Haven Haiti Day 6 Diary

Weight Loss, Garth Brooks, Shaving in the Dark and iPhone apps. Day 6 of our Volunteer in Haiti blog.

 

Haven Haiti Volunteer Diary

Progress on site is going well and it looks like all 100 houses will be completed by Friday afternoon.

It was another early start this morning which started by almost having a domestic in the tent. Sean had his alarm set for 5am and it woke the rest of us. He then proceeded to go back to sleep and I lost a valuable 1/2 an hour quality time in bed. No one was pleased!

We have porridge eggs, bacon and sausage every morning for breakfast but as with every meal the quality is excellent.

We are now working on other people’s houses to get them up to a final stage of completion. We are roofing, putting in window shutters( no glazing) and putting on doors. There are lots of small jobs to be done and some can only be done by skilled tradesmen and they are heavily outnumbered!

I met Bernadette today on a house. She is a retired school principal from Kerry but she was putting up walls and cement board like a natural trades person. When I remarked on the fact that she obviously knew her stuff she explained that when the funding for her school was cut she had no option but to buy a drill and a hammer and do most of the repair work herself.

I got off the bus this evening and I was aching from head to toe. I would give anything for a long soak in a hot bath. Luckily I’m in the first bus out and will be ahead of the queue for the showers.

I had a shave tonight for the first time in a week. God knows what it’s going to look like as it was performed in the dark without a mirror. There are 300 men here and I haven’t seen one mirror being produced in the wash up area, either we are all too embarrassed to produce them or we are programmed the same way and just didn’t think it was essential.

There is an excellent choice of food on the menu tonight. We have chicken, loin of pork, Chicken curry pie or steamed sea bass. I’m on dinner duty and afterwards I go for the chicken curry pie. There goes my plan to loose 1/2 a stone this week!

I have an idea for an iPhone shaving app though as using the camera is the only way I can see what damage I have done shaving blind with cold water. It’s not pretty!

Tonight is Garth Brooks night and he didn’t disappoint. It’s hard to believe that it’s 12 years since he played his last concert. He came on stage at 7.30 and started telling his life story and what musicians influenced him. It was just amazing to hear him play James Taylor, Bob Seiger, and a few more and then finish with a set of his own music.

He was joined by Trisha Yearwood who was just excellent, she sang two songs and just brought the house down. I was two rows from the front and awestruck. I found out this morning that padraic one of the my team members offered to do a duet with Garth and was told he’d get back to him. I wouldn’t bother waiting by the phone Padraic!

Regards

Declan

85 Person Tent:

 

Finishing our first house:

 

Kitchen Team meeting President Carter:

 

 

Check back here regularly http://www.servisource.wpengine.com/blog for updates or
Check out our Twitter feed on https://twitter.com/Servisource where you can send declan a good luck tweet with @Servisource #declaninhaiti or

For more information on HavenHaiti check out http://havenpartnership.com or follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/havenhaiti or to mention and show your support @havenhaiti #havenhaiti

Haven Haiti Day 5 Diary

Haven Haiti Day 5 Diary

Record breaking heat, enthusiastic american DJs, talkative females, billion dollar teams, positive attitudes and a question and answer session with Jimmy Carter. All in a days work for the chief Declan Murphy and his team of volunteers in Haiti.

 

Just when I thought this place couldn’t get any hotter it broke all records today. This may sound a little rough but after 2 hours working today I had a photo taken of myself taking my t shirt off( not for public consumption!) and wringing at least 1/2 a litre of sweat out of it.

I was optimistic this morning when the 5.30 call went out and it was overcast and cool. Little did I know that this is a sign that humidity is reaching 100% and even sitting down the sweat just starts to run.

On the bright side I have thoroughly detoxed today and probably lost at least half a stone!

I mentioned the morning call that goes out. This is fast becoming the most hated sound of the day. By this evening I was barely able to climb the steps to the bus as every bone was aching.

I know that in the morning an over enthusiastic American volunteer will be plugging his iPhone into the speaker system as he does every morning and at 05.29.59 will start playing music out across the camp.

We have been treated to among other titles ‘when I wake up in the morning light’ and ‘I feel good’ ( which is the exact opposite of how I feel)

We got one house completely finished today and I believe it was the first one of the 100 we are building, not that I’m in any way competitive! The home owner who has been with us all week was delighted and immediately commenced sweeping the floors and raking the ground outside, even though it may be some weeks before she moves in with her family.

