It’s 7:30pm and we’ve just spent our last few minutes with the children. Writing about work, temperatures and accomplishments seems very void of emotion right now, but it’s necessary since today was another day of improvement here at HATS. Let’s do that first…

Brian, Mike and Josh (in ridiculous, almost-becoming-boring-to-say heat…all before noon, of course) moved blocks to the area of the new water tower to help out the workers. Speaking of which, they’re preparing the structure to pour the upper level floor which will hold the water tanks; bracing is in place, the columns have been finished and planks removed. The cabinet Mike Cushing built is now in its final resting place in the new home and drainage pipes have been run and are ready for hook-up.  And while this was going on, Rich, Josh, and I emptied, sorted and reorganized the tool room. We found it gratifying to move from chaos to order and even moreso when someone would say “Wow, we would’ve been thrilled to have one of those when we were building [insert project].”

Josh moving blocks to water tower site

Unloading rebar

Work continues Haitian & Blan

Tool Room Looking Good

Kitchen counter for new house

Karen is a bit worse for the wear today, with some blend of fatigue, pain and losing her voice. Father, please look after her. If ever there was a person to give a bit of extra care and attention to, it’s her.

So, here we are: the final blog post, six days after we arrived. We’ve made a difference, I believe. Big stuff, little stuff; it all contributed to the greater good and that big picture: keeping HATS a surviving and thriving, safe haven for the children of Deschapelles, Haiti.

And oh my, what children they are.  As expected, it was tough. There were tears, whispers, hugs and I’ll miss you’s. I learned that it gets easier (only a bit) for those who’ve done this a few times. As Bob says “I’m part of the furniture now. I don’t say ‘goodbye’, I say ‘see you later’.” Maybe that’s how you cope with leaving…you return.  Once, five times, 10 times. However many. Guaranteed you’ll leave a different person than when you came in.

Au revoir.
We’ll miss you HATS.
You are now part of us.

For the March 2010 team: Brian Bowers, Bob Comeau, Mike Cushing, Aimee Feaver, Rich and Josh Huisman