Things have been busy around here, and unfortunately this seems to be the last place that gets updated with all the goings on. Please know we’re trying!
A few weeks ago we had our second Vision Trip of the spring and welcomed 4 guys from Seattle. We really enjoyed our time with them. They did a lot of different things while here, and put some of their skills to work too. Joe, a hair stylist gave me and some of the other local missionaries a haircut. Christian, a chiropractor, gave our staff adjustments. This was actually really cool because they had never been to a chiropractor before and some didn’t even know what it was. Chris led the way so they could see what Christian would do, and then they started lining up. Everyone was happy and feeling a lot better. Some that had more severe problems were able to get adjusted a few times through the week and were shown how to do some stretches and muscle building exercises. Even Olivia got in on the action. A girl after my own heart!
Our new volunteer, Barry, arrived last week and is settling in well. Barry is in his early 60’s, and after meeting us at a speaking engagement in Armstrong, BC last December felt God call him to Haiti. Through several visits and an interview process that involved a visit to Haiti in March we all felt he was a good fit. He started packing up life in Canada, sold most of his stuff, and put other stuff in bags and moved here with two suitcases and a carry on to his name. His role here will be to help out where needed to start and to be learning Creole and getting to know our staff. This summer as our family is away welcoming our little boy into the world Barry will work with another family to look after the mission for us. One of his major roles though will be helping us as we work at relocating the mission. This is a thing that has been talked about for some time, and we have finally gotten the go ahead from the board to pursue this. We have been looking at options and have found an area not far from where we are so that our staff can still commute to work if they want to, but far enough away to get away from some of the security issues we’ve had over the years. Pierre Payen is a difficult community and has a reputation as such. Barry will help oversee construction of the new facilities when it’s time.
We’re adding Barry as a blog contributor so that he can be writing about his experiences here. After being here for so many years there are things that Chris and I see as normal and that really don’t blip on our radar. With fresh eyes Barry can communicate some of those things to you.
This week we’re also welcoming Ashley and James. Ashley is a Duke University doctorate student who is starting a research project on the biosand filters for her thesis. She approached us about six weeks ago to see if there was a possibility of working with us over the next two years to do her field work. We’re excited to be able to help her because the particular aspect of the filters that she’s studying is one that hasn’t had enough research done. The pause period, or the wait time between passing water through the filters, is something that there are a lot of questions about. Things like, how long is long enough to give the bio-layer time to work as effectively as possible, and how much of a removal rate is there if the filter is used continuously? There are studies being done, but they have all been either very small samplings, or are being done in a lab setting. Ashley’s will be one of the first being done over a long period of time in the field. Because we’ve got over 14,000 filters in the field with about 250 new ones going out each month she’ll be able to sample newly installed filters, and filters that our technicians visit on regular follow up. Should be very interesting!