Friday, December 31, 2010

Post # 10, Cholera Clinic & Haitian Voodoo.

This is Enel and Jonathan.  Jonathan wasn't with our team but he joined our team and work as he arrived here the same day we did.  He used to live in Haiti with his parents.  He speaks Creole.  Enel is putting himself through computer school by selling art work cards.  He is Bud and Jane's 'adopted' son.  Enel went with us when we had to travel by land east to the Dominican Republic.  It was a fiasco getting into and out of Haiti.  It took us about an hour to cross into the DR getting our passports stamped, filling out customs paperwork, paying our $10 fee each and, believe it or not, they made us wash our hands.  Then we chartered a bus, about $150 for the whole team, and we rode for 2 hrs. or so to Santiago and bought tickets on an American Airlines flight to Miami.  My carry on bag flunked  x-ray in Omaha, Miami, and back in Miami.  The first 2 times it was ok'd with a pair of scissors in it and I didn't even think about it.  I was just worried about my pocket knife.  It's amazing the difference between Haiti and the DR.  Haiti is black, speaks Creole and French, and has been dominated by Voodoo.  The DR is Hispanic, speaks Spanish, the country is cleaner and more like the US.  There is more prosperity.  We went into a grocery store as nice as any in this country.  Our credit cards worked at the check out.

The building on the left is the old guest house but was turned into the Cholera house.  The one on the right is the clinic.  It is a big L shaped building .  People came in the main gate behind me and to the right and down this path to these clinics including a dental clinic.

This is Dr. Sidak and Dr. Allison.  We were taking a tour of the English speaking or missionary kids school.  Notice everything is walled like this.

This is Emmanuel Felix, Jr.
I took this photo of him on his front porch.  I just walked up and introduced myself.  He lives on the compound 3 homes to the right of the house I was in.  This day, December 9, 2010, is his 78th birthday.  He was born in 1932.  He produces and delivers one of the Bible programs on 4VEH Radio station.  He has a very colorful Haitian history.  He wrote this book "Understanding Haitian Voodoo".  (next photo)  The book was published 2009 by Xulon Press.  See

Brother Felix said, "Voodoo isn't a cultural tradition it is a religion.  Voodoo means god".  He listed a chronology of events that has shaped Haiti as a nation.
1492     Columbus lands on this island and names it Hispaniola claiming it for Spain.
1500's   First Africans taken to Hispaniola for labor.
1625     The French settle on the northwest part of the island.
1697     Spain gives the west part of the island to France; it becomes Haiti, Land of Mountains.
1751     Slaves rebel in the north led by a Voodoo priest.  He was captured by the French in 1758 and           publicly executed.
1791     August 14, A Voodoo ceremony was held dedicating the nation to Voodoo gods in return for victory against the French.
1801     Former black slave Louverture leads a rebellion, conquering Haiti and freeing slaves all over Hispaniola.
1804     Haiti gains independence from France, becoming the world's first black republic and only successful slave rebellion.
1915     US invades Haiti following internal conflict, occupies until 1934, continues fiscal control until 1947.
1956     Voodoo doctor Duvalier becomes dictator by military coup.  When he dies his son Jean-Claude follows as self-declared president for life.
1986     Jean-Claude flees Haiti amid mounting discontent.
1990     Jean-Bertrand Aristide, former Catholic priest is elected President, By 1991, he is ousted by a military coup.
2003     Voodoo is recognized as a national religion, under Aristide's second term government.
2004     Amid celebrations of Haiti's bicentenary, violent political opposition to Aristide forces him into exile.
2010     (my entry) Jan.12 earthquake devastates Port-au-Prince, hurricane sweeps over the Island, cholera strikes.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Post # 9, Septic Tank Project, old 4VEH building, vanity project.

This is Jr., Lane and Floyd mixing concrete in the bucket of the New Holland loader tractor and pouring two septic tank lids to replace this metal one at Holiday House and a rotten plywood one at Bud and Jane's house.

