May in Haiti

It has been a while.  One of the cardinal rules of blogging is to post regularly.  I have broken that rule, but give you my pledge to try to do better.

The circle of life keeps turning, season to season, year to year.  March in Wisconsin brought June-like weather, causing everything in nature to ramp up almost a month early.  April put everything in the fridge, but that had the advantage of preserving the daffodils, lilacs and cherry blossoms, among others, for longer blooming.  Now in mid-June with the solstice just past, the landscape looks like August.  Here in southwest Wisconsin it is dry and the grass has browned.  We have mowed just a couple of times, unusual for this time of year.  The pool was up at least two weeks ahead of normal schedule, and the water is now in the mid-80 degree range.  Summer lies ahead and it seems it may be a hot one.

Along the way
In May, my husband Dennis traveled to Haiti with a group from Ireland called the Haven Partnership.  The original plan for the group's trip was to build new housing near Port-au-Prince through a connection with OxFam.  The land was purchased and foundations were ready for the "Build It Week" team to do their magic.  However, at the last minute some land ownership issues arose, and the venue changed to work on an island just off the south coast of Haiti called "Ile a Vache" (island of the cow...quite appropriate for a Wisconsinite!).  The crew of nearly 50, which included a couple of Americans, a Canadian, one from the Dominican Republic, and the balance Irish, completed repairs and upgrades at the orphanage and boat dock on the island.  They worked all week in 95 degree heat and humidity, building ramps, making repairs, and creating a soccer field and volleyball court from a rock strewn patch of earth.

Building a ramp for students in wheelchairs

Outdoor seating in the shade for recess and outdoor classes

The soccer pitch before...kids used this as their field, 
with rolled up plastic bags as balls...playing in their bare 

Work on the pitch

Progress...kids using the pitch before it was completed
Celebration on the last day...completed soccer pitch and 
volleyball court

At news of the change of venue, Dennis was a bit disappointed that he wouldn't be building homes as was first planned...but the trip turned out to be an extremely rewarding experience in many ways.  The faces of the people, especially the children, tell the story.

A Canadian and an American in Haiti

Children of the island

School kids going to lunch 

Haiti is recovering...but it still has miles to go.

Tent cities still stretch on for miles... 

 ...and miles...

Housing in village on Ile a Vache

We are both hoping to be able to make a trip to Haiti in the near future to help in the rebuilding efforts.

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