Saturday, January 29, 2011

SPAM email from my HOTMAIL account

Please do not open any email sent from BENFREDRICK@HOTMAIL.COM     (HOTMAIL account.....)

This is defunct, but somehow a series of  junk/spam/harmful emails was sent from it.

I will try to shut this account down.      

My correct email:


Haiti Blog

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Oh yeah...forgot about this one

Here's a quick video update I tried to put together from my recent trip.   

Some updates from Pestel

Hi all,  
I just got off the phone with Sister Fidelis (who lives in Pestel) and we had a very nice talk and chance to update one another.

I received a short email back from the Heifer Intl representatives in Haiti:   sounds like the meeting this past weekend in Pestel went well.  They are now developing a recommendation!   

Water Missions International will be traveling out to Pestel this upcoming week to explore a couple of sites for the water treatment unit, generously being donated by Variety International.   One thing to consider:   the units are expensive, but it might be less expensive to purchase 2 at once because some of the cost is due to expenses related to travel and educational sessions that will occur throughout the upcoming year after the unit is installed.   The unit installs very quickly--within 2 hours!!   So it's really just a matter of bringing the unit (or units!!) out to Pestel.   

I sent along a video link (Johnny Zook's CharRocket) to a microfinance organization in Lancaster.  They really like what they are seeing!  We'll let them know how the piloting of these stoves goes during our March trip.

From Sister Fidelis:   a really neat new development.

Over the past year a group of youth in the village of Ferye (where Sisters Fidelis and Jo have a house) have formed a development group, modeled after the adult development group that Sister Fidelis initiated for Sections 1 & 2 of Pestel.  They formed  in order to help improve their village.
Now how cool is that?!?   

They reached out and invited a group of Haitians (from Port-au-Prince) who do medical work, and the group is now in Pestel.  This group, which includes a Haitian doctor, 2 nurses, 1 lab tech, another medical specialist, and an administrator, will be conducting health education seminars as well as running clinics in Ferye.  

I am hoping to have opportunity to meet with this group during the March trip.  


PS:  You can see a short video of Fidelis & Jo's house in Ferye at this site (scroll down) and you can also see some other short videos I put together a couple of years ago:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A couple of photos

I'm attaching a couple of photos from my recent trip.   The one shows Nakeysha (youngest) with her two sisters.  They loved the dresses Jen sent down for them!

The other photos show Julio (Water Missions International) explaining the water treatment to Dr. Seneque.   This is a fantastic piece of equipment!

Monday, January 17, 2011

News article

Here is the news article about Pestel.  I don't think it made USA Today, but it did get posted here!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Back in the US of A

Hi all

For those who know me--I send out a flurry of emails during the first week back from my trips.   Just too much to write about!

First, check out this article I just saw that shows photos of Sisters Fidelis and Jo!!!   

I was supposed to meet Katie (the woman mentioned in the article) in November, but alas...

I went to a really neat church service this morning with Ezai and Dany, my hosts/friends.  They are FANTASTIC people (Ezai and Dany).   Now that I'm picking up a few words of Creole (and fumbling badly, but still trying!  Despite, I might add, Anderson laughing at me scornfully.  But I just think he's nervous that I'm going to put him out of a job  :)  it is so much more fun and enjoyable to interact with people.  Even if it's "Mwen pa kontan"  (I don't understand).  That's my favorite Creole phrase so far.   
Actually no.  It's "Ki kote Bvd. Jean Jacques de Saline ye?"  (Where is Jean Jacques de Saline?   A phrase I learned from the CDs.   I think I REALLY impressed Anderson with that one)

Yesterday I met Dr. Seneque's other brother--also a physician.  He'll be working in Les Cayes, and he's worked all over the world.  I think he does mainly public health and hospital admin.

I tried to convince him to go out to Pestel.  Worth a try, eh?

I want to comment on my observations of PAP.    I didn't visit all of it, so there are a lot of caveats to what I'm going to write.  But here it is:

PAP is back in swing.  The streets are busy busy busy.  Street vendors are in business.  The trash level is back to baseline, which is to say that in plenty of places it is under control.  The people I interacted with are not consumed by election results.   They are back to PAP-living.
EXCEPT the people living in tents.  I don't see any progress, frankly.  This remains shocking.  Large fields with tents.  They are more organized, to be sure, and many of the shabby 'tents' have been replaced with larger, sturdier tents.  We saw one organization making prefab houses that looked pretty nice.  But with 4 houses on their lot, that ain't gonna do much.   

I think the tent village issue is abominable.  There are a host of complex reasons why things are the way they are.  But it is still abominable.  

May God truly bless the hands of those who are laboring to resolve this issue by providing permanent shelters for all these thousands of families who have lost everything.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday updates from PAP

Hi everyone,

A couple of quick notes

We had a good wrap-up meeting with Dr. Seneque as well as Gerald, our health manager in Pestel.  They are very much on-board with the plans for 2011!!   

We also had a meeting with a lady named Sister Miriam Frederick (no relation, unless you go back far enough I suppose) who runs an orphanage in PAP.  She has been going out to Pestel for decades now, and has a wonderful heart for the children of Haiti and of Pestel.   She and a surgeon from Florida have wanted to build a hospital for Pestel, and they worked with a hospital engineer to draft up plans.   I got to see them today and they look really great.