This is the lid for the Holiday House septic tank.  It has a 3/4" key way to keep it over the hole.  I thought I would grace it with a shamrock, being from O'Neill and all.  Plus I gave it the Van Horn brand, since Lane helped with the project (VH), plus the date.  While I was finishing it two Haitian girls came by, 15 & 16, and we visited a little bit.  I told them I was a truck driver, which they say chauffeur, and they must have come back by and drew the car on there.

This is Amigo, with the hammer, and Jr..  Amigo made this bookshelf from scratch and painted it the same day.  This woodworking shop is in the old 4VEH building on the main compound.  That's an Estwing hammer he is holding.  Many of the power tools are Sears Craftsman.  Materials and tools and repairs are hard to come by.  MAF flies in supplies at cost which is $1.60 a # from Florida plus the cost of the item plus customs.  Notice how thin Jr. is.  He is 16 yrs. old.   I paid him a US dollar for helping me with the septic lid project and I gave him 2 more dollars and asked him to give them to Amigo as a Christmas present.  Later Amigo found me and thanked me for the gift and told me he gave his friend, not Jr., one of the dollars.  It shocked me he gave away part of what he couldn't afford to loose.  Those who hurt the most understand compassion the best.

This is looking out the front door from the back of the shop.

This is a plumbing supply room in the back.

This is the vanity in mine and Lyle's room. The top had rotted through and sagged.  It turned out the cure was going to be worse than the problem, long story.  So I braced up the sink underneath and re-caulked the corners, except my caulk was clear instead of white.  Doesn't look real snappy but it doesn't let water in now anyway.  This is the 'before' photo.  Didn't put up the 'after' photo.

I was attempting to install this Corian top but it is only 43" wide and the hole was 49" wide.  Plus the sink needed to be off-set to the right to not hit the drawer in the vanity, and there were no shut-offs on the water lines.  When I shut the water off to the house the handle broke off, it had rusted in-two.  Technically, due to water rot and termite eating, I wanted to tear out the whole vanity and start over.  That is what needs to happen.  I needed the right top, lumber ready, and a key so I could get in and out of the shop without looking for Bud.  It was too much.  I opted for the temporary fix.  Bud is still stuck with the problem.  I saw a ton of maintenance needs on the compound.  Roof leaks, fascia boards rotting off, razor wire down and broken, electrical nightmares, old plumbing valves with no handles, leaky faucets, trees that need trimmed and removed, trash that needs raked up and burned...anybody want to volunteer to go help these folks out?  This was the spare bed in my room.  My bed is to the left with the mosquito net hanging over it.  I was bitten by mosquitoes several times that week.   We've all been taking malaria and typhoid pills.

Post # 8, The Garden, Radio Station 4VEH, & Men.

The garden was toward the back of the compound.  The left side is big heads of cabbage.  Notice the compound is right up against a mountain.

This banana tree jungle is also part of the garden.  Jane was showing the team around the compound.

This is a broke down tap-tap on the compound.  Notice the seating for customers.  The engine block is laying there needing a major overhaul.  That's a child swing seat to the left.

This furniture shop is inside the front of the compound.  These Haitians come in every day and make tables and chairs.  This is private enterprise.  Not mission work.  They rent this space.  Coach Shaw is in the photo.  Trees never stop growing in Tropical climates.  They don't have growth rings as in climates where it freezes.  The wood grain is very clear or white.  This cabinet shop is outside.  There is a roof along the wall under which they keep projects and tools.  Behind the wall to the left is main street.

Radio station 4VEH.  Started in 1946, but not in this building, this is state of the art and a new facility.  4VEH stands for La Voix Evangelique d'Haiti (the Evangelistic Voice of Haiti).  G.T. Bustin had a vision for a Bible training school in Haiti.  God had already used him to establish mission work on Andros Island in the Bahamas, and New Guinea was calling him as well.  Brother Bustin had a vivid dream of a place in Haiti he hadn't seen even though he had just recently visited Haiti.  Two years later he went back to Haiti and traveled 200 miles across country from Port-au-Prince to Cap-Haitien in the north.  As they were driving down the road, near Cap-Haitien, Brother Bustin exclaimed, "This is the place I saw in my dream!"  The land was for sale and this is the beginning of the OMS work in Haiti.

