Monday, October 5, 2015

School, gardens and Creole classes

Dry river bed.
First Monday back home:

Anna and I started our day working on cleaning and organizing both desks and the school room. Then we shared breakfast with Wes, Susie, and Sarah before starting our school day.

Cory ate earlier but after breakfast attempted to teach us adults how to do laundry in our broken washing machine (needing manual off/on switching of the drain pump). Very complicated but I did take notes and he managed to get three loads of wash done before heading out to see the rental gardens.

From 9-12 Creole lessons occurred while Anna and I continued to work on school. Met. Alert will be teaching Creole 3 hours a day for the next four weeks or so to the Munsell family.

We intend to learn as well as there are many words in Creole we don't know yet.

After chicken-rice casserole for lunch, the office and school work continued.

One mystery did get cleared up when Jean Pierre returned from a trip to Cap Haitian. This morning we could not find our bag of clothespins. And having cleaned the vast majority of the house we could not imagine where it could be ??

One of the 70 peach palms in a rental garden (left side).
Well we have an inside-clothesline that runs across Anna's and the schoolroom/office. One windy day he'd moved it to a hook behind Anna's bedroom door. Guess she didn't hear us talking about where in the world the bag could be?!

Cory worked on trimming some of the pathways that over-grew while we were gone and fixed a problem with the water pump electric cord.

The pump had heavy use with the drought this summer and the guys kept the nursery and young campus trees well watered.

The peach palm rental garden took 16 buckets of water each week, sometimes more. Gene and Yvon had to wheel barrow two trips each from a large pit dug in the river bed at least a 15 minute walk away. The pit was dug by local people to get water for washing clothes, etc.

Many people told them it was useless to try but after a while saw the good results and changed their minds.

 The peach palms and other fruit trees in the garden did well, most of them making good growth despite almost no rain for 3 months. It looks like only one fruit tree and one peach palm were lost, due to the weeders hired by the garden's owner.

It should be peanut harvest time now but only some of the gardens have recently been planted and young peanuts, corn and beans are growing or germinating.

The cocoa, breadfruit, and many of the other summer crops were lost, but will resume in a few months if recent rains continue.

Anna and Sarah spent some time after school getting exercise while playing volleyball. Mid-90's and muggy today.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Fall cleaning!

Almost 5 p.m. and I'm writing this while waiting for my potatoes for chowder to cook.

A very long, tiring but good day back in Fauche where the weather remains cool [for us being 84 is] and cloudy.

Very thankful for rains. No rain for three months meant no gardens or corn crops and very few bananas to eat either.

Accomplished today:

  • Water jugs washed, and water filtered.
  • Majority of the house from ceilings to floors deeply cleaned . Three months without rain and only screens over the windows leaves lots of places for dust to gather. Cory remarked he cleaned spots he didn't even do with our home study! With the recent rain, we should not need to deal with dust for a while. 
  • Gardens and plant nursery inspected, with the trees looking good considering the lack of rain.
  • We unpacked all the bags and put most of the items in their places.  I did most of the unpacking this afternoon, so there are a couple of boxes of items for Cory and Anna to put away. Nothing broke!
  • Truck washed and cleaned.
  • Unpacked items that went into storage when we left in June.
  • Creole lessons set up for our teammates who Cory will go to Cap Haitian tomorrow to pick up as they plan to fly from Port-au-Prince north. Wes, Susie, and Sarah arrived in Haiti last week and will be visiting for six weeks or so, for language study.
  • Chatted with Jean Pierre, a few other friends, and Mme. Danny [who spent the morning cleaning the kitchen, washing dishes and storage containers,  pasteurizing fresh milk,  as well as making Haitian Spaghetti for lunch]. 
  • Blog posted.
  • Potato corn chowder made.
It really feels like Saturday today, but as it's Friday we will have family night after supper. Cory will do some major shopping in Cap Haitian tomorrow as well as pick up our guests.

Anna and I will organize to get ready for class on Monday and prepare the guest house.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Ready to go...

Packing 98% done. Cleaning about the same amount. My brother's family will come for supper to visit with us. Good-byes to Cory's family done, as well as several members of our home church.

