|The epicenter of activity - the church of the Little Brothers of St. Therese,|
|Boys outside the a\safety barrier watching the carpenters.|
|Br. John Mary (in a gray-coded friar work shirt) with children.|
|The area where the friar-team helped build approximately 12 latrines|
(the Caribbean Sea can be seen in the background).
|Above: the view downward toward the valley;|
below: the stream at the bottom used for washing.
Of the six friars and two sisters that came, five friars worked in various aspects of construction, Br. Pierre Toussaint (of Haitian descent) served as a medical translator, with the two sisters also helping in the medical unit. Br. Crispin, Br. John Mary and I, along with Mike from Long Island and two Haitian workers, Renel and Nail, formed a cement crew. In anticipation of our arrival, the 100 families who were to receive latrines had to excavate pits. We were amazed at the depth (sometimes more than 30 feet) of the holes and the work required to hew them out of the rocky soil by hand. The video below, which shows a man retrieving a hammer dropped into one of the unused holes, gives you an idea of how deep and rocky they are, and of how strong and agile the Haitians are.
|Mike, Nial and Renal wiring rebar together to reinforce |
the cement slab to be poured into the wooden frame.
|Very proud and grateful (and hot and tired!) after finishing the slab for this man and his family.|
|The shed placed over the slab by the carpentry team.|
|Br. Crispin putting on the finishing touches in cramped quarters.|
|Though you can't tell from the photo, these girls were|
exceptionally lively and joyful.
|A "baby in a basin" from one of the households receiving a latrine.|
|Construction spectators (above and below).|
It was hard to feel sorry for yourself about having to carry cement, wood, rebar and tools to the sites when we frequently saw women carrying water from the church to their homes.
Br. Gerard had the special task of bringing drinking water to the work sites to keep all of us well hydrated in the sweltering Haitian sun. Of course, this became an opportunity for him to evangelize everyone he met along the way, to hand out holy cards and lolly pops (and, "unofficially," some water too) to people he met along the way. By the end of the week he had almost everyone in the village singing "Jezu, Jezu" ("Jesus, Jesus" in Creole) to a little melody he composed.