"Parish the Thought" Blog
- Written by Don Kavanaugh
Sunday, October 12, 2014
(Don's first hand account fills in lots of voids - Dave)
Started off as any day does when you are getting ready to leave on another trip to Haiti. Wake up early, run around like there's no tomorrow, trying not to forget anything. Mr. Puckett was kind enough to once again ferry Gary and I to the airport, this time on his way to the Cathedral trying to get Mary Ann there on time for choir practice before Mass. Once at the airport things went smoothly. Thankfully in the line where you did not have to remove articles of clothing or computers. Unfortunately that is where it ended.
Seems the flight to Charlotte was going to be delayed just enough that we would miss our connecting flight to Miami. Thankfully Ruth Ann once again came to the rescue. It pays to use a travel agent. She got us on a later flight which would put us in Miami after midnight. Unfortunately we have a 7:00 AM flight to Port Au Prince which means we have to be at the airport by 5:00 AM. Counting the time it will take to deplane, pick up luggage at baggage claim, get a shuttle to the hotel, get checked in, then actually get in bed, it would mean we would only get three or less hours of sleep. When you factor the cost of the room in, it was not worth it, so we decided to stay at the airport. At least we can go to the Admiral's Club when they open at 4:30 AM and take a shower and brush our teeth. Beginning my third full day of retirement and I'm sleeping in an airport! Not quite what I had in mind.
- Written by David Puckett
Jeremie in October ain't exactly what we see here at home! I know Don's in overload when I don't get an email with pearls of wisdom to slide into the blog ... so for anyone who may be following the Tek4Kids adventures, here's a brief update.
Travel plans usually involve a really early flight on Monday mornings, but this time the plan was to fly out of Louisville on Sunday evening, spend the night in Miami, then get an early flight to Port au Prince and hook up with a charter to Jeremie.
So, Don and Gary arrived at our house Sunday (under time pressure) to allow Mary Ann and I to drop them off at the airport earlier than necessary so that Mary Ann could make the Cathedral Singers deadline for warm ups before Sunday evening mass. It was fun watching Gary grovel a bit for causing Don to drive faster than normal to get here and apologizing to Mary Ann. As it turned out, I got her to church on time with a few minutes to spare!
Gary called or wrote later in the evening that they were 2 hours behind in Charlotte and should be in Miami about midnight.
Most of what follows is definitely not from a "boots on the ground" perspective, but ...
Gary called about 9 AM to let me know they were in PauP. I had just run into Jack Lydon so I let Gary know that Jack and Jackie were back home after their trip to France and Italy. People moving around everywhere!
The gang arrived at the house in Jeremie around noon Monday. The gang includes: Gary and Don from Tek4Kids, Joe (from British Columbia who is collaborating with us on various projects) and John (an associate of Joe's). I think they all flew from Port au Prince together. Joe's son, Curtis, and a Haitian driver named Jude arrived a bit later. They had driven a truck from PauP with really heavy luggage and a generator. That trip is typically and arduous 8+ hour trip, but I understand they made it in something under 7 hours, which means the section of road that crosses the mountains is getting better. Nancy must be jumping for joy having all the guys descend at once!
In case you wonder why I'm involved in the local airport juggle ... Don live in Jeff, I'm only about 15 minutes from the airport and have room to park an extra car. So that saves parking money. I need to start charging a nominal parking and shuttle fee! At any rate, whether I'm part of the trip or not, my place seems to be a hub! And when I'm not going there are always last minute things to toss in a suitcase that I have or last minute check lists. As I write this, I'm halfway expecting a call or email from Don or Gary to assist with something! It never ends!
More will follow ... either from Don or me.
- Written by Don Kavanaugh
Saturday, Sept 20
Another hot and humid day in Jeremie. Cathy was up before me and surprised all of us with a breakfast of eggs, toast, grapefruit and of course coffee. Nice conversation around the table this morning. Augustine came by last night just for a visit, so we had lots to discuss this morning.
Off to St. Louis high school. I have 34 computers to update, so lots of work. Gary just came by announcing that he wants me to replace twenty plus computers with some from the store room which means I now have over fifty to get updated.
Been a long day. The first thirty plus are still updating and will continue for some time. I will come back tomorrow after Mass to make sure they have completed the update cycle and then swap them out so that I can start the next batch.
Gary and the guys have been busy running electrical wire to Fr. Luxo's office so that he can have lights, so it's been a long day for them also. Forgot to mentioned that Cathy and Nancy have been busy unlocking the computers in classroom 2 from their security locks and placing those locks on the replacement computers. Cathy has also been updating our spreadsheet so that we can keep track of everything. So you see it has been a long but productive day and we are all beat.
More adventures to come tomorrow, I'm sure ........
- Written by Don Kavanaugh
Sunday, Sept 21
Everyone up early in order to be at 7:00 AM Mass. Even though most of us don't understand the language the Mass is spoken in, this first Mass with Msgr Marc-Arthur was enjoyable. He has restored the order of Mass with the procession down the center aisle up to the alter. The readings are done from the ambo. There is also a cantor now, who had a wonderful voice, who also stands at the ambo. Msgr Marc-Arthur is very passionate when giving his homily with a very strong voice and sense of presence. Fr. Jeff, he reminds me a lot of you. Even though Mass was two hours long we all enjoyed it immensely. Gary even stayed awake during the entire Mass.
The rest of the day was consumed with trying to get the rest of the laptops updated and the ones being moved packed safely away. I checked out twenty four of the original bunch to make sure all of the updates were applied, removed the student user accounts and disabled both the wireless radio and adapter on each. Then I proceeded to begin applying updates to the ones taking their place. Grueling! Only have about sixteen more to do tomorrow.
Gary and the guys are still trying to run electrical cable to Fr. Luxo's office. Seems they ran into some problems which have set them back a bit.
Back at the house once again. Smell of banana bread in the air ... Nancy has been baking. And then Mia served us chicken, rice, beets, a pasta salad, and a salad I can't spell that has a kick to it (Dave here... is that picklies?). My favorite! All of us are content to just kick back until it's time to go to bed. Hard to imagine we have already been here a week tomorrow. We leave this coming Friday and I'm sure the days will quickly pass until then.
- Written by Don Kavanaugh
Wednesday, Sept 17
I'll add Don's notes later, but with all the discussion about power and batteries, I thought I'd toss in a bit more.
By about 7:00 PM Tuesday, the battery complex had been temporarily connected. the concrete enclosure that Boss Benice was working on needed to set up over night. When I spoke with Gary this morning, city power had been on till about 1:oo AM (unusual), and they had power all night .... which means fans all night, which means sleep! Even coffee this morning.
About 9:00 this morning, Gary shut things down at the house, moved batteries into the enclosure. So, here are some clips of what we've been talking about:
As Don commented, we are so dependent on electricity!
At least more of the planned work can move ahead now!
I think Don must have run out of steam! I know they worked on getting the power situation at the house under control. Don had intended to work at St Louis High School, but ended up trying to get Laura's Mac working. Gary and Cathy visited the orphanage that is getting water purification installed.
Once the power got back and the house camera started working, I could tell lots was going on. Baba, Max and Francklyn showed up. Laura was moving around. And then Gary, Don, Nancy and Cathy. Plenty of activity! While I happened to be looking at the camera live feed, Francklyn's face came right up! He was getting ready to mount it on the wall better! Wish I could have talked to him!
I think the planned work is still in the "to be done" category.