We are so blessed to be in a position to make a difference in many lives in Haiti. Among them is a special group of children. We know that our efforts are made possible by the people who join with us and support the cause. I want to recognize child sponsorship as an important part of what is being done at Project Nourish. This today we want to highlight Derek & Carolyn who have chosen to sponsor Jovanika, pictured below!
This choice will have a great impact on this child’s life in providing for schooling, and food on a regular basis, and meeting clothing needs. We really can’t know how great an impact this selfless act will have on this young girl and those around her!
We want to give a special thanks to those who support Project Nourish, and particularly today those who are committing to sponsoring a child! You make a difference!!
Recently I heard a disparaging remark about all people. I had to speak up and say that although there’s a lot of the type of things happening that this man was saying, there are also many, many kind hearts out there!! A local non-profit group just did a fund raiser to benefit Project Nourish and raised funds that will help purchase property to carry out the initial project in Haiti. There is nothing disparaging about that!
As we mention our work in various settings I’m often pleasantly surprised by how quick many are to help out. I mentioned PN to a new acquaintance at a seminar and he asked for my contact information to potentially partner with us. While filling out documents for some business in the construction field the other day, I mentioned our relief efforts and the gentleman I was working with said he had just acquired several dozen bottles of hand sanitizer and that he wanted donate them! My son mentioned our work at a church venue he is involved in and they asked him to talk about it to the group and they wrote a check to Project Nourish.
So, you donators are in good company among the givers!! Together we’ll do great things!
I don’t want to be redundant…but…I have to talk to you a little more about the water purifier that we were able to bring to Cabois. They are simply elated to have this to use regularly. With clean water being essential for a healthy body this is an extremely important device. We want to be able to bring these to other areas as well…as funding allows. Maybe that’s where you come in?? 🙂
I just got off the phone with Haiti and our Haitian team member received another call from Cabois saying how very, very happy the people are to have clean water!! They have already called several time to thank us so I want to thank you, who help us, for making this project and others possible! I am so moved by this experience and glad to be a small part of it. We (you and us) are contributing to the health and well being of other people on an everyday basis! Now that feels real good!
I should mention that the shipment of shoes should be arriving in Haiti soon too. We have been collecting new, and nearly new, shoes to send on a continual basis as they are of great importance in this type of environment. We also have some more medical supplies coming in to our office for our next shipment. An associate at work gave me a box of hand sanitizers and when I told him I wanted to send some to Haiti he informed me that he had another 10 boxes that he’d donate! There might be a lesson here…”it might not be what you have but who you know!”
“Hi” all. We’ve made some more contacts and begun relationships that hopefully prove out to be advantageous for all involved! There are a few people who have spoken to us sharing their desire to join with us by supporting our effort…and that’s exciting! It is really nice to build together and to enjoy thoughts of our potential as we work together.
Now I’ll give you an update. I received a call from a young lady that we helped start a new business. I think it was mentioned on the Sept. 7th entry, “Business Initiative”. She called to say that she began to operate the business. I asked if anyone bought anything yet and she said yes and that all the rice sold and she had to buy more! It was so exciting!! We are so happy for her and her family.
This photo shows the young lady in front of her new house/store. We are looking at a picture on my phone. Notice the small door at the left end of the building. That is where patrons purchase their goods. It is nice to see this endeavor showing early signs of success! And you contributors had a part in it!! So feel good about it with me, ok?!
I’m sure you can appreciate the importance of teamwork and how beneficial it is to efficiency and progress. Well, we have received some confirmation these few days from four churches who want to “team up” with us in helping the people of Haiti! Well, that sounds good to us! I’ll update you later as these relationships develop…
If you have finances, or a skill, or influence in potential donors maybe it’s time that you team up too! It is often the case that we feel like our contribution doesn’t amount to much…NOT SO! It’s all of us doing our part that makes BIG things happen. So if you have an idea…don’t be timid…ok?
This morning we are running around saying “goodbye” to everyone we can. It has been a great trip and were already looking forward to coming back! There will be things to check up on and new things to start as well as new people to meet. It has been simply wonderful to make connections with people that we could not have orchestrated ourselves! It’s simply divine!
We have to run so I leave you with this photo of Paul in some last moments before our departure! It seems he made a lot of new friends that will remember him and look for his return… I have been invited to go spear fishing when we come back…what do you think…am I fit enough??? Haha!!
We’re heading home today. Honestly, I want to stay here. I love the culture, the weather, the relaxed lifestyle…but I miss my friends at home and I miss fresh garden veggies. I really enjoyed the food for the first couple of days, but I tend to eat a lot of vegetables and the Haitian diet is comprised mostly of rice.
We have had a group of women cooking most of our meals; we ate twice at friends’ homes; and we ate once at a restaurant. We were certainly treated very well and served the best of what was available, but I still think it was a good representation of the types of food (though perhaps not the quantity) usually eaten in this part of Haiti. Every meal included rice and beans. Often a sauce with onions is poured over the rice. Most meals included chicken—sometimes fish, pork, or beef (but I think the Haitians often go without meat). Fried plantains are common. Another common food is pikliz (spicy pickled carrots and cabbage). A few times, we had soup containing sweet potatoes, dumplings, carrots and a variety of meats. Often fruits are used to make juices or eaten as snacks. Coconuts, bananas, mangos, and various citrus fruits are pretty common. And of course, sugar cane is always nearby.
We’re here to help, so I have been thinking about the nutrition in the food. I’m glad to see a variety of fruits as well as sweet potatoes, beans, and carrots. These foods have great nutritive value. I wish there were more green vegetables on the plate. Many of the greens I’m used to are cold weather crops, but there are plenty of healthy greens that can be grown in the tropical climate of Haiti. One of my goals is to help farmers in Cabois start growing different crops for a healthier diet.
The purifier was well received in Cabois! Our friends were so happy to have their family and friends able to drink pure water!! They have been going down the mountain quite a ways to the closest well and carrying back water in their buckets. There is a river nearby but the water is mostly very muddy and therefore they choose not to drink it. There is still the concern for bacteria and such from all the water sources. Well…with the system we brought in they can be confident to be drinking healthy water from either source after running it through the purifier.
Here we show water that was taken from the muddy river and the picture on the right shows the same water coming out of the water purifier! Wow… what a marvelous difference. Of course the greater part is what is not seen as this remarkable unit purifies water through seven filtration stages. We are so happy for this and for the help from Joe Hurston to make this possible on this trip.
We demonstrated the setup yesterday and today had the Haitian team go through the process themselves making sure they understood it all. It went great and they continue to thank us over and over again. So thank you all who have contributed to our efforts! God bless you!
We spent some time talking with the committee in Cabois regarding fresh water, food, and caring for the children. They are a great group of guys who are dedicated to helping their community develop. It is so refreshing to work with people who are already working with what they have and are determined to press on with or without outside help. Coming along side them is a joy!
We were fortunate to be on site in Cabois when John Engle came to visit and make his acquaintance. It was so nice to meet him and learn of what he and his organization are doing with schooling there in the village. He was only there for a very short time and we were blessed to meet him. We look forward to developing our relationship with him and the possibility of collaborating!
Cabois is nestled in the foothills of some impressive mountains. Along the road, we passed many vegetable gardens. Looking up at the steep mountainsides, I could see planted fields. Being a student of ecology and an amateur vegetable gardener, I took some interest. I saw one field being tilled quite heavily and fear that it may be overworked which will lead to loss of nutrients from the soil. I was still more concerned by the manner of farming on the steep slopes. That type of terrain requires special practices to preserve the land. Erosion of the topsoil is irreversible and devastating for the crops. When I get home, I will research best practices for agriculture. If you have knowledge and experience, please get in touch.
It’s becoming clear to me that waste disposal is a major issue in Haiti. The roads are littered with discarded plastic, metal, and organic waste. Besides causing an eyesore, sharp pieces of debris pose serious hazards to motorists and pedestrians. In some heavily populated areas, vast piles of garbage are burned alongside the road. The chemicals emitted by burning or decomposing wastes can taint drinking water, soil and air leading to disease.
