June 2010 Newsletter

by Rev. Vernon Giesbrecht

Dear friend of Double Harvest,

Normal and abnormal. Daily work and relief work. Blessing and heartache. Ongoing compassion and lingering frustration. These are the paradoxes of life in Haiti today after the earthquake. Life continues on for many but there are still thousands of homeless and displaced. While numerous lives were saved by amputations, for them a dismal future seems inevitable. For too many, life has returned to “normal” but their days are clouded by grief at the loss of loved ones.

These contrasts are represented at the Double Harvest project as well. The corn and field crops are growing well and the starter plants, ornamental and tree seedlings in the greenhouses are healthy. The fish in the Tilapia Project are “happy” with a growth rate on schedule. Our students have two months of classes behind them with the government mandated school year extending to the end of August. Work continues on the new kitchen-cafeteria with equipment and work stations now in place. Gas and electric hook-ups and a new insulated roof will follow this month.

Meanwhile, the Medical-Surgical Clinic remains busy caring for the normal ailments and hosting periodic stateside surgery teams to conduct earthquake follow-up and surgeries our Haitian staff are not trained to do. Eye exams and cataract surgeries have given new sight to many, while dental work has relieved constant pain. Our Rebuilding Project in the surrounding villages continues at a good pace. Double Harvest is providing material, cement, sand, rebar, wood, etc. as well as thorough training and strict supervision. The people came up with a unique financial arrangement for the labor. A new homeowner builds up “obligation points” – two points per day – for the help he receives to rebuild his home. When his home is completed, he is obligated to help build other homes for as many days his points represent. Ladies provide water and food for the workers. Excitement is in the air as homes go up! Friendly competitions based on timing, quality and decoration have developed with the winner receiving a bicycle. We thank you for your generous contributions which make all this possible. You are helping us in “Sowing Seeds of Life”.