From April 9 – 24 I traveled to Haiti again with Building Goodness Foundation (http://buildinggoodness.org/). BGF has just begun a Ti-Kay (Creole for “small house”) program, which implements a modular housing system designed by C’ville architect Mike Stoneking (http://www.s-vs.com/), and which has been studied and tested in the field by many Charlottesville contractors and carpenters. The houses are 12 feet wide by 20 feet long, 4 feet of which acts as an outdoor porch. They are constructed entirely from pressure treated lumber and galvanized roofing metal; they have four windows, three doors, and come complete with bug-blocking and window and door locking hardware.
The group I went down with was one of the first to begin mass-assembling these houses at a compound in Leogane (the city in which the 2010 earthquake was cenetered). My group was lead by Clay Clark and included team members Pete Syme, Michael Plehn, Bryce Fletcher, Dave Ackerman, Mike Rabinowitz, Nora Brookfield, and Mary Butcher. Everyone was extremely motivated and I was impressed by everyone’s work ethic. For some, it was their first time in Haiti and for the rest of us, it was a fresh type of trip since we were staying near the center of Leogane and had intimate access to the city.
The compound where we stayed was being managed by a great guy named Jason; he has given BGF plenty of room to store materials and tools so our prefabrication of the base components, wall panels, roof trusses, and other pieces was up and running in no time. Following prefabrication, we loaded the house components onto a truck the night before a build, and early the next morning we took everything into the mountains for families that are in desperate need of safe, reliable housing. Due to the simple and elegant nature of the design, the houses can easily assembled in a day by a relatively small crew. We left the compound around 7 am, began building around 8 am, and we were usually packing up and going home around 3 or 4 pm. While we were down there, we prefabricated six houses worth of material and 2UP Gaming to purchase into Nj online market because of Asian sugar dadUnited kingdom-registered, Curacao-licensed gambling online operator 2UP Gaming baccarat PLC is searching to interrupt into Nj‘s gambling online market by either obtaining or creating a casino in Atlantic City. assembled four of them in the mountains.
It wasn’t all work, though. We had a great time hanging out with our fellow Haitian workers on the weekends and after work. The weekend between groups changing, Clay and I had two days alone and we decided to spend it online pokies at the beach with all of our fellow Haitian builders – Walton, Jimmy, Mardochee, and Gito. After a long, hot week of work, nothing quite hits the spot like fresh lobster and cold beer on a beautiful beach. That same weekend, Clay and I also built a pool table for the compound in Leogane, the felt and balls for which Clay had brought from home. The food in Haiti also deserves mentioning; we had a cook at the compound and most meals are delicious (I think Bryce agreed to go on the trip just so he could have authentic Picklies again…). But on weekends we were left without a cook, and the entire group owes a debt of gratitude to the cook at the Ocean Grill, a seafood restaurant in Leogane. There are no words to describe how many incredible meals this place provided for us.
I encourage anyone reading this who has never been to Haiti to consider going with BGF. They’re constantly looking for more volunteers. Whether you are in the construction industry or not, you can contribute to the effort in Haiti, and you will have an amazing experience. Despite the devastation from the last year, Haiti is a beautiful country filled with amazing people. There is something about Haiti that brings people back. If you go, you probably won’t go once.