In the short time I have been here in Haiti, I have made countless observations of people (in the city and the country) simply drop an empty water bottle on the ground or leave a pile of fruit peels in a busy walkway.
I have also seen some astonishing illustrations of reuse and conservation that we could learn from in the US. I observed a man using makeshift tools to remake coils in a speaker at the church. Everywhere I go, I pass people carrying old buckets and jugs filled with water, cooking oil, gasoline, etc. Ingenious Haitians use scraps of metal to make rather impressive (though perhaps unsightly) repairs to vehicles. Glass soda bottles are always returned to the soda company for reuse.
Wherever we work, we need to affect knowledge and culture regarding reuse and recycling. It is vital for sustained health of a community. I know a fair bit about composting, but I don’t quite know how to deal with synthetic waste. I have heard of recycling programs in Haiti. We’ll have to do some research…
We were able to carry in a little generator since it was under the fifty pound limit imposed by the airlines. It’s a tiny little thing as generators go but it has already been found useful on its arrival. The airlines had sent it to JFK by mistake so it didn’t make it to P-A-P with us; we had to send someone to retrieve it when it finally made it. As the electricity is not on all the time where we have our house/office a generator is quite helpful.|
In Cabois there is no electricity so we’d really like to get a nice, big, diesel generator up there to help out with our efforts. This is also a need in many other locations that we are working in. If you are, or know of, a donor who would like to help in acquiring one please let us know! We used the little one to operate the new water purifier on the today. We will purchase a battery which can be charged with the generator and run the purifier for a couple of days. This will save money by minimizing the need to purchase gasoline, which is very expensive.
This young mother of a little girl, living in the village of Santo, now lives in a new house. She was living in a tent when we last visited her village in June. Wow, is she happy for this upgrade in living conditions! The little house will have a partition built to separate one end for operating a store which will sell food and cooking products. The little window is where patrons will come to make their purchases. She plans to make a profit by purchasing in bulk from Port au Prince and selling at an increased price at her locale. Some of the profits are to be kept aside to pay back into our, or an affiliate, organization. We’ll be tracking this project closely and trying to guide it along.
There are also a couple of other business projects we are involved in other locations. One is a barbeque in a small village where the locals (and me when I’m there!) will be able to purchase a ready-made meal. And yet another is a fishing supplies business which will purchase mono-filament string, hooks, etc. and sell to the fishermen who launch their boats from the beach next to the young entrepreneur’s village. It works out well for the buyer and seller which all business should!
We have a few other irons in the fire too regarding business and welcome your input. We have seen success in the motorcycle taxi business and some other ventures and look forward to seeing more success in our present endeavors.
There is so much need all around here. We are only able to touch a limited amount of people with the resources available. It becomes challenging to choose who to help when, if resources were there, we’d help so many more. One thing we notice is that there are some that think we Americans are loaded with money and are supposed to just give them money. Well… I have a problem with that! It seems so much more beneficial to come along side those who are working hard to better themselves and take care of their families.
In the picture above I am helping the gentleman in the middle with his “house” which consists of sticks and boards covered with tarps. The rain had filled the roof and broke the supporting boards so we pushed the tarp up to dump out the water. It was so heavily loaded with water that he was unable to lift it himself. He has a wife and young child and no place suitable for the family to live. There are so many stories like this throughout the area. With your help, we’ll address more and more of these in the future.
The next blog entry I’ll address the business initiative we spoke of earlier. Look for that and remember to send us an email letting us know your thoughts!
We arrived in Haiti today. From the plane we could see the mountainous terrain divided into irregular farming plots, cut by dirty rivers, and spotted with crowded villages. The drive through Port-au-Prince overwhelmed my senses. There is a distinct smell of rotting vegetables, human and animal waste, and burning plastic. The road is rough and traffic is chaotic. The median of the main road is lined with tents because the safer places are covered with rubble.
As we move into the country, sights become more pleasant, but a closer look reveals struggles here too. The rivers are dirty, the earth is dry, and homes are pitiful. I can’t wrap my mind around the beauty and majesty of soaring mountains and blue seas contrasted with such horrific suffering.