk path.

The new metal roof material. Wood for beams to hold it up is not here yet.
A family of chickens.
If you look you will see 2 houses off in the distance.
Some pretty flowering bushes that are part of the living fence around the compound.

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