Life continues at HATS but we are really missing Dickie, Sandra, Jim and Shondi.

Kids missing Sandra this week


Jim with Antoinette and Naomie

Now we are looking forward to David Nance arriving Feb 23rd with his team of six. For two of them it will be their first time at HATS. Team consists of Ryan Reneau (returning), Joanne Ritchie (returning), Molly Ritchie (first time), Brooks Boyette (returning), and Julie Rallift (first time). David comes from Texas yearly with a team and we always await their return.

When Dickie was here plumbing problems arose its ugly head again. (Seems like it always waits for when Dickie is here.) We had sewer and water problems once again at the bathhouse. That building has a bathroom and shower for two house mothers, one for the employees, and one for the boys. After the team left Luckner hired someone to clean the septic tank, someone to dig up the pipes from bathhouse to tank, and today someone to come with a pump to force water through one section to dislodge the sand buildup there. Luckner did everything he could for two days but it needed the help of a pump to complete the job. Both days Luckner was down in the trenches on his knees, up to his elbows in the dirt, working on the problem. It was funny to see him like that Friday in his dress clothes from school. The tank needed to be cleaned. Also, two water pipes had broken underground and they had slowly and steadily filled with sand. Today it is fixed, cleaned and running again. No one is happier than my boys, the employees, and the two housemothers who use that outside bathhouse. For a few days everybody had to use the bathroom in Kay Timbermart. We had shifts – one for the girls, one for the boys and one for the ladies.

plumbing problems


Luckner down in the trench working on sewer system problems


Plumbing sewer problems

Our security house is almost finished. It is being built to the plan we had 4-5 years ago. The security will now be able to see and control inside and outside the compound regularly.

Building for security


Security station

Next we will tackle two things that I see as very important in Kay Margo. I want the kitchen to be enlarged and a small depot made to store supplies that keep taking over the house mother’s room. We are going to remove the wall of the kitchen and take some space from the huge room. I want them to have space in the kitchen for a table for placing the food into the children’s dishes, and for some cupboards. We are also going to take some space from the large bedroom where Dieunel, Judel and Jofky sleep, put up a wall there, and add a door. Then we will put in lots of shelves to store supplies. It will be messy and uncomfortable there for a few days but so worth it in the end. The ladies who work there are quite excited about the changes/improvements I proposed.

Mariah continues to do well. She is doing a great job with her class at school. Too, she does a good job helping with my children. She plays with them but does not allow them to disobey. Luckner says what he sees impresses him and he can see she will someday make a good mother as well as a teacher if she chooses that path. She has 14 very active monkey doodles in her class and she is certainly kept on her toes all the time. Luckner and I figure she will do well at whatever she attempts in life.

Mariah doing a good job with my kids too

Mariah is doing well in her personal life too and showing she is mature and sensible. She is not allowing herself to be sweet talked by the many males who would like to get close to her – for the obvious reasons, but also to try and get a visa for Canada. Everyone wants her phone number. Not a good thing to give someone here. A funny thing happened in St. Marc this week. Mariah, Herve (security) and I went to the bank and then to a small store. We were separated in the store so many people had no idea Mariah was with me. When looking for something I saw a man lean into Mariah to speak to her. I saw Mariah walk away saying “No, No.” A little later I saw the same man speak to Herve and Herve seemed to not know what to say. The man then looked at me, obviously knowing who I was, and that I was with Herve, and asked it he could get a ride back to Chandale (just before Borel). He proceeded to tell me he knew Met Luckner and that he was a pastor. It was obvious he knew Luckner and I work together. Saying he knew Luckner meant nothing to me as Luckner is well known by everyone – good people and not so good people. Too, saying he was a pastor did not mean much to me. I asked my security, Herve, if he knew the man, to which Herve responded, yes. I said okay he could have a ride back with us.

When leaving the store to head back to the truck Mariah said “Gramma, what are you doing?” I asked what she meant. She said, ” why are you giving that man a ride with us?” Well he needed a ride, Herve knows him, and we have room. Mariah then told me that man had asked for her phone number and she had said no and walked away, Oh, so that is what was going on there. That pastor man was trying to pick up Mariah. Too funny. The man in question was walking ahead with Herve. When he saw Mariah and I coming and getting in the truck together, he was shocked and looking scared even. I started to laugh. The man sat in the back seat with Herve and said nothing. He was very subdued. On the drive home I often broke out in laughter at the idea of him being ‘caught in the act’. I found it very amusing. When we dropped him off he said a quick and quiet thank you and he ran. I continued to laugh. Herve then told me he had heard him pray on Radio Creole in the past and that he was married. I laughed again as he really was caught red handed and he knew it. It continued to be funny when the next morning at school I filled Luckner in on what happened, and he then started to laugh. He said the ‘pastor’ had done some praying on the air at the radio station but he had not seen him or heard from him for quite some time. The same night, however, that he had been caught trying to pick up Mariah he had texted Luckner to greet him and to say he was planning to come by the radio station that night. He, however, did not show up. For some reason I still find it amusing.

I am proud of our Mariah girl as her head could easily be turned here. Lots of guys will want her but finding a sincere and honest one would be similar to finding a needle in a haystack.

Thanks for reading our blog stories. Thanks for your comments on the blog or by email. Thanks for everything you have done and do for HATS. Let’s continue to work together for the children. IT IS ALL ABOUT THE CHILDREN.

~Karen and gang