The completed Konsey book for children price quote came this week, and so we plan to place an order for 15,000 books.

Tomorrow we need to be at the Grand Rapids airport by 4 a.m. We will have short layovers in Chicago and Miami before heading to Haiti. Lord willing we should be back home in Fauche by supper time.

Second only to unpacking, will be rapidly preparing the guest house for one of the Global Partner's families joining our Haiti team as they will be flying to Northern Haiti this weekend to start their Creole language training.

Sunday will be our first time since June 7th, 17 weeks ago, to visit the same church twice.

I know we will be thinking of our home church, Allegan Wesleyan  church that will be having their last service before closing their doors.

Seven generations of my family attended Allegan Wesleyan, since the first day it started back on March 19, 1870.

Please be in prayer for the members as they mourn and look for new locations to worship.

Other prayer requests include: Eli at Calvin, travel to Haiti, Haiti team meeting tomorrow, adoption process, F, transition back to Haiti, Anna's school year,  Daybreak house flip, Haiti's presidential election on Oct. 25, tensions between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

House flip and stuff....

The week continues to speed by filled with: packing, organizing, jerky making, school work, book editing, an e-mail update, and a couple of meetings.
Eli will spend his first weekend away from college this weekend, as we plan to pick him up tomorrow afternoon.

If you do not get e-mail updates or prayer requests from us [one sent today, as well as an email sent to recorded prayer partners this week] and would like to please let us know!

Some photos from the house Habitat for Missions and Daybreak church plan to renovate and sell to support!!

 A wonderful bit of news, we learned last week.

We enjoyed meeting a few of the team and look forward to getting regular updates about the project, so we can pray specifically.

We plan to enjoy the weekend with Eli. Continue to organize our space and then visit Marshall Wesleyan on Sunday.

Last week, we enjoyed a visit to Faith Community Wesleyan.

In addition to connecting with the folks at the church again I introduced Cory and Anna to one of my freshman college roommates, and enjoyed meeting her husband and son.

Starting to weigh the checked luggage as the packing continues.

If we repeat our normal pattern, a few items will be removed from the bags next week to make room for more important items!

With less than one week before we return to Haiti, we are starting to feel the good-byes and enjoy a few last meals of foods we cannot get in Haiti.

School work is starting to get pushed aside as well with more 'important' events to take time for like: visiting family, watching TV, and last-minute shopping.

Please pray for us this weekend and next week, as the mixed feelings that always accompanies switching countries continue to build.

We continue to wait to hear if the updating of our truck paperwork is done.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Anna's exciting day.

We enjoyed celebrating my Dad's birthday and folks anniversary at the local Allegan County Fair on Tuesday night: seeing the exhibits, enjoying some fair food like elephant ears, listening to local talent show semi-finalists, and a bit of rodeo.

Wednesday night we enjoyed some time with one of our nieces after filling the day with packing, shopping, school and more.

Anna used some frozen venison to make jerky to bring back to Haiti.

Thursday we went to visit Cory's folks and do a bit of yard work.

We contacted Eli to see if he would be free for lunch and then we all enjoyed a Chinese buffet before seeing a bit of Calvin's campus when we dropped Eli back off.

He continues to do well with his adjustment.

Yesterday we worked on paperwork and packing. We had checked on our flights for September 30th mid-week and could not find our third flight, into Cap Haitian.

On Friday our travel agent responded to our e-mail confirming that the flight had been canceled and he had not been informed.

So now we plan to fly to Haiti on October 1st. Lord willing we will make the whole trip from my folks to home in one day. Three bags packed so far.

Last night we hosted our niece and a friend who attended a concert at the fair. Giggles kept us up past our bed time and Anna getting up early to go dear hunting with my dad woke us up early.

With our return to Haiti before the November deer season Anna's only chance to hunt this year was with the Michigan Youth Hunt.

With the cutting of trees and shrinking woods in the area my folks do not see near as many deer as they did even a a year ago and only rarely this summer.

But in less than 10 minutes this morning, with just enough light to see horns Anna shot a big 9-point buck.

She used the gun that Eli received the day he shot his buck 5 years ago.

After processing we put 80 pounds of meat in the freezer. We will enjoy some venison before we leave and make more jerky next week.