My most recent trip to Haiti was a success in almost every way. In May I led a team of engineering students to assist in the development efforts of Mission Waco / Mission World in Ferrier, Haiti. Our primary project was to expand a solar electricity system and provide electricity to a local school. But our primary purpose was to love people and build relationships, and so, to express the love of God.
This post is an overview of our trip in pictures. There is much more I could tell. I will write some of the best ones as time allows.
[This is one of my favorite pictures. These boys attend the CAF school where we installed electricity. I love their smiles!]
[Four of the students were electrical engineering students. They led out in the electrical design and installation. Here we are reviewing the details of the design.]
[We went to visit a small village near Ferrier to discuss future projects. Someone climbed a coconut tree and cut us fresh coconuts. They cut the tops off with a machete and we drank the milk. Then we used a spoon to scoop out the meat. Delicioso!]
[This is my co-leader, Bill Jordan, feeding the monkeys at a reserve in the Dominican Republic. We fed the students the same way, one banana at a time.]
[The mechanical engineering students constructed the frames to hold the solar panels. In an effort to align them facing south, we used a compass to identify a distant mountain peak that was due south. Then the students aligned the frame by sighting along the frame to the mountain in the distance. If they thought it was aligned correctly, they gave the touchdown sign. Score one for science.]
[This year, perhaps more than any previous trip I have led, the students built relationships with the locals. We always say these trips are about people, not projects, but it's hard to not get overly focused on the design and construction. But this year we went deeper with relationship-building than ever. We also spent a lot of time learning Haitian Creole and helping interested Haitians improve their English.]
[We worked with Amigo, the head of the water well business in Ferrier, to put in a reducer on the pump outputs to minimize spillage. Pooled water from spills breeds mosquitoes which spread Malaria, Dengue Fever and Chikunguna. This part of the project had several problems and we may not yet have found the best solution yet. Perhaps something for next year.]
[A couple of the students presented business lessons to a women's microcredit organization. I hope to expand on this work next year.]
[Translation: Guardian Water, Protect your family against cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea: use clean water at all times."]
[We expanded the solar array from last year from 1.5 kW to 3.0 kW. The panels are mounted on the roof of the Mission Waco Guest House/Training Center.]
[We upgraded the inverter and put in a larger battery bank. The old battery bank was put to good use at another site.]
[The electricity delivered to the school can power computers, fans, printers, and lights. We set up the computer lab for them before we left. The administrators of the school were very pleased and excited!]