Anatomy of a Haiti Mission Trip

Update from Youth Haiti Mission Team member Rodger Langland:

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Father Noe did most of the service this morning and then headed to two other parishes to do services there. Back about 16:00. He says his combined parishes have about 2500 parishioners.

Yesterday Father Noe took us out in the country to where a Delaware parish is going to provide money to build a 10 classroom school and a church. Currently the school is in a tent with a dirt floor, a few benches and two dilapidated chalk boards for 100 students. Their headmaster (25 years old) just died from some unknown ailment within 3 days, so he has to find a replacement. Church is currently held under a mango tree (they are in season and really good unlike the ones in the US in my opinion). He just had a well drilled there (manual pump) for $3K. It was so quiet, rolling hill, the sound of animals, drum music and people working in the fields and walking/riding donkeys on paths through the hillside. As we were leaving people were coming back to their homes via the road (most walking, some on motorcycle and animals) and he said they had gone to town (Hinche) to sell or buy at the market. We had driven I would guess about 10 miles to get there (at least half an hour over horrendous dirt road with ruts 2 feet deep and mud holes that submerged the tires)

All for now,

Rodger

 

Update on school projects:

1. Sora is phenomenal. Especially having just graduated from high school. She has been working with her boss and Dennis I think it is to more transparently configure the XO systems and to get the linux system to interface with the the XO internet in a box. She has also spent a lot of time with me trying to figure out why the Datacom internet access stick that drives the wifi in the school office has not worked since the evening we arrived. In the process we have been refining which is the better internet provider. Our latest choice would be Datacom fiber. That is a new service that is available. Currently only four in Hinche. We are going to visit one of them this afternoon. Mario says that would be the best in the long run and by far the most reliable. May cost a little more. The Haitian government owns 40% of Datacom he says. I will bring cost figures.

2. Mario has been training those selected to run the computer classroom. They have identified three students to assist with that in addition to two of the teachers one of which is a girl. Mario has given them more than 4 hours of high level computer instruction. He has a BA in computer science and an MS in something else and does this training independent of his real job in PaP. This is the first time he has been to Hinche. He is really sharp. He has used a computer driven projector and now they see the advantage of it for teaching and want one. Sora knows someone who is in that business and will get some prices. Mario leaves this morning and Sora early tomorrow morning.

3. As mentioned in an earlier email Noe is taking his time selecting the best internet option. Hopefully our experience and suggestion will have some effect. The Datacom office is half a block away. He has more work to do in the computer room as mentioned in the email that George commented on.

4. The XO server can connect to the internet at times but is very slow and it resets all the time. It is also supposed to broadcast a wifi signal that those with external computers are supposed to be able to use but that has only worked for an hour when we first got here. To communicate while we are here we are going to steal the XO stick or borrow one from Noe but he won’t be back until sometime later today.

5. I think you have been informed on the demolition of the lean-to classrooms and the old library and it’s temporary replacement with a UNICEF wooden building

6. Otherwise normal: water leaks, lights that don’t work, hot and humid, Noe overworked with all his responsibilities, all roads but the main one from Pap to Hinche dirt and severely rutted, lack of tools to put up some fans, etc.

7. Have been some minor health issues but all are fine now.

Better send before we lose internet,

Rodger

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