Monday, October 27, 2008

Moving is never easy!

I was thinking about my friends in Haiti today. They are finally ready to move from Jeremie to the new house, Kay Bo Rivye, or house by the river, in Marfranc. When I think of moving, I think of the way we move here. And that's pretty up to date since we just helped our friends get a house ready to sell, as well as pack a moving truck when it was time to go. But our challenges are nothing like the challenges in Haiti.

Before Steve and Joline could move to Kay Bo Rivye they had to make sure the grillage is finished. These are wrought iron panels that fill all the open spaces like windows and porch to keep the house safe from looters. This has been an immense ongoing project. It was one of the things we worked on when we were there in July.

installing the grillage

Now the grillage is finally up so it is safe to move their things from Jeremie to the new house. Which is a true adventure because of the rutted, dusty, difficult road they need to travel. At the same time they are again having trouble with their workhorse truck, and without it the move will be impossible.

And they are still finishing the house as I write this - finishing the ceiling, tiling (at least partially) the floor, and making sure there is "running" water. Ah, yes. Water. There is no well yet. It is way too costly to have it dug. So, while they are looking at alternatives for digging this well, they still need water. There is a large water tank on the top of the house. But how do you fill it? Someone has loaned them a 250 gallon plastic container that they need to put in the back of the truck (the one that is having issues) and take it to the spring and fill it up. Then transport it back to the house and pump the water up to the holding tank on the roof. Think about that. 250 gallons. Which sounds like a lot until you realize this is their only source of water for cooking. laundry, bathing and flushing the toilets. Do you know how fast 250 gallons gets used up? They are trying to locate 5 or 6 55 gallon drums so they can return the 250 gallon container. But just imagine - weekly (or more often) trips to the spring to fill up their water supply. Now every time my taps are running, or the shower, or the washer, I think of Steve and Joline.

pumping water to the roof

When we move we just call and have the utilities turned on. No electricity in Marfranc. So they need to get the generator and the inverters installed so they can have power to run the fans (to keep cool and keep the mosquitoes at bay) as well as lights and internet. (In Jeremie a total of 900KW of electricity is provided by Electricite D'etat d'Haiti - EDH. Jeremie receives only about 26 hours of electricity a week from EDH. - and that's Jeremie, not Marfranc...)

Internet. All internet comes in via satellite. Steve and Joline need the satellite company from Port Au Prince to come and hook it up. But they need to pay upfront. No big deal, right? No, you can't just hand them cash, or a check. They want it deposited into the Unibank and then transferred to the satellite company. Simple again, right? Nope. Joline went into Jeremie to cash the check and then stand in line at the bank to deposit it, but the man who changes checks into US cash wasn't there and they had no idea when he would be there. So, no internet. Yet. I think she was going to try again today (Monday, Oct. 27)

Marfranc is pretty isolated in the hill country. Steve and Joline will still have to go into Jeremie for stuff they need. But they are trying to get as much stuff done as possible to cut down on travel. This includes vet visits, shopping, buying gasoline etc. Gasoline is a huge need - they have to have it to run the generator. And gas in Haiti is expensive. They are hoping they can find someone who knows about and is willing to give them a deal on installation of solar panels so they can cut back on gasoline consumption. This would be a great relief to them. So in addition to finding a way to drill a well, they are looking for a way to power their house.

And on top of it all, Steve is sick. And trying to adjust to new medication in the middle of all this frustration and stress. And it's not easy to be sick in Haiti either. Their main Dr. is in Port Au Prince. (Jeremie is a 50 minute regional plane ride from Port-Au-Prince. Altho it is only about 140 miles from Port, if you choose to drive it is a 10 -12 hour trip.)

Anyway - moving. Never fun. Always stressful. But moving in Haiti gives a whole new meaning to stress and frustration. They also need to find and train new house staff. They have a lead on a couple of ladies - people who really need the work from the Marfranc church. Still, helping them understand what needs to be done, and how you want it done can be a challenge. Please, if you think about it, pray for our friends this week. They are excited about the move, but there is a lot to do. They are feeling very overwhelmed. And lots of small irritating things have been going wrong as they prepare to finish their moving this week. Satan is alive and well in Haiti. They would appreciate being blanketed with prayer as they follow the path God has chosen for them.

On behalf of my friends, Steve and Joline Moore, with New Life for Haiti, thank you.

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