Instead of finishing the second house we jumped on with the team next door which is 7 women of various ages and two guys one of whom is a retired tennis player from Florida.

Imagine his delight when ‘the A team’ started on his house and put the roof on hung the doors and fitted the inside walls. I heard enough ‘Praise the Lords’ to guarantee me at least a pass through the pearly gates!

Actually the most impressive person on the team was an Irish volunteer in her 60’s who was up on the scaffolding fitting sheets of cement board.  She had a team with her and was getting stuck in while delivering instructions to all the members on her team! The funny thing about this team of females is that they all have to be talking all of the time and each has a different opinion on how the task should be done. It’s comical to watch but the important thing is that it gets done and they show up a lot of the males on site with their skills.

One if the best things about the trip are the people you meet. I have discovered another team member worth more than 100m dollars which brings the combined wealth of my street to just under half a billion dollars.(If you add in the Irish volunteers that reduces significantly!)

Everyone though just gets on with it and the attitude in the camp is always positive!

The most impressive aspect for me is the praise an compliments paid to the Haven team who organized the catering and logistics for the build it week!

I know it’s early days but the whole event has been flawlessly planned and executed and its a tribute to Leslie, Carmel, Orla, Cathy, John Henry and the security team, the Haven management and support team for the work that they have done.

This evening the dinner is a traditional Haitian meal which consists of spicy rice, chicken or beef, some sauces (which are hot) and salads and a sort of potato pie. The meal is delicious and is served by local Haitian women in their traditional clothes.

This evenings entertainment is a sit down Q&A with president and mrs carter. They are amazing people. He is 88 and are both out on site working every day. In total they have raised over 500m to fund the future work of their Carter foundation which researches and funds initiatives in third world countries to eradicate things like malaria in Ethiopia (down 90%) and river blindness in South America (almost completely eradicated).

The entertainment finishes at 20.30 and the bar closes at 21.30 with lights out at 22.00. I reckon though that my lights will be out long before then!

Regards

Declan

Check back here regularly http://www.servisource.wpengine.com/blog for updates or
Check out our Twitter feed on https://twitter.com/Servisource where you can send declan a good luck tweet with @Servisource #declaninhaiti or

For more information on HavenHaiti check out http://havenpartnership.com or follow them on Twitter https://twitter.com/havenhaiti or to mention and show your support @havenhaiti #havenhaiti

Haven Haiti Volunteer Pictures

Some fantastic pictures that the chief has sent back from Haiti where he is currently working as a volunteer with the Haven in Haiti Charity

 

Start of Day 5:

Haven Haiti Start of Day 5

Getting organised for Day 5

Getting organised for Day 5

Morning Prayer and Briefing

Morning Prayer and Briefing

House recipient there to work every day

House recipient there to work every day

People in tents outside perimeter fencing waiting for houses

People in tents outside perimeter fencing waiting for houses

Armed police and security guarding the gates

Armed police and security guarding the gates

Proud of his Irish connections

Proud of his Irish connections

Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood serving dinner

Garth Brooks and Tricia Yearwood serving dinner

What was once last years building site

What was once last years building site

Be Winter Ready 2012

Practical advice for being winter-ready.

Severe weather challenges all of us. Activities that we take for granted can become difficult or even hazardous when severe weather occurs. However, by taking some simple steps you can reduce the impact of such events. This winter-ready booklet gives information on being prepared, providing practical advice for coping during episodes of severe weather, as well as giving contact details of organisations and agencies that can provide guidance and assistance.

 

Severe weather challenges all of us. Activities that we take for granted can become difficult or even hazardous when severe weather occurs. However, by taking some simple steps you can reduce the impact of such events.
This winter-ready booklet gives information on being prepared, providing practical advice for coping during episodes of severe weather, as well as giving contact details of organisations and agencies that can provide guidance and assistance. The booklet was prepared by the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning.
The main message is simple – be prepared, stay safe and know where to find help should you need it.
An electronic version of this booklet is available on the website www.winterready.ie An Irish language edition is also available.
The website acts as an entry site to many useful websites. During severe weather events information will also be available on Aertel page 592.
To download the booklet please click the link below.