The Missionaries have Church at 3 on Sunday afternoon in the up-stairs of the Radio Station.  Some of our team attended.

I asked this girl in Creole if I could take her picture.  I said, "Eske muen kapab fe foto ou?"  She said, "I speak English and yes you can take my photo!"  How cute. I think she had been adopted by one of the missionaries.  She is probably a US citizen and English is probably her first language.

Neil and Ruth Tompkins are on the right.  I didn't get the Haitien guy's names.  Neil is our team leader.  This was his 5th trip to Cap-Haitien in the last 30 years and Ruth's 1st.  Neil is a rancher and dairy farmer and Ruth is a registered Nurse.  Several of us have been having dreams of our time in Haiti.  Their is no glamour in medicine.  They don't work with well people, they work with sick people.  I personally couldn't stomach it.  I did a walk through and couldn't wait to leave the building and never went back.  Our health team worked there around the clock taking shifts.  I had a cut on my finger that became infected.  I put triple antibiotic ointment on it and the next day it turned pink and was healing.  I saw many Haitiens with sores on their arm or leg.  I wonder, I bet they don't have access to the simple things we have our medicine cabinets full of, peroxide, alcohol, ointment's etc..

I really wanted this picture.  These men came to the compound every day.  These are all Neil's friends.  They all speak English, some better than others.  They were all outside the Holiday House where I stayed so I grabbed the photo op.  Neil had a bag of prescription glasses between his legs.  He and Robyn had spent a couple of days fitting hundreds of pairs on Haitians that came to the clinic.  He had just been fitting these guys with some glasses.  It took me about 3 days to start sorting these guys out as far as names and their association with the missionaries and their faces.  These guys really loved us.  They are very grateful for the missionaries that have helped their people over the years.  When I go back, I want to see all of them and get to know them better.  Any one of them could help you learn to speak Creole.  It is amazing how close you get to these men in just a few days.  I can actually say I love these men.  I am no better than any one of them.  Did you know they have a very hard time getting Visas.   Missionaries have tried to get them Visas to come and visit the US but it is difficult.  These men are, back, L-R; Anlnd, Jonas, Federme, Pastor Benjamin, and Wilfred.  Front, L-R; Wadner (LoLo) Thermidor, Neil T., Peter Fuento.  Peter is a football (soccer) star.  He is 6-3 1/4" tall.  I measured him with my tape measure.  He showed me a picture of his soccer team he had in his wallet.  He reminded me of my nephew Casey.  I gave Jonas my cap.  He is holding a machete.  He uses it to trim trees.  Pastor Benjamin took Neil, Coach and Jonathan to his home when we were in lock down.  That didn't go over very well but it turned out ok.  Wadner is amazing.  Enough good can't be said about him.  He helped us continually.  Speaks English fluently, loves the Lord, just a servant.  Jonas is in this same category.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Post # 7, A walkabout with Jane.


Jane, our Hostess Missionary (center), took our team on a walk outside the compound.  She said she had never taken a whole team before.  We lived on the other side of the wall to our left.  So what you are seeing is just outside the OMS compound.  The adult Haitian to the right talking to the 2 boys is Wadner 'LoLo', Thermidor.  He speaks English very well and came into the compound everyday. 

We stepped in through the iron gates and these boys followed us.  They proceeded to make small kites on the hood of this car.  These trashed out cars are all over the city.  Their is no iron salvage.  Where is Husker Salvage when you need it?  This is private property and the front yard is so full of banana trees you can't see the house.  Wadner told us the owner played in a rock band and was a drug dealer and was killed.  His friends squat on his property.  It is their home now.  These cars are free game for anything you can salvage off them.  The windows get broken out and the seats taken and that is about it.  Our compound is on the other side of the wall you see outside the gate.

Jane said this mason is a Christian from one of the local churches.  This is one of the hundreds of hand pump wells around the city.  He was repairing it.  He took the handle off so nobody could pump water until his mortar set up.  He gave us permission to photograph him. 

This is another well not far away.  A different style base.  I don't know why.  The boy is pumping and Wadner is drinking.  We never drank from these wells.  The Haitians use it for everything, cooking, bathing, drinking, laundry, etc..

