Monthly Archives: September 2010

Back home


After a very long day of travel (can you believe we had traffic in NYC on Saturday night? ), we are back home in NJ.  So excited to see our family and friends!

The trip was such a great success and it was amazing to see all of the children and team at Danita’s!  How do we know it was successful?  Besides the overwhelming feelings of gratitude for working with such a great team as Danita’s, most of the discussion on the last day centered around planning the next trips.  When you hear the phrase “next time we come down…” begin a sentence, you know the trip is a success.

As you can see if was not completely all work:

Ned’s Birthday:

That’s not fair!:

Aside from the great work and progress we made on the projects, the depth and expansion of the relationship with Danita’s and the Team was significant.  The Vision Team members and the broader, full Team Haiti are very excited for Danita travels to NYC (Microsoft) and NJ (Tower Hill) in October.  Although we have been back home for only one day, plans for the visits are already in the works!  To quote Ned, “it is gonna be ‘off the hook’ !”

Thank you to all of our supporters who made this trip possible!  Special thanks to our significant others (Julie, Ann, Danielle and Kim) who put up with lots of logistics (and executed a few) to plan this trip and also to make sure we had the time to go!

Thank you to the core and extended members of Team Haiti!!  Gathering materials, helping with plans and packing the duffels.  Your giving for a trip taken by others was selfless and wonderful!  You embody the spirit that makes working in mission great. 

Lastly, thank you to our friends at Microsoft who raised $2,000 through personal donations and the matching program!  The giving spirit is alive and thriving through your actions and compassion!!

2010 Vision Team (L to R): Gary, Adam Steve and Ned:

Thanks to you all for your love, prayers and support

-Team Haiti


Day three….

Well, today is our last full day here in Ouanaminthe.  We are all very sad to leave but extremely excited to be heading home to see our loved-ones.

Today was a very good day indeed:

  • We unloaded the eight duffel-bags of donations – Heather said that everything we brought was perfect – extra special thanks to Art, Cathy, Shelley and especially Ann P. for the donations and the help with packing!
  • We were able to get 12 School computers loaded up and networked with the latest software
  • We distributed a number of toys to the kids (Sports equipment donations, ETC.)  An extra special of thanks to Sarah and Rachel Basore for the Beanies!  Lots of smile (see picture below).
  • We took a trip across the border (on Market day) to get access to an faster ISP.  Should be a few days and there will be a more stable access for all. 
  • Gary P. spent a good part of the morning taking photos of the teachers to go with the bios for the teacher sponsorship program.  That project is in the home stretch.
  • We have confirmed the dates of the visits for Danita to NYC and NJ (Tower Hill on 10/19 and Microsoft on 10/20).  These will be absolutely great events!

Aside from the broader goals of the Vision Trip, many of the projects with Danita’s took  big steps forward with this visit.

Lubenson gets his Beanie Baby (named Sarge):

Gary getting some exercise:

Walking in town:

More progress on the clinic.  First floor concrete going in….

Steve….  Well doing what what Steve does….

Vision Trip Day 2

We are well in to our second day and here and there has been some great discussions and works.

For any of you who might be concerned with our caloric intake, please rest assured that we are eating well and often.  We may need a diet when we get home !

Ned has spent a good amount of time on the computers and has been facing a ton of challenges (first issue was that they have a Spanish version of Windows.  Second is that the network is exceedingly slow!  We are making progress, but it might be a long night!

Sheree took Gary and Steve on a tour of the village and visited some of the families and children in the local area.  Seeing what Danita and her team have built in the middle of harsh conditions accents how much of a miracle and sanctuary the orphanage is.  As Kim and Denise back home say “It is an oasis.”

Gary, Adam and Steve played a quick pick-up game of basketball with some of the girls.  For anyone who might be curious, Pastor Steve is a ringer.  He made some serious baskets from deep and not even Gary’s height advantage was a match for the bulls-eye baskets!  Adam shot a number of bricks and did a fair job of keeping himself from getting hurt!

Tonight we sat with Danita and Sheree after dinner to review the projects that we have been working on and to discuss local visits to NYC and NJ.  There is a great fit that has emerged as we have worked together over the past year.  Team Haiti is looking to work in an ongoing project fashion and Danita’s is looking for a long term partner.  They described us as a ‘Member of the family’ and are looking forward to seeing the full team in October!

Some more pictures for your viewing:

Sports Equipment donations hard at work (this soccer ball traveled from New Jersey) to find this happy home:

Denise….Got to love Denise….



Progress on the clinic – Tower Hill donations hard at work:

Progress with Ned (this is the coolest room on the compound):

Gary and Steve going to the dental clinic:

Getting the vision for the homes for the children:

Gary and Ned tackle the network:

The dental clinic progressing:

Back in Ouanaminthe

It is day one of our return trip to Danita’s and we have had a very long day of travel that started at 2:00AM.  We arrived in the DR safely with no issue, passed through customs and had a smooth ride (as smooth possible for the DR) to the Haitian border.  Crossing the border took only a few minutes.  We had lunch, got to the hotel and are looking forward to dinner and a short tour of the facilities.  Looks like it will be an early night as we are all exhausted! 

We are very excited to see many of our friends who live and work at Danita’s including Britney, Heather, Karris, Sheree, Annie and Michael.  The kids seem to be doing great (all 130+) and there is a lot of laughter. 

Really looking forward to tomorrow.  Ned has 12 computers to convert from Spanish to English and build from the ground up.  We have a tour of the city planned as well as time to discuss current projects and future opportunities.  All and all… very exciting!!! 

Please leave us a message on the blog.  Would be great to hear from you!!!!

Some photos from today:

Ned and his new friend:

Arriving at the compound:



Britney and Heather:

Benedith (middle right – brown shirt )with his gifts from sponsors Maryann and Art Livingston: