Always as I head to Haiti I leave with some anxiety and a heavy heart. Leaving my family, particularly my wife Dhani, is not easy. Managing a construction project isn’t easy here nor are the accommodations. Despite all of these feelings, upon landing I begin to feel differently. Collecting my bags and walking toward the exit I feel more at ease. When I walk outside and I am greeted with huge smiles, big hugs, and excited greetings by the team… I feel like I am home again. I love these guys and miss them dearly but it hits me at this moment how deeply I care for them and they for me. This trip is different from the others though. We have been on many projects together but this is the most significant to date. It is a collaboration with a group called Team Tassy. Our team is being supported by an amazing woman, Robin Borrud, who unselfishly commits to so many causes not only in Haiti, but throughout the world.
Groundbreaking and Construction Begins
This project is an 18’x32′ house made from Ubuntu Blox. Only the second ever built. We are excited to be working with the Adme family who will be benefitting from the home. We are also happy to be working with six members of Team Tassy who were chosen from the surrounding community. Alaso Haiti and Team Tassy have bonded closely throughout the last few weeks and are working as one toward the goal of building a safe home for the Admes. Each day “Minister Mackenson” leads the team in prayer. A powerful moment where he gives thanks for the opportunity to be together, to work and to help a member of their community as well as learn construction skills that can be used to build other Ubuntu homes in their community. After ten days of clearing the rubble of the previous house that had been destroyed by the 2010 earthquake, we started this week excavating for the footings. We built the concrete forms and began cutting and bending the rebar we will use to reinforce the home. Today the guys began installing the forms and bending the rebar. Monday we should get gravel to set a base for the concrete and then begin the installation of the rebar. We hope to have the concrete poured by midweek, Friday at the latest. While that is being done, Monday we get a lumber delivery for the roof trusses. We have reserved the workshop at Haiti Communitere due to lack of space to build (24) 22′ trusses on site. I will lead the team so they all will learn the rebar installation, as well as how to figure out the angle cuts for the truss parts and put them together. We’ve accomplished a lot so far but there is so much more to do.
The Newest Little Member of the Alaso Haiti Family
Finally, we have a wonderful new little Alaso Haiti family member… On Monday, Claudy’s daughter (my God daughter) was born. A 6 lb beauty. Gocelyn and the baby are both doing very well. Despite lack of sleep, Claudy is still working as hard as ever knowing that everyday of work puts his family in a better position to care for their new addition.