Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Cite Soleil, Haiti: Our final day

It is always with mixed emotions that the volunteers return to a community for the last time. Some of them might return, but most will not. There are the many new friends that we have made that will stay behind, because this is their home and we are so far away in so many ways. It is our humanity that is our common bond that binds us, each to the other. There are tears, and many children who know that the hands they want to hold will never return. But we may meet again, somewhere, another place and time.

Elton ordered more concrete yesterday so that we could complete the home of Marie Ange Calix. Marie, or "Mama" as we fondly called her, who watched our tools and general building supplies throughout the project. When we arrived this morning, one home had two of its concrete and re-bar corners poured so we formed and poured concrete into the rest of the corners of the two homes: Very shortly after, the galvanized roof sections and nails arrived so we were also able to install the roof rafters and roof after lunch.

On the side you can see a picture of Jason dismantling a corner form while he sits on a new rafter. Another shot of the installation of the first tin roof section; the gaps between rafters are so wide, and the tin so thin, it's a challenge to straddle the material, measure and drive nails:

I visited the clinic, which was now occupied by two doctors and nurses from the USA, so there was a long line of waiting patients outside, and on benches inside. I took some photos of children and adults with vitamins packaged by Kamloops school children. Imagine hundreds of patients needing health care each day, and thousands more in this sector of Cite Soleil and you can see that these vitamins and the work the school children are doing has an immense impact on the long-term health of these families.

At around 3:00pm the volunteers began making departure preparations, handing out Developing World Connections T-shirts, the tools they brought, wristbands and other items that can be used after they leave. It was a warm feeling to know that medical staff were there and that the resources the volunteers left will enable both homes to be completed so their families can move in.

I will close of this blog with a photograph of Marie Ange Calix, "Mama" standing in her soon to be completed home. Her son, daughter, mother and grandmother will now have a home.

Signing off,

Cam Grant
DWC Participant

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