These past couple of weeks has come and gone so fast. For a quick preface, we had our friends Shae Goodwin, her son Tom, Colette Worthington and her daughter Kyla all arrive safely on May 11th. They came to support us in the construction effort as professional photographers and videographers, hands on help as sand sifters and anything that needed to be done at the jobsite, they did. And served so well. It’s always so refreshing when people are so willing to give of their time and energy and willingness to serve others. The workers got a kick out of the women jumping right in to help sift sand!
On Tuesday, May 14th, our friend Keith and Joel Johnson arrived. They are both plumbers by trade, with experience in tiling, sheetrock and other various skills in the construction industry. During this trip we were able to use their experience in tiling and taught the crew how to tile. It was hard to track down some of the needed tile during the week because of unavailability. By Friday, we were stocked and ready to work. (Check out the photo gallery and we will be adding more photos.)
I (Mimose) was able to help translate a bit on Monday May 20th and it was great to see how the construction workers were working together. Most had other duties and we were working with a group of about 4 for tiling (more were trained on the Friday and Saturday previous). One of the workers named Carlo asked Keith and Joel what the principle was behind knowing how to tile and he learned about the 3, 4, 5 rule that day. Preparation and planning before setting the tile is key and the 3, 4, 5 rule helped to make sure everything was even at the start so that the tile around it would all be set according to the measurements of the room. I am pretty sure that Carlo and the other men will not forget about this because everything started falling into place after the floor was measured. They saw the tile being set on the floor and began setting it themselves.
During a meeting with everyone, Leo said it best when he told everyone that the experienced tradesmen that travel to Haiti to train his workers was only the beginning. His hope is that they will increase in their skills and talents and be able to find better work, start their own companies and help others around them learn skills and trades as well. His hope is not to keep them for his benefit but for them to grow in their capacities and move onto something better.
This is the kind of training these Haitian men and women need. To be able to ask questions, to work hands on and learn trades. The work is not done yet… Some of our next steps include working on making Haiti Construction Trade Trip a non-profit organization. We still need help on-site and are looking for additional volunteers. Currently, we are seeking masons, drywallers, and electricians. We will make use of other construction skills as well. Please continue to spread the word and share our website with others. Get us more volunteers!