Progress at the site

Hey there everyone. I feel like it's time to give you all an update, an exciting update.

Well let's be frank. I don't just have one update. I have many. But they're all exciting. So here goes.. 

This has been the busiest season of them all. Christmas has nothin’ on Second Mile. At Second Mile, we have been working around the clock to get the yogurt and cheese building up and running. Last week the solar team flew down to install an additional 5.1 kilowatts to our beautiful system. 

Three of "my favorite guys in the world" — Don, Dale, and Mike — worked from sun-up to sun-down for seven days in a row.  Now we have three times as many solar panels and twice as many batteries. For three years now we have been completely sustainable by the sun’s rays. Beautiful, right? 

The finished product: solar panels on both the old and the new recovery wings.

The finished product: solar panels on both the old and the new recovery wings.

The additional power will help us run refrigerator units, water filtration, and electric stoves. And to top it off, we now have the capacity to pump out clean water for the entire village which won't even cost us a dime! 

When people come down here to work I tend to make them work their butts off. It’s just something I do. During their last two days at the site, we were able to plan for the building’s electrical needs (wire, outlets, switches etc). As soon as we finished planning, they got right to work! They worked until there were only 2 hours before their plane was supposed to take-off. They quickly bathed with Wet Wipes and scarfed down some food in 30 seconds. They made their flight. I can’t say how thankful I am for these guys. What they did in 7 days means tremendous progress for Second Mile. 

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Okay so let’s back up for a second. The week that the guys were here was crazy, hectic. So hectic, we didn't have a chance to post very many Facebook statuses.

Here’s what else happened: 

  1. We opened our new recovery wing. At one point during the week, we had 18 moms and 24 kids with three kids hospitalized.
  2. A sudden spike in the number of moms and children we were hosting at the center meant that we had to spent several days purchasing mattresses, mosquito nets, medications, formula, etc for these new cases.
  3. A cholera scare! One of the mothers had to be rushed to hospital at 1 A.M. We are thankful that our staff made such a quick decision in the wee hours of the morning. She received treatment while hospitalized for several days. That mom is now healthy and back at the center! Luckily the Ministry of Health paid a visit to our facility. They sprayed down the recovery rooms with sanitizing spray (something we also did the moment we heard the mom had cholera) and spent two hours doing education with our moms and staff about cholera prevention.
  4. We hired a new staff member. We started training a local technician in the production of yogurt and cheese.

Mix in a few flat tires and about 100 supply runs and you have a pretty good picture of the month of August. 

Flat tire day #2

Flat tire day #2

The supervisors

The supervisors

Dale and Don instal electrical wire

Dale and Don instal electrical wire

Education from the Ministry of Health's cholera prevention team

Education from the Ministry of Health's cholera prevention team

The mothers receive packets of oral rehydration solution

The mothers receive packets of oral rehydration solution

local masons putting the final touches on yogurt and cheese production building

local masons putting the final touches on yogurt and cheese production building

Jenn discusses electrical plans with staff

Jenn discusses electrical plans with staff

Purchasing a water reservoir from a depot in town

Purchasing a water reservoir from a depot in town

Getting by with a little "help" from our "friends"

Getting by with a little "help" from our "friends"

Joseph, Herode, Ama, Joslin, and Verdieu - our full-time staff members after another long day at the site

Joseph, Herode, Ama, Joslin, and Verdieu - our full-time staff members after another long day at the site

Ok caught up? Three days after the solar team left Haiti, Jason arrived! He’s also at the top of my list of favorite people. He came all the way from Wisconsin to help us tile the building, finish the electrical system, and set up plumbing. He’ll probably do about a million other little projects, as well. It’s should be a busy 10 days. I will let you know how it all ends, but if all goes well then we should be able to start the production of yogurt and cheese in just two weeks.

You may have noticed that I had a 3-day break between the electricians departure and Jason’s arrival. I decided I would take last Friday off and use Saturday and Sunday to plan. I let the staff know about my day-off and I could see that everyone was excited for me. Or maybe they were all thinking: “geez get her out for a day before she goes crazy.” But when Friday rolled around, I woke up with a chest cold. So much for a day of exercise and play. I guess I need to work on to the whole "rest thing.” Thankfully, I have Amy. She's my personal nurse and she loves to concoct essential oil and home-made remedies for me when I'm sick. She’s a gem.

I’m going to throw you for a loop, because this blog post doesn’t seem to follow a timeline. About 3 weeks ago, as you may remember, we did our 12x12 fundraiser. 

I know, I know, I know… we are a little behind with an update. Well, the fundraiser was fantastic!

This year was the most successful year, by far. 

The final tally was $7,123! (In one day!!!!) Holy moly, we needed that!

We started with 144 numbers on the board and we were able to takes down a total of 113 different numbers. 

Friends from 3 different organizations on the ground donated during the fundraiser AND we were given a check for $1,000 here in Haiti. Locals supporting local causes!  

We can not thank everyone enough. It's just amazing.