Monday, August 31, 2009

haiti update - august 30, 2009

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Hi! This week was a noisy week. On Tuesday morning I was working at the computer in my room when there was a large “poof” sound from the television and then it caught on fire. It was good I was right there when it happened. Unfortunately the radio and Macdonald’s computer went “poof” too at the same time. We raced around disconnecting everything and turned off the main electrical switch. A power surge had come down the line. Instead of 110 we were receiving 220 current. Other people in the neighborhood had stuff damaged too. The cause was a branch from our tree in the yard that had pushed up the electrical wire (I think). Later in the afternoon the welders from the welding shop in front of our wall were fiddling with the line to see if they could still set up to work and there was a large “pow”, followed by a “zzzt” sound and the line they set up broke and landed in our barbed wire at the top of the wall. They had to remove the live wire with a stick. They were scared after that and never tried again for the rest of the week. Because the tree was contacting the wire it was a little electrified too as well as our gate from the barbed wire contacting a branch. Over the next couple of days we went to the local EDH office to ask them to deal with the broken wire and they kept saying that they would send someone. They finally said on Thursday afternoon that it wasn’t their responsibility but the emergency department’s office downtown. Friday morning we drove down there and they sent someone out late in the afternoon. They did some tree trimming with their crane truck and then came back again on Saturday morning. What started as cutting the tree back ended up as cutting the tree down when we noticed that the core of the tree was rotten. The guys and their friends took turns at cutting up the tree. The people in the neighborhood told us that we could make a lot of charcoal out of this tree, but we are going to try and sell it to local dry cleaner shops who can use wood as a fuel source for their iron presses. Then we can use these funds to repair some of our fried electronics equipment. I had a good surge protector on my computer equipment and it is all still working. The photocopier was direct connected to the wall outlet but didn’t have any damage as well. We don’t know about the invertor yet. EDH repaired their electrical line running in front of the house, but early Sunday morning there were a lot of “pop, pop” sounds and the line was broken again. As of writing this update the line still spits sparks from time to time. Pray that EDH will come again and repair the line. I read in the news this week that EDH will be raising their fees 100% starting with the August billings.
At around 1:00am on Friday morning we heard 2 gunshots in front of our house. Everyone jumped out of bed to see what was going on. We heard someone talking on the street and one of our neighbors turned on their outside lights. A motorcycle then started up and drove away. It went up the street and then we heard it coming back down the road again. The neighborhood dogs were barking but Shilo wasn’t. That was when the guys thought that he might have been shot. After a few minutes we saw him walk by the side of the house. He had been hiding and keeping quiet while the neighborhood dogs were barking. One of the guys tried to dial the emergency 114 number but kept getting a busy signal. After a while things became quiet again. The next morning Lukner told us that there were 3 gunshots near his house too that night.
The state exam re-writes for the rheto (grade 12) and philo (grade 13) levels started on Monday. While we were out driving around in the morning there were large groups of students waiting outside of a couple of testing centers. It wasn’t clear to the students who was eligible for the exam rewrites. In the past only students who had “adjourne” on their exam results were eligible. Those who had “elimine (eliminated)” were disqualified. Samuel Marcelin and Jackenmy Milien both went to their testing centers. Samuel had asked me if I had heard what the minimum mark was for eligibility. A friend of his didn’t know if he was eligible for the exam re-writes. I gave him the advice to show up and see if his name was on the list. This is what all the students did at the various testing sites. The education ministry did not publicize the eligibility requirements clear enough for the students. When they found out they couldn’t enter some got angry and some of the testing centers had problems. The exam center where Samuel was writing had no difficulties. The exam center where Jackenmy wrote though had some problems. He was able to finish writing the exam but the students who were not allowed to write forced their way inside and ripped up the written exam papers. In one exam center the protesting students smashed all the computers in the computer room and ripped up books in the library as well as trying to set the school on fire. A policeman shot at one of these protesting students and killed him. Angry students and people from the community blocked police from removing the body. It ended up that alternate exam centers were set up for the remainder of the exam period and Monday’s exams were repeated on Friday. The students who wrote on Monday were not intimidated. The next exam day they showed up at their center and took the exams without problems. Being able to pass the philo level and move on to a post-secondary education was their goal. Hopefully Samuel and Jackenmy will pass these re-writes.
We had a few visitors from Kentucky paint some school benches and tables on Thursday. They did a good job and even painted some designs on the tables. We give the Lord thanks for helping hands!
That’s all the news for today. Have a good week!
Karen Bultje, Coram Deo

“Blessed is any weight, however overwhelming, which God has been so good as to fasten with His own hand upon our shoulders.” F.W. Faber

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