Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Projects of the week

Finishing the stairs

Organizing the tools...house almost done!

Almost 2" of rain last week but it will probably be 2 more months of dry season. We are starting to dig holes now for March tree planting.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Purple leaf mystery by Cory

Local gardens being prepared, this one is unusually free of rocks

I used what looked like good topsoil from the yard to fill vegetable seedling trays.

The seedlings are very slow to germinate in the cool winter weather and many are pathetically slow growing.

The tomatoes soon were a deep purple color.

They didn't improve when transplanted into the garden.

If I hadn't seen tomatoes growing in the weeds in the neighbors yard and producing well all year I would have thought tomatoes weren't adapted here.
Tomato, this one less purple than some others

But many of the local weeds and trees have the same symptoms.

Checking on-line confirms it is phosphorus deficiency, which tends to be aggravated by root damage or wet and cool soils.

Now I regret not bringing some fertilizer.

Glad the neighbor's currently empty chicken coop has a supply of dry manure.

Sweet potato. Its pretty severe when sweet potato shows a nutrient deficiency.


Even the most common local shrub sometimes gets purple old leaves instead of yellow.

Weeds with purple older leaves

Common beans, the main crop around here. Beans don't need much phosphorus.
Fava bean grown for evaluation
Elderberry and black raspberry growing well, benefiting from
 rabbits living on the other side of tin wall

Friday, January 4, 2019

2019 !!!

Happy New Year!

On Saturday during our communication time on-line we heard how terrible the traffic in Port-au-Prince tends to be between Christmas and New Years.

Not wanting to risk Eli and Anna missing their plane we arranged to overnight at Ortlip on Sunday night and went down the mountain after worshiping a bit with the Agape kids.

We enjoyed visiting with our teammates the Stephens and Stanlies. Anna and Fritzlin enjoyed swimming in the sea. 

We also took the opportunity to load up 1/2 the Land Cruiser with some of our things from Fauche, still sitting in storage at Ortlip.

Monday we headed off before sunrise for shopping in Port and the airport drop off. All the prayers payed off. We did not run into any traffic jams. 

We got our shopping done in good time and were even able to visit the sugar cane museum near the Embassy before dropping off Eli and Anna at the airport.

We then headed toward home. Teammates Dr. Bob & Marcia & Hope from LaGonave met us on the way up the mountain. 

They had only been able to find one motorcycle so they rode up with us, and Hope experienced her first trip up to Délice via moto. 

All were tired on arrival but after some leftover food we enjoyed celebrating the New Year by roasting some marshmallows over a fire and admired the stars before heading to bed at 8:30. 
Freshly made made guava jam

New Year’s Day we enjoyed fellowship with our visitors and took the morning to go hiking. We started with a short drive to the coffee plantation of Dion, to our east. 

Once there we asked for directions to ones further east and were lead to the plantation ruins of Sabourin. 

An older man pointed out two more ruins that we looked at with binoculars. 

One was out of our way but on our way back home we stopped and hiked up to explore the ruins of Labour. 
New signs at Dion and then at the cross-roads helped us to learn the names as well as to know where to look for additional ruins…part of the National Historical Park of the Mathew mountain chain.

There are 13 marked ruins on the one map in our area. Kris has been to 6 and all 5 of us to a small area not marked. 

We enjoyed the rest of Tuesday and a bit of conversation on Wed. morning before they started off on foot to join up with their moto drivers for the trip down the mountain. 

A phone call Wed. night let us know that they arrived safely back on LaGonave, having made it to the public ferry only 10 minutes before it left. 

The rest of this week we’re doing ’normal’ things like wash, school, organizing, correspondence, watering plants and trees [please pray for rain], working on the house, and planning for 2019.

 Workers will start working again next week. 

Praising the Lord that as we ramp up the work on the Konsey Creole health books we finally found our Creole dictionaries! 

Packing up our home in Fauche occurred in three major parts spanning over two years time [a few things still remain in the North or at Ortlip] and because we didn’t keep detailed records of what items were packed in what action packers or boxes we did not know where many things ended up.  

Praying for 2019 plans. Thankful for a good start.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Christmas week.

We enjoyed a quiet, calm Christmas day with just the 5 of us. Enjoying being together. We went to a party on Christmas Eve with the Apage house staff and children and enjoyed it as well. 

The day after Christmas the five of us hiked down to the village.  

We reversed the direction of our hike from when we went last spring and found it somewhat easier. 

Part of the way down, just after a trail branch, Ti Loui caught up with us and put us on an ‘easier’ path that hugged the edge of the mountain side.

Once down we showed Eli two locations with springs. Ti Loui had us stop at a house and borrowed a few chairs. We through we were waiting for a person to come that needed medical advice but it ended up just being a rest stop.
Then we continued on to visit a church, Ti Loui went to the pastor’s house and returned with him and the key so that we could see the church. After a short visit and prayer we started back.

Cory took a couple of mini-side garden trips. 

Then we hiked back up, this time there were no scary edges just lots of rocks to watch out for.

The saddest part of our walk was seeing many locations with Voodoo offerings- a dead chicken in a tree, pop on a bamboo pole, colorful banners, corn scattered on the ground… and we heard the drums at night.

Walks around the mountain show the Lord’s power in the great nature and landscapes but they also are a great time to pray for Haiti’s people. 

fixing roof leaks.
The rest of the week we alternated between family time and getting some jobs done. Work on the roof to fix the leaks, inventory of the storage room and various containers scattered through the house, more decorating and un-decortaing from Christmas, calking around windows….

Both Eli and Anna did very well in their studies this fall. They will be returning to Michigan early next week to start January term on the 3rd. While the good-byes remain hard we will start counting days to our USA visit and Eli’s graduation in May. 

Pastor LeGrand's church in the village

cooking fuel from the hills

Saturday, December 22, 2018

First week of Christmas Vacation

A very good week. Dustin, Nancy and kids came to visit on Tuesday. We enjoyed our first bonfire and named the location, Wowwop.
A good view of both the fort, coffee plantation ruins and in the other direction the sunset. 
They graciously assisted us in deciding where to hang wall decorations and made bunk beds in Fritzlin's room.
We hiked to the fort, talked about additional house projects, laughed, read lots of children's books, the kids played, a good time had by all.
We kept the Calvin students in prayer who had finals the first 1/2 of this week. 

We continue to praise the Lord for allowing both our college kids to be able to complete their testing and projects before this week.
The extra 5 days made the decision to fly them home for Christmas easier and we are enjoying our second Christmas as a family of five. 
Eli and Anna helped paint after our great guests left on Thursday. 
Second coats yesterday, and this morning Fritz was not allowed in his room until it was cleaned, pictures hung, beds made.
He had a huge smile and said 'WOW!' when allowed back into his room.
Not all work. Computer games, reading of fun books, cooking, Christmas videos and just hanging out as a family.

Tomorrow we plan to join the Agape staff and children for their Christmas party.
Merry Christmas!