Back To Haiti In 2022
Haiti in 2022 is extremely dangerous with a Level 4 No Travel Restriction from the State Department. At the end of January Manmi Love, Warehouse Manager/Volunteer Charlie, my son Bernie and I went to Haiti to Brit's Home. I won't get into detail how we got there, but I will say it was dangerous, weird and rewarding all at the same time. I've made hundreds of trips to Haiti over the past twelve years and I stopped counting 7 years ago when I hit a hundred trips! Bernie and I haven't been to Haiti since the end of October, Manmi Love since the end of November and Charlie for 2 years or so. We all work everyday in Haiti thanks to Technology that Bernie has set up over the years. Zoom is alive and well in Haiti at Brit's Home and Mysterway stepped up to be in charge while Love was getting a much deserved rest in the States. We decided on a surprise entrance, no one knew we were coming, not even our kids or Mysterway, then we could really see how our years of training had paid off! Most of the kids were at the beach when we arrived and the staff at Brit's Home were yelling and cheering, yes it's nice to feel loved and appreciated! Bernie walked into the TonTon (Uncle Bernie's) Tech Center to Screams of Joy and disbelief, what he had been able to do remotely and before he left in October had worked and we all stayed connected! Success was all of ours and was felt by all of us that surprising day!
The "Stair-Master" is what some of the Haitian Carpenters call me, I LOL as I try to teach them the math involved with rise and run to make stairs correctly. That was my goal for the week, the son of a Fireman always puts 2 or even 3 ways of egress out of a building or courtyard and this location was no exception. I love to work with wood, but I love the beauty of a combination of green and brown stone with concrete and that is what we are building. Gama and Dave, do you remember the Amazing Gama who was my right hand my first 5 years in Haiti? He now has a successful construction company and guest house building, I'm so proud of him! Gama and Dave assisted me with the stair stringers and I once again tried to teach Davidson the math on how I figure out the rise and run of a stairway. We had great success as no one got their fingers cut off and now we are waiting for the landing to be built and be used as a sump for the water coming out of the entire courtyard area of the transition housing. Next is pouring the Landing of the stairway which meant we would have to pour the walkway inside the doorway to achieve the exact height needed. I had two crews of masons, one pouring the walkway and landing and the other crew doing the stone work underneath the stairway. I love to teach and to show this technique, which was fun but challenging for me at the same time. The rebar needed to go under the stringer and yet be above the stone work below, it went together like Magic and many were surprised by my teachings, but they sucked it up for a future day ahead of them! I only had a week to get this Zipped up as we call it in the trades and I was under the gun and they delivered by working overtime for 2 extra days in a row, they love the extra pay and admiration from me! The end result is simply beautiful and structurally sound for the 100 year goal of building everything to last a century!
Charlie was working full time plus some as he hadn't been to Haiti for 2 years and collaboration was good, but the organization of things in Haiti needed Charlie's magical touch. I always empower Charlie to be Boss and Teacher and he does both so well... He jumped right into room 5 which was loaded to the gills with medical supplies incase we needed it with Covid. After removing, organizing and donating to the local clinic and hospital what we didn't need, we had room to see what was there. Joe is Charlie's guy on the Haiti side, he was never trained because he took the job over during covid, so he couldn't embrace all we expected and Charlie stepped up to train him too. We pay Charlie very little as he is retired, but the photo below is his real pay at Brit's Home!
TonTon Bernie as he is known at Brit's Home is the uncle to all of our 66 children, he walked up the mountain with me on 9-24-10 which was when we found the land in Grand Goave and he hasn't left my side since. Bernie graduated from High School and went to College for 4 years without his sister Brit's guidance and Love. He went from the Middle Child to the Eldest in 20 seconds of the Haiti Earthquake. Like me, he decided to embrace his faith and the tragedy of losing his sister, he could have went the other way and that's fine, but he took the hard road, the one that needed to be built first by him and then find purpose in such a horrific fait... Bernie went right to work installing a first for us, a portable movie screen and a projector that works off of the computer, the kids are loving TonTon right now! Next he went to TonTon Bernie's Tech Room and fine tuned the schedule of our Teacher to allow the right amount of time for our kids to not only learn technology, but learn English at the same time as our Goal is for them all...
I want to thank Manmi Love who has been a trooper these past few months in the US and in Haiti, she continues to shine her light on all she meets. The photo of her and I is on the land we just purchased in Delray Beach, FL for our future Transition Home so when some of our kids go to College in the USA, they will have a place to call home! We are blessed to have all of our team members, but truly blessed to have Love on our Team. I wanted to share with you a couple of photos of my trip with some of my kids and sharing God's Love at Worship on Sunday morning!
Keeping the Faith in Haiti and the USA!!!