Importantly, while we were visiting with Sister Miriam there was a woman who came over to interview Dr. Seneque about his work in Pestel.  She is a reporter and recently flew out to Pestel by helicopter (I'm VERY jealous) to learn about the cholera situation.  

She is writing up an article that MAY be included in USA Today on Monday.  So if you get USA Today please take a look and see if her article is in the paper on Monday!!   Wouldn't that be terrific to have an article about the needs in Pestel read by thousands and thousands?!?

One item that came to light during this interview:   Dr. Seneque's truck broke down about a month ago during the height of the cholera epidemic.   Transportation for Dr. Seneque and his patients has been extremely challenging since then.   Sister Miriam said that if we could get a truck for Dr. Seneque she could (somehow, using a specific NGO status in Haiti) get it flown or shipped to Haiti and out to Seneque.    It would need to be Diesel.  

So if you have ideas on how to get a truck or SUV for Dr. Seneque, please do let me know!

So this has been quite a productive little trip!   :)

Heading home tomorrow, but not exhausted as usual.    

Friday, January 14, 2011

January Haiti Trip

Bon jour everyone!

We had a couple of really good meetings today--the first with Heifer
International and the second with Water Missions Haiti.

BIG thanks to Rebecca for connecting me up with both of these
fantastic organizations!

The representatives from Heifer are very interested in exploring
Pestel as a possible site for their organization!! They will be
going out to Pestel this Wednesday!! We have a pretty good sense at
this point what will be needed on 'our' end to help this succeed:
1. A community of about 200 people who are committed to the project
2. strong leadership within that group
3. good accountability and participation from the start
4. honesty honesty honesty

Interestingly, a couple of other items that I wouldn't have thought
about: they need a bank within close proximity and the area needs to
have 'markets' to sell goods.

We have those!

The meeting with Water Missions was fantastic as well. Really, the
two people that lead WMI's Haiti group--Julio (said, "J ulio" and not
"Hulio") and Elsa--are wonderful, energetic, eager people. Dr.
Seneque had a chance to see the water treatment unit that will be
going out to Pestel, and he was VERY impressed. He is eager to see
that implemented, as are all of us. And the good news: Julio is
going to be out in Jeremie in another week, and he's planning to stop
off in Pestel for a day or two to do an assessment!

Dr. Seneque would like the unit to be placed on the island, and that's
a very good choice. He describes people as using buckets of water
from the ruts in the road.
And the data from the 2010 campaign confirms that the situation on the
island is severe. The results show that the island has the worst
health of all of Pestel, and Pestel has some of the worst health in
Haiti, and Haiti has some of the worst health in the world.

2011 is starting off with a wonderful series of gifts for the people
of Pestel.

Praise God
From Whom
all blessing flow

Thank you for your prayers--I'm quite mindful of them and of your
participation in this good work!


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thank God for the little things

It's easy to be over-awed by the BIG happenings and BIG good news items, but we mostly live in the day-to-day routine, right?

In doing this "Haiti work" I've come to appreciate seeing God's good hand working in the small things...especially when you realize how many things CAN go wrong.  If you've taken a trip to Haiti with me you have undoubtedly seen something not go right...and I mean, something that would be a nuisance here can be nearly a deal-breaker in Haiti.  

So here are some 'little thing' that just might matter:

1.  I just spoke with Anderson who was able to confirm that Dr. Seneque is coming out to Port-au-Prince on Thursday, arriving about the same time as I am.   He'll be leaving for Pestel on Sunday just as I'm leaving for the US.   The timing is good!   I was a bit concerned that Anderson might say that Dr. Seneque is not able to come out...because of the cholera situation in Pestel, for example.  I also did not know for sure if he would be arriving on Thursday or Friday...or Saturday?   So this is all good news.  Please pray for his safety and good travels for him.   (Been there done that)

2.  Since Dr. Seneque is coming out on Thursday he will be able to meet with the representatives from Heifer International on Friday morning, and also, I have now set up a meeting with Water Missions International for Friday afternoon!  Getting his input and his buy-in will be really important.  

3.  This morning Jen and I were packing for the trip.  We are bringing down this piece of equipment that Anderson purchased  [do not ask Jen about it!  Or you will see her go 0 to 60 in record time]  Anyway, we could not find the power cord ANYWHERE.  We spent way too much time looking for this cord  [do not ask Jen about that either!].  Finally, Jen had a very good idea that we should pray for God to help us find it.  Within 15 minutes we had located the cord.  AND our 5 year old daughter was in the room with us when I said, "God answers prayer!"  She said, "He always does."



Thursday, January 6, 2011

Haiti January 2011

Hi everyone

Happy New Year!

I'll be heading down to Haiti for a brief trip next Thursday morning where I'll be meeting with representatives from Heifer International as well as spending a good amount of time with Dr. Seneque.  Much to go over!  

I'll also be trying to use the cell-phone based approach to data collection, and try to purchase a number of compatible cell phones in Haiti in anticipation of the March trip to Haiti.  

Tying in with the Heifer International thought, here is an article from Nicholas Kristof on the great value of microfinancing: