I am so glad we have board members to keep us accountable! A few days ago I got the reminder email saying “Jenn, it’s been two weeks and you promised to send out an update!” I can’t believe time as passed by so quickly since I posted about “the letter.” If you have no idea what I’m talking about then free to read my previous post and that should catch you up.
I am sure everyone is dying to know where we are at with the fundraising for the purchase of the land. I am excited to let everyone know that we have almost reached our goal! We set a goal of raising $18,000 and finding 10 new monthly supporters to commit to $100/month. We haven’t reached the $18,000, but we sure are close! We are $4,500 away from that goal. We also had 7 new supporters commit to donating monthly!
So $4,500 and 3 monthly supporters left and we will be in good shape. We know it’s only a matter of God’s timing.
Since we haven’t settled the land negotiations we have tried really hard to stay away from the land. It’s not in our best interest to be working when the land owners understand that we are in standstill until the matter is settled. Weeks ago we stopped all work, only to be resumed when we finished the “deal.” As you can imagine not being out at the land leaves me feeling pretty antsy. I so badly want to finish the two projects we have underway right now, the education building and the shop. It’s hard to step foot on the land when there isn’t work going on. It feels so empty, and I have felt a little lost these last couple weeks.
Our attempt to keep a low profile at the land was especially hard for us this past week. We were expecting our very first group of volunteers and we wanted them to have the full experience of working on the land with the Haitien guys who have been so invested in the buildings. The group would consist of three guys, one of them happened to be Amy’s dad. We had a ton of ideas for how we could use their experience and skills to continue to get the facility ready for use. But as the time got closer we were worried about the whole “land situation.”
While living here in Haiti we’ve come to learn that there’s no use in getting too attached to your plans. You can think about things. You can prepare. And you can schedule. But you have to accept that plan A can turn into plan D in seconds flat. If you are someone that has to have everything planned out (I hate to break it to you) but maybe Haiti isn’t your thing. ;) Here, we worry less about the ideal situation and more about what God might want to teach us in flexibility and the ability to adjust to obstacles with grace. And we use the word “re-group” like it’s going out of style.
We knew we wanted the guys to make 12 beds and shelves for the recovery homes. The decision to have a team do this project instead of a local carpenter was more about saving money than it was about the skill involved. In fact, Haitian wood craftsmen are so skilled in their field that we would have been hard pressed to find someone willing to design anything less than a bed fit for a king, compete with banisters and intricate engravings. We needed something simple and practical and easy to duplicate x 12.
We were able to “re-group” and make do by having the guys work from the porch of our apartment. As soon as they got here they drew a quick sketch for the beds and Dadou and I headed off to the “home depot” around the corner.
We stored all materials on our balcony, and the 2x4’s we stored on the side of our apartment. The guys used the power saw only when we had city power here at the complex. Well... that’s not entirely true. We might have gotten in trouble once or maybe three times because we ran the saw when the generator didn’t happen to be running. That’s okay though. When the power wasn’t available they used a hand saw. They even had Amy on drill duty. I think if we ever need any more beds we’ll be able to count on her to whip a few together. ;)
After 2 1/2 days, 12 beds were made. We stored 4 beds in our living room, and 8 beds were just chillin’ on our porch. It was quite a scene, but it worked. The guys made-do with what we had available and they did it with smiles on their faces. We couldn’t have asked for better guys to come down. They get the awards for flexibility, positivity, and patience.
By Wednesday there was nothing left for these guys to do that could be done from our apartment. The other projects we had planned was to build shelves, a desk, and a work station in the pharmacy. This was a struggle since we wanted to make use of their time and the fact that they were just plain hard and willing workers. So I caved and decided we would go ahead and do the pharmacy shelves, at the land.
We were out at the land from Wednesday thru Friday. We closed off our gates to the community, and didn’t let anyone inside. These three guys worked along side four Haitians that practically live at the land at the land anyways. In a day and a half everything in the pharmacy was finished. It’s was an exciting time for Amy especially as it was a project she has been looking forward to the most. Let’s not forget she has been storing over 50 containers of medical supplies in her room... that infringes on yoga practice just slightly.
I have another bit of exciting news to share, but to be honest I think it’s going to require another blog post. I’ll give you a hint.. it has something to do with power, electricity, and solar panels. It’s a little too early to reveal.
So in conclusion this was a great week with great company. These guys were understanding about the sleeping accommodations (air mattresses) and the time it took to prepare our “healthy” meals. Patience is a virtue, with no microwave. I didn’t even see one of them spit out the food despite it being mostly veggies and mostly healthy, “weird,” and straight from the market. If I might add, Amy’s an amazing cook and they were complementary. And I know Amy enjoyed showing her Dad and these friends what life is like in Haiti, for us and for our neighbors.
Until we figure the land stuff out we will continue to just make-do. It won’t be much longer until we are back to having close to thirty guys sitting under the mango tree enjoying Youseline’s cooking. It won’t be much longer until all the kids will be back hanging around, waiting for their opportunity to help. It won’t be much longer until I’m making 5 or 6 supply trips a week. It won’t be much longer. It’s all in his timing.