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January 2018 Trip to Meet the New Director
During the week of January 15-21, 2018, Colleen Hernandez, Clermann Dieudonne, Cyndy Unwin, and Gene Yagow traveled to Haiti to expand our twinning partnership with the Petite Sisters of Saint Therese (PSST), the order of nuns who are in charge of the Papaye Normale School, to discuss a possible partnership between Roanoke Catholic School and Saint Martin's School in Hinche with Bishop Jean Desinord (facilitated by Cyndy Unwin), and to become acquainted with the new director, Sr. Veronique Cyriaque. As a new administrator, Sister is focused on the academics at the school, but aside from those, her current funding priorities include replacing the wood-fired cook stoves with propane stoves and replacing the metal roofing on various buildings around the campus. During our visit we also worked on electronic communication skills with Sister, visited several propane stove installations locally, checked the maintenance needs of the water filtration system, met with the student council and had dinner with the nuns at the ENIHP convent. More information on this trip can be found on the OLN Haiti blogs and in the upcoming Winter 2018 newsletter. After visiting the Papaye Normal School, our team traveled to Baudin in the Sud-Est province for lunch with Sr. Moline. After an evening rest at the Matthew 25 Guest house, our team was hosted by Clermann and her sister, Olguine, to visit their new home (under construction) in their former home town of St. Marc and a further drive for lunch at the Village D'Ennery in the northern part of the Artibonite Valley.
July 2017 Trip to Install Water Filtration Equipment
During the week of July 17-21, 2017, Gene Yagow and Clermann Dieudonne traveled to the Papaye Normale School to install water filters and an ultra-violet disinfection unit at the well pump house in order to provide an on-site source of potable water for the school. The system was installed with the assistance of Sr. Moline, Luchner - the school's maintenance man, and two former wards of the PSST community - Anglad, an engineer and Michelle, a plumber/electrician, both from PAP. The team modified the design and added in a 600-gallon storage tank so that potable water would be available even when electricity for the pump was not available.
A good-looking garden has emerged at the school since our trip this past February. Sister Moline hired a young agronomist from the area to help her get the garden started. The garden is in a fenced-in area, with new banana tree plantings along three sides. The garden is in four quadrants containing tomatoes, spinach, green peppers, and eggplant. The green peppers have had a drip irrigation system installed on part of its area, with plans to expand. Seed from the spinach plants are being collected with plastic bags for future replanting. Below the four quadrants are a series of raised seed beds, only two of which were currently being used for carrots and collard greens. Sister is pushing the agronomist to make sure all available land is in production soon. Hopefully the students will get involved during the next school year and have a better experience under the youthful, experienced agronomist.
Lingering Effects of Hurricane Matthew in Jeremie (Oct. 26, 2016)
The following is an excerpt of an email from Bishop Joseph Gontrand Decoste, which gives an overview of the damages caused by Hurricane Matthew in the Diocese of Jeremie:
38 of our 45 parishes have lost their roofs doors and windows and are severely damaged
7 rectories (permanent residencies of our parish pastors) of our 45 rectories are almost destroyed and their parish pastors have no place to live; some of the other rectories have serious damages
all of our 220 chapels in our 45 parishes are destroyed or severely damaged
the antenna of our unique catholic diocesan radio is broken down; no broadcasting is possible
many of our Catholic schools have lost their roofs and are severely damaged
32 of our 40 seminarians have lost their family homes; 8 of them have their family homes severely damaged
our unique technical school has lost a part of its roof; with some damages
our 2 hospices or homes for old people have lost their roofs and severely damaged
2/3 of our Catholic schools have lost their roofs or have severe damages
2/3 of the population have lost their homes and are sheltered in our parishes
all the trees and gardens are completely destroyed
cholera shows off again.
Things are really sad, bad, tough, challenging. It is an apocalyptic situation. We have to rebuild everything: churches, chapels, rectories, schools, health care clinic centers, houses, gardens, forests. So any help for the reconstruction will be more than welcome.
Sr. Moline Visits Roanoke, October 2016
During Sister Moline's recent visit to OLN in October 2016, she shared with us the following video that showed some of the recent work at the school related to upgrades to the male dormitory, bathrooms, and living space that she had accomplished on her own. To view the video click here.
New Student President at Papaye Normal School
While Sister Moline was visiting, the students of the Papaye Normal School elected and installed its new student council and its first female student body president (wrapped in the Haitian flag), as shown in the picture below.