Mission Trip - June 17 - 25, 2014
Overall Missions Goal:
Serve God’s beloved poor
1. Continue to build sister parish relationship and understand current status of ongoing projects.
2. Provide health care for the people of our sister parish in the following ways:
a. Transport patient that came to the USA for surgery (Jesula Charles) back to Haiti.
b. Run medical clinic/pharmacy and provide the best possible medical care to the greatest number possible.
c. Run dental clinic and provide cleanings, extractions, and restorations.
d. Create ID cards for patients for best possible patient tracking.
e. Continue with our referral program and referral patient tracking which provides the support for the people in our sister parish to get health care in
the cities of Jacmel or Port-au-Prince when we are not in Haiti.
f. Transport emergency cases from Gandou to Jacmel using our truck.
g. Involve the 3 of the 4 students we are sponsoring to go to university in our clinic work and allowing them to run the ID card
h. Run underground electric wires from generator at the rectory to the clinic and school.
i. Work on the details of the next patient (small boy with severe skin burns) to come to the USA for medical care.
3. Support Missionaries of Charity Orphanage in Port-au-Prince by two members of the team remaining there and working with the kids all week.
4. Provide opportunity for our team to experience Haiti and especially our sister parish.
Focus Area #1 - Sister Parish Relationship/Status of Ongoing Projects
Earthquake Rebuilding/Construction projects
1. Construction of the new church continues and significant progress has been made.
2. The small one room walk-out basement chapel under the church has been finished including a beautiful shiny tile floor, finished steps up to the main part of the church, and
paint on all the walls and the door. This chapel was used for daily mass and was absolutely beautiful when lit by candles at daybreak for the morning mass. The first
morning we were there, they were using the Monstrance we had previously taken and had Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar for adoration.
3. The hole dug for what we thought was a latrine has been capped with cement and is actually a septic tank for flushable toilets that are planned for the church.
4. The walls continue to be built up and open areas for windows have been added near the top. It appears they are ready for the roof to be set on top of the walls.
5. The choir loft cement floor has been poured and is very large.
6. The front steps to the church were under construction while we were there. They are very large in size.
7. We were able to witness first hand and capture on video the process they have used to build this church. It is an unbelievable process. Several men were working at the
church mixing gravel with dry cement powder. It was back breaking work with picks and shovels. Shoveling concrete with very poor shoes in the hot sun has to be one of
the most difficult jobs in the world. However as we witnessed the men hard at work, all the sudden there came 5 women carrying 5 gallon buckets of water on their heads
up the huge hill to the church and straight up the rough rocks and gravel piles to the top of the area where the church step construction was taking place. The leader of the
construction workers took the 5 gallon buckets of water from the women and poured them in a barrel to be used for mixing the cement. In just a couple seconds all 5
women had dumped their buckets of water and were starting back down the hill of another load of water. Never have we seen such a site…it appears the whole church has
been built in this manner. If you look at the magnitude of the church construction and realize just how it is being constructed….one bucket of water at a time on a woman
head…then you just become awed at just what has already been accomplished. Truly this project means much to these people and truly they are giving their all to get it
8. The front steeple area has made a huge amount of progress and base structure looks very good.
9. Other than daily mass in the small chapel, the church is not being used yet and likely will not be used at all until there is a roof installed. Father Nexcene was hopeful that
the roof would start to be installed in the early fall time frame.
10. Sunday Mass is still being held under the temporary pavilion at the courtyard of the school.
11. Father Nexcene reported that the rainy season made it difficult (as always) to make as much progress as he wanted, but he expects significant progress now through the dry
12. Father Nexcene asked for an update on our fundraising to rebuild the church and we responded that no additional funds have been collected. He asked that we try harder to
find the funding to finish the project.
13. We ask everyone to pray that we find a way to accomplish this project.
Earthquake Damaged Home Rebuilding Project – This is the third home being funded through St. Anthony’s following the earthquake.
1. Father reported that the rainy season has hampered the progress on this project.
2. He also reported that the cost of materials and building of this house has gone up since we built the other two houses 2 years ago.
3. We walked out to see the progress and visit the family on Sunday.
4. We found a large stack of materials at the home. Nearly all the materials for building the house was there.
5. Father Nexcene reported that his people would be working on this house the next day.
6. There is still a need to build more homes for families living in unsuitable conditions. Estimate to build a very simple 2-room home is between $4000 and $5000.
