From The Pastor At St. Paul's UCC, Freeburg, IL

News From Haiti

My friend Ken Van Dine has been in Haiti with his son Neil, and has been sending occasional email to me about the progress of their work. They are in Pignon, a small town in the mountains. While not close to Port Au Prince (PAP), they’ve been doing a lot of support work. Here’s Ken’s latest news and pics.

Hi Folks,
You have not heard from me in a few days because Sunday afternoon I began with a sore throat and by evening had some fever and sweats so I started some medications and decided to not go with Neil to Gonaives and PAP.  Within 36 hours I was feeling considerably better and I’m glad that I did not go.  For the last two days I’ve been helping the people here make a rack for pipe storage.
Some of these pictures are well known to the few of you who have been here in the last couple of years so I apologize.  However this will be news to most of you.  The first picture is the Haiti Outreach (HO) office building which is located along the runway of the airport which is behind me as I take this picture.  If I turn 90 degrees to the right I take the last picture which is the Guest House where people can stay if they come to Pignon and work for HO for a week or so.
Now if we return to the first picture, the door on the left goes into the HO offices.  There are two doors in the center, the one on the left is a one room office for a small missionary air service and the one on the right goes upstairs to a bank (Fonkoze) which is a micro-lending bank in the area.  The windows that are open upstairs are the bank side.  The bottom right of the building is HO offices and upstairs right is storage.  On the right side of the building under the trees is a grey truck.  Note its position.

Below you will see that grey truck and a red truck getting some repairs.  Two men (volunteers) are welding some angle iron into a pipe rack.  Chris, on the left is from St. Louis and Pat, on the right is from Tennessee.

Below you see two of the racks that have been finished.

Below now the red truck has been removed and I’m standing to the right of the grey truck.  You see the two big red doors into the work area and near the top of the doors you can see the floor of the second story.  An opening to this space was made intentionally so long pieces of pipe and lumber can be handed up without walking upstairs with it.


Now we are upstairs in the storage space.  Four of the racks have been installed by welding them to the I-Beams supporting the roof and they have been bolted to the floor.  The workers and Chris are beginning to stack the pipe that you see lying on the floor.  There will be two more racks like the one you see installed.  Behind the rack along the far wall are hand pumps for the wells.  All of these materials are for the water well drilling operation.

Below you can see what a hand pump looks like installed on the well.  These pumps were originally designed and made by  Gandhi in India.

Below is the Five Star HO Guest House that is totally solar powered.  You can see the panels totally cover the roof and it produces enough electricity to power the guest house, office and bank unless the need to run the welder.  Then the generator needs to be started.  The house can hold 18 guests and has tiled bathrooms, hot & cold running water and wireless internet.  The solar hot water heater is at the lower right behind the plexiglass.


On a side note a lot of kids have been transferred throughout Haiti to schools.  Our granddaughter, Lauren, is in the sixth grade here and her class has grown from 20 to 52.  I have no idea if this is representative of all the classes or other towns, but it is good to know that kids are being accepted into schools around the country.
There are a lot of numbers floating around that are hard to reconcile.  A Cincinnati news story has the death toll at 270,000, but the latest number Neil is aware of a week or so ago was 112,000.  Another story has a 100,000 refuges going to La Gonav.  That too is hard to believe.  Tell your friends to be cautious of any emails coming from Haitian pastors  and Haitian NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organizations).  These are non-profit organization and some of them are milking the public for money claiming to need it to buy food and they are not giving it to people, just stockpiling it.  Just tell everyone to try to verify the people and the organizations.
For His Sake,
Ken

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