Hopefully you read the blog “Moving In Day 1” and got a sense of how Thursday was as we moved our kids into their new homes. It was really one of the craziest days I can remember ever having, and I was looking forward to Friday and being able to do some troubleshooting with Gina and the house moms. I thought while the kids were at school we could start trying to fix the beds, figure out how to get some better lighting inside the homes at night until we can get electricity, and then get the kids started in their new daily routine. This is not exactly how the day ended up going…
To start with, I got up at 5:00 to get ready for the day and to make sure I would be at the new house by 6:00 to help everything get going. When I arrived, things were moving along perfectly. The girls were all ready and were about to start heading down to the boys’ house to eat. The boys were all dressed for school and were just sitting around talking. It was the perfect beginning and the kids were doing great bathing either at the well or in buckets. The only big complaint I got was from the girls because they kept telling me how hot it was the previous night. I thought this was weird because they were not even using their fans at Hope Rising because the weather at night was so nice and they usually do not complain about that. But I also figured that if that was the only complaint so far, we were doing great. I got to the bottom of this complaint really quickly…The girls and the house moms did not know how to open the windows! They had slept in the house the previous night with every door and every window completely shut. I immediately showed the house moms how to open these windows and it seemed like the first issue was already fixed.
So the kids had eaten and were getting ready to walk to school since we are closer to their schools now when I realized that I did not want them to have to walk. They were not complaining, but I thought we should not change everything on them at the same time, so Lener drove them all to school that morning. This was the first of many things that went wrong. It was not a big thing, but when Lener was backing out of the boys’ house, he broke one of the side mirrors of the truck on the gate of the house. This was just a sign of things to come.
Let me start by saying the guy who made the beds initially was now working hard to fix them and make them ready for the houses. He was cutting them at all 4 posts and then welding on a bolt to one bed and a hole for the bolt to fit over on the other bed. This would make it possible for each bed to serve as either a bunk or a single bed which is exactly what we wanted. So after the kids were dropped off at school the plan was for Lener to use the white truck to haul beds back and forth and for me to use the black truck to go into Leogane (the closest city to where we live) and try to find some solar lighting options that would give our kids light in their houses while we try to install some solar panels, batteries, inverters, and generators into each home so we can have electricity (if you want to find out more about this and donate toward the purchase of any of these things, please click here).
First things first, our white truck did not even make it to pick up one bed! In fact, the front right tire almost completely fell off the truck right outside of Christianville and was rendered useless immediately! The only reason it is not still sitting in that same spot is because 2 of our friends who work as mechanics at Christianville, Andre and Sauveir, rigged the tire where it could make the last few meters into the Christianville shop and would fix it for us when they were able to get the parts. This left us one car down on a day that we REALLY needed 2 cars to make anything happen. Luckily, Matt Smithson and Hope Rising had told me before they left that we could use either of their trucks to help us move. So I took a moto back to Hope Rising, left the black truck with Lener to start transporting beds, and picked up the Ford truck to help us out. The Ford is a much bigger truck so I left it with Lener so I could take the black truck into Leogane.
Before heading into Leogane, I went by Hope Rising again to pick up a few things for the houses that I had left behind. I then drove back to the girls’ house to drop the things off and talk to the new security guard. When I was about to leave, I got a call from Lener. The Ford truck had taken 2 trips with beds and it was now broken down! It was right in front of the boys’ house and it was not starting. So we called Andre again to have him come look at it and he told us he would be there during his lunch break. It was at this time, when I was about to head into Leogane to search for those lights, that someone poked their head out of the boys’ house and told me that we no longer had running water at the well. This was at about 10:00 that morning. So, to recap, on the day that I was going to try to do some troubleshooting and get the houses all ready for me to leave early that Sunday (this was Friday), this is where we were:
- We had 2 broken down cars.
- We had moved a grand total of 2 out of 15 beds.
- We no longer had running water at the boys’ house.
- I had not yet had time to go into Leogane to try and take care of the light situation at the houses.
If you remember from my last blog, I was back to that place where I had to take it one step at a time. First thing, call the plumbers to come and fix the water – They said they would be there at 4. Second thing, call Andre to come and try and fix the Ford – He said he would be there at noon. Third thing, Call Exode who was fixing the beds – He said he would hold on to them until we had a truck to get them. Fourth thing, realize that I had no control over the other situations so I might as well drive into Leogane to try and find some solar lights.
In the interest of time, I will make this part 1 of “Moving In Day 2.” As I mentioned before today was at least as busy as the previous day and I will finish with the rest of the details either tomorrow or Friday. Stay tuned…