New Clinic Construction
1. We still need to work on fundraising for this. No construction has begun yet.
2. Every medical mission we run in our current two room clinic makes the great need for a larger clinic very clear. In fact our ability to provide high quality care to our patients
is very hampered by our lack of clinic space. Several times during this trip we were doing exams on the patients on the floor due to the lack of clinic space and a real clinic
exam table/bed. Also to try to make more space for the patients to wait to get their medicine in our small pharmacy room, we moved people outside to sit in the sun and rain
and wait. Several patients got confused by this process and took off before getting their medicine.
3. Clearly we need to figure something else out for the short term while we raise funds for a proper clinic. The team discussed some options for the future but there was not
time for a proper discussion to sort out the plan for next time. This will need to happen at our upcoming monthly medical team meetings. A couple of the options discussed
were to use the newest school rooms that we built…the problem with this is we are not sure where all these school kids would go. A second option was ask Father to make a
little lean-to on the current clinic to make a little room. A third option was just to take more tarps and ropes with us on the next trip and make a little lean-to ourselves.
Roof on School in Gandou
1. The kindergarten classes continue to have school under the condemned cement roof.
2. Father took me into the room and we discussed how the work would be done.
3. It seems as though his focus has been completely on the church construction.
4. He needs an additional $3500 to complete this project.
1. One of the areas we constantly struggle with is how to find a place for everyone on the team to sleep. Several of the last trips have had some rain and many male members
of the team have been sleeping in tents on the flat roof of the rectory. The rain always makes for many challenges as people’s clothes and beds get wet.
2. Also due to the wear and tear of the sun and the wind on the tents and use of them for the Church construction workers or other visitors to the rectory, every trip we were
taking 3 to 4 small tents and spending $100 to $200 on them. We decided to ask Father to construct a wood frame simple roof building on top of the rectory roof. Our
thought was that this would be a replacement for the tents and would be a much better place for our team to sleep. We had sent the money to do this project just about 30
days before we traveled to Gandou, however that was enough time and Father had the rooms built when we got there. We were so impressed. They were nearly exactly what we had asked for and were very sizable. We were very happy with them. We were hoping we would be able to use these new rooms and the 3 previous rooms downstairs that
we were using, however Father moved in the seminarian student and some other helpers from around the rectory into one of the other room downstairs that we had used.
Regardless…with the new rooms we will have more room than we did have before.
3. Need to consider future projects where we paint the wood sides of these buildings with oil based paint to make them last longer.
4. Also consider taking mosquito netting with us on the next trip to seal off the windows and the ceiling.
General School Situation in Gandou
1. Everything seems to be going well. It sounds like school just finished for the summer just before we got there.
2. On the last trip we tried to get pictures and information for everyone’s sponsor student, however several of the kids were absent and we did not get enough information from
Father Nexcene to get all the pictures and information we needed for the sponsors. During this trip we communicated to Father that we would like to get this information.
Father called all the sponsor students names during Mass on Sunday and nearly all of them showed up. Our group took pictures and collected information. It was one of the
best setups for getting this information as we have ever had. Need to use this process again in the future.
High School/LaValle House (House we are renting in a nearby city that has a high school so the kids from Gandou can go to high school.)
1. Since the school in our sister parish only goes up to the 8th grade, once the kids are older than this they have to find another way to continue their education or simply stop
going to school.
2. Before the earthquake many students would leave Gandou and move to Port-au-Prince to stay with a family member so they could go to high school.
3. After the earthquake many of these family members no longer had homes to put these high school kids up, so many moved back to Gandou and stopped going to school. At
this time, Father asked us to help rent a house in a nearby town that had a high school so that the students could stay in the house and go to school. Over time the ability of the
to continue to attend this school has decreased…likely due to some students being able to move back to Port-au-Prince and some simply no longer are able to afford going to
school in another town. We discussed this much with Father Nexcene and we will discuss further in our monthly team meetings. We will likely stop renting this house and
focus on helping these students in another way. Since our 3 university students (which are all teaching majors) will be done with their university work next year and are
coming back to Gandou to grow our high school, we will likely just focus on supporting the growth of our high school in Gandou where the students could just live at home
and attend our own school.
4. We did get sponsor letters from the current students.