This is Robin and Carl Henry.  This is Carl's house.  One room.  This is everything.  Bed to the left, a plastic chair to the left and a chair to the right just inside the door.  You can see the book shelves.  His cell phone is on the stand.  Everybody has cell phones.  When your time runs out, you save up for another card.  I don't know where his clothes were.  He had a small padlock at the top of the door on the outside.  The door was 3/4 inch plywood.  Carl speaks English very well and is a Believer.  Most of these Haitian men graduated from Emmaus Seminary I believe.  They are really gentle and helpful young men.  OMS has had this compound here for 50 years.  These men grew up with OMS.  They are what you call second generation and there is some third generation now.  God is really becoming entrenched in Haiti.  God is really helping these people overcome voodoo, illiteracy and poverty.

By the time our walkabout was ending we had an entourage.  Like the Pied Piper.  The children wanted to follow us around and wanted us to take their picture and show it to them right away on the camera.  Jonathan used to live in Haiti, (orange shirt to the left), and he speaks Creole fluently.  Some men sneered at us and swore at us on the walkabout and Jonathan turned to them and said, "I speak Creole"... they apologized and moved away.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Post # 6, Electrical Project.

This is a power pole back by the garden.  There are only 2 code 'rules'.  1. So it won't kill you.  2.  So it works.  Green is probably hot.  Colors mean nothing  and 12 gauge will carry anything any distance.  Notice the coconut tree over the wall.  If I were security here, all that green by, over, and on the wall would be gone.    The next few photos is of Lyle and I doing a temporary fix on a temporary fix until the lineman comes down and transfers all the wiring over to the new pole, but on a different pole than this one.

This is Bud's boom tractor.  We've got to go up and drill through both poles and run ready rod through to tie both poles together so we can take the binders down.  Bud needs them somewhere else.  This is a different pole than the picture above.

We have all of our tools laid out and the 'boom-tractor' is ready to go.  A previous missionary made that contraption on the forks of the loader to 'secure' the extension ladder.  It really is handy on high work.  It's fairly safe when leaned against your project.  It's a lot better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick!  Ha!
A tree branch had fallen on the guy wire and snapped the pole in half because the wires were holding it firm the other way. They hurried up and set a new pole beside the broken one but haven't had the time to transfer all the connectors and wire over to the new pole.  So Bud wrapped 2 binders around it to keep it from breaking completely apart.   He wants his binders for another project so Lyle and I are on the scene.  Neil T. and Bud started out with us but got called off on some other emergency.  I believe it was a toilet that was running over.

Above.  See Bud's 2 cable binders?  See where the pole is snapped in half?

Above.  See the binders are gone and a ready rod above and below is through the poles like an arrow?  The fun part was drilling through from both sides and aligning up the holes.  Both worked first time.  That is the kind of things your prayers take care of.  I never once felt unsafe on this compound or on any of our travels.  That was because of your prayers also.  Thank you!  This job is 'safe' now until the lineman gets here to transfer it all over in a few months.
(Left)  Lyle was pointing to the worn out chisel tips on this John Deere  plow.  The plow was by the garden.  Don't you just Lovet, Lyle?  Ha!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Post # 5, Garbage is a problem.

Joetta was driving us back to the OMS compound after dinner.  These 3 gate columns were built by the French around 1700 and marked the entrance into Cap Haitian.  This is Sunday about 2:30pm.

We are following tap-taps through town.  Notice the open storm ditch and the garbage in it.  They have no sewer system, no street lights, no garbage pick-up etc..

The garbage lays in windrows along the street like this.  Goats and cattle and dogs and rats etc. eat off it.  Can you imagine the smell in the heat of Summer?  We drove along this right after eating Dinner.

The men in hard hats were forming curb to pour concrete and the guy on the motorcycle just happened into the frame as the shutter tripped..  See the man on the right pushing a wheelbarrow?  In the US men drive pickups.  In Haiti, wheelbarrows.  All over you see 'Banks', top left of photo, no, they sell lottery tickets.

This is the beach.  Let me get my picnic basket and towels and wife and kids and lets go wading and swimming, not!  The 2 big boats on the beach are wrecks.  There is a bigger ship in the Harbor.  Notice the mountains in the background.  Haiti means land of mountains.  There is a 10,417' peak in the Dominican Republic just east of here about 50 miles.  I don't have the picture but just to the right of this, less than a half mile, they dump garbage out into the ocean and have made a peninsula out into the bay.  Why don't they take it inland and burn it?

Post # 4, Artwork at the Christophe.

This is a carved and painted mask hanging on the wall in the lobby.

This is obviously French soldiers when they first entered a 'pristine' Haiti.

This is Haitians at their daily life.  I have no idea the actual title of these pieces of artwork nor the artist.  This wasn't a museum and I didn't have a guide.

This is a very large and heavy bronze on the floor and it looks like a slave longing for his freedom.
Slavery is as old as mankind.  In the apostle Paul's day their were 60 million slaves in the Mediterranean area.  Today we call slavery a job.  We trade time for dollars.  A lot of people work just hard enough to not get fired and they get paid just enough to not quit.  Bondage is tragic in any form.

Short and sweet.  Bet you didn't think I could do it!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Post #3, Sunday Dinner at The Hotel Cristophe, 12/5/'10.

Ok, above , we just parked and are headed in.  Jane took our orders yesterday, that way they had plenty of time to bring us cold food, and it was.  Hot food isn't a priority in Haiti we discovered.  The place is beautiful with tons of history.  This place was built in the 1700's for Napoleon's sister.  I ordered Fish in white sauce.  It was probably Grouper.  I had it in the Keys when I was trucking and it is as good a flavor as any fish.  Fantastic!  We had a huge platter of rice and one of french fries also.  Coke was a specialty here in Haiti.  It is sweetened with cane sugar and comes in 500ml. bottles.  Have you had your 'jolt' today?  It was better than US Coke.

Above, this is the Lobby to the Hotel.  A gal is behind the desk way back at the end.  There was a lot of nice art work in here which I will feature on my next post.  There are no windows and doors in Haiti except for security.  Windows will have screens and bars but no glass except louvers at the bottom in case the eaves don't keep the rain out.  The next photo is to the right of this room on the veranda.

We are waiting to be called in for Dinner.  I'm a farm kid.  Dinner is at noon, supper is 6 pm.  The young man in the middle in black is Jonathan.  He isn't on our team but we 'adopted' him and made our team, 12 people.  He speaks Creole fluently, as do our 2 Hostesses Mary Lou, left front and Joetta, right front.  Jonathan flew into Cap Haitian also but Bud and Jane forgot about him and didn't pick him up so he had to take 3 Tap-Tap's to get to our compound.  He said it cost about $7.00 US to get to us.  It is a 6 mile drive and because the roads are so full of pot holes and have so much traffic, it's a 45 min drive.  Tap-Tap's only go so far and turn around and you have to hop another.  Jonathan and Lane, another person on our team hit it off pretty good being about the same age.  I called Lane Jesus since he had taken a Nazarite vow not to let a razor touch his head.  I told him I was really glad god was with us!

This is me by a safe at the front desk, it says Hotel Roi Christophe.  On my tie I'm wearing an Aggate my grandma Brady gave me, a pair of baby feet in protest of abortion, 10 week size of a baby's feet, and a heart with a band aid on it in memory of veterans who have served our country.  Note the 60/60 time piece on my belt loop.  Thanks Pastor Paul.  It was easy to set and I always knew the day and date and the temperature in Celsius and Fahrenheit.

This is the spread.  Very nice and relaxing.  The door at the back looks through the lobby and onto the veranda where we were waiting.  Notice all the 500 ml. bottles of Coke.  Our Haitian waiter is to the right.  The ambiance would be worthy of a honeymoon.  Notice the huge china cabinet behind Nancy and Lyle to the left.  Some of the dishes we had were Curried Goat, Peppered Steak, beef Kabobs, and Shrimp.

This is Jane and Bud.  A pair of amazing people from PA who God called only recently to be main cogs for OMS at the compound and in this ministry.  Jane was with us day and night briefing us and taking us on tours of the various ministries.  She is head of the Star Fish ministry.  They have 8000 children in their many Star Fish Schools and almost 2000 of them are sponsored @ $25 a month.  Jane said she needed almost 500 more sponsors.  Please consider becoming a sponsor.  You will truly be laying up treasures in Heaven.  Remember, you can't take it with you but you can send it on ahead.  Contact OMS at or phone 1-317-881-6751.  Bud is in charge of Maintenance, Generators, Grounds, and Security.  They covet our prayers and financial support.  Visit their Blog at  If you Google them you can find more interesting stuff like a radio interview when they were home in PA.

Post # 2, Going to a National Church Sunday morning in Haiti.

When I pulled the tarp to roll it up, because it had been wet from yesterday covering our luggage on our ride from the airport, this tarantula, as big as my hand, crawled out from under it.  Freaked us all out.  Huge photo opp..  We rolled up the tarp and when we got home from church he was gone.  This was right outside our front door.

This is looking back at the front gate of the OMS compound, where we lived for the week.  The guard shack is behind the left gate post.  The man at left in the pink crocs is the guard on duty or leaving duty.  They are there 24/7.  Because of the elections, someone wrote graffiti on both sides of the gate and  Bud, one of the resident Missionaries, had it painted over until after the election when they would paint it right.  The young man in red is Jr..  He is 16 and was visiting someone on the compound.  He was on probation for entering and stealing out of one of the Missionary's homes.

(Below) This is Dr. Allison, on the steps, and Lyle as we entered the church building.  Upstairs was the meeting room.  It was packed.  There were truss rafters and tin and you could feel the heat radiating on your head as we sat there.  It must be sweltering in the Summer.  The Haitians dressed better than we did by far.  All men wore ties and suits if they preached or led worship etc..  The ladies wore dresses and many wore head coverings, a rare submission these days, see 1Cor.11.  We couldn't take pictures without asking permission so that is why I have only 1 photo inside the service. 

(Below) This is Mary Lou.  She has been in Haiti 30 years and speaks Creole fluently.  We had head sets on and she spoke quietly translating what was being said in the service.  She went to the pulpit and shared how she had been robbed of her laptop computer at knife point at her home on the compound, just this week, and praised God that no greater harm was done.  Our compound is 35 acres with 8' block walls all around topped with razor wire and 3 guards with flashlights roaming around all night, so we don't know how the robber got in.  She took a leave for the States while we were there, for post traumatic stress counseling.

After the service, we collected up outside to go to Dinner.  We left before communion because of the contamination of cholera.  I don't know if they pass the cup or what?  This boy just happened to run by as I snapped the photo.

On the way from Church to the Christophe Hotel for Dinner, we traveled through the streets of Cap Haitian.  The streets were very busy all the time except when there was political unrest.  Then, every half mile, the Haitians would drag trees, trash, old tires and old cars into the street and light them on fire.  Roadblocks every half mile.  They did it twice the week we were there.  Quite a stink!  On those days we were compound bound, except for our leader Neil, Coach Shaw, and Jonathan.  There was a breech in communication and they went for a long walk-about into a residential area, with a Haitian of course.  No harm was done.  The pickup to the right is what they call a 'Tap-Tap'.  We call them Taxi's.  They drive up and down the street and you jump on and when you want off you tap-tap the side and get off and pay the driver.  The back has benches built inside and they fill clear full and 4 ride on the bumper.  I even saw them laying on the hood.  Maybe he was the blinker although all you maneuver by is your horn.  The faster you go, the sooner you start honking your horn.

I used to drive flatbed over the road.  Not like these.  These are Haitian flatbed 'trailers'.  Just pulling the thing around empty would get you in shape let alone putting anything on it. 

Next post will be at the Christophe Hotel for a huge dinner.  This Hotel was most recently owned by the DuPont's for a vacation home.  It was originally built by Napoleon Bonaparte for his sister in the 1700's.  It's the nicest place I saw in Haiti.  Remember, just west of Cap Haitian is where Christopher Columbus, from Spain, landed when he 'discovered' America in 1492.  This place has amazing history.  One of his ships sank out here in the harbor. 

What do you get when you throw a bomb into a floor covering store?  Linoleum  blown-apart!  Ha!