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Turtle in Haiti

In 1994 Turtle Plastics President and Founder, Tom Norton and his Physician Wife, Karen Bradley, MD joined a medical mission in Haiti.  There they met a young Haitian-American, Hugues Bastien, who had just taken over a small Kindergarten of 30 children.  Joining with Hugues and others, two new classrooms were built and the Kindergarten moved to 1st grade.  This has continued for 12 years to the point where we now have 2,300 children in a full new K-13 school.

We also have recently finished building a hospital/clinic that is now treating over 20,000 patients per year.  Under construction at this time is a Chicken Farm and a Vo-Ed school.

A lot of donated school and medical equipment is regularly shipped to the Turtle Plastics plant for storage until an overseas container picks it up to ship to Haiti.

Episcopal Church after earthquake.  One of the largest in the Caribbean.  It has since been leveled.

When our team arrived the day after, they brought some of our doctors and much needed medical supplies.  As our director Hugues stepped out of the bus, there were 300,000 bodies laying around!  To avoid disease  most were moved by dump trucks and buried in mass graves.

Our overcrowded bus heads back to our base, a 12 hour drive.  The team had given away all of the supplies including diesel fuel.  Turns out they gave away too much fuel and ran out.  Finally found some at $25/gallon.

Ouanaminthe is located on the border of Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  Our normal entry into Haiti is through CAP Haitian via an old but reliable DC-3 out of Florida.

Property from the air.  The light gray area at the top of the page is the river that separates Haiti from the Dominican Republic.  It is called the River of Massacre where the Dominican dictator Trujillo slaughtered 30,000 Haitians.  In the photo you can see the main school with the red roof, the kindergarten with white roof and a mission house for 60 people.  This photo is several years old and we now have a Vo-Ed school closer to the river.

Main lobby to Institution Univers.  This is the largest building in this part of Haiti.

Our Teachers!  Together with the medical staff, maintenance, chicken farm etc we now employ over 400 people making us the 2nd largest employer in town after Levi.

This is the reason why we are there!  From 3 years old to K-13.  From a failing kindergarten of 30 children to 2,300 children today.  All nicely dressed.

Parents – Teachers meeting.  No problem getting these parents to meetings.

Graduation!

Graduation is a big deal in our school!  The different colors represents graduation from Kindergarten, Primar, Middle and High School.

Our very first high school graduations.  Because we started with the 30 kindergarten and added only one grade per yer, it took a longtime for the first to complete the courses.

Look at the career choices!  Most are now finishing college in the US or Haiti and will come back to serve their country.

Children come to school hungry so we feed 2,300 everyday.  Tables are from a Bay Village, Ohio school that was being torn down.

Donated food bags full of nutritious food to make stew.

First of 6 quads Vo-Ed school.  All of our graduates are not destined for college.  Vo-Ed program will prepare them for work in skilled and semi-skilled jobs.

Industrial sewing class in Vo-Ed school.

Auto mechanics in Vo-Ed school.

Wow!  Who needs words?

We now have a band!  Need instruments and uniforms.

More music.

National volleyball tournament at our school…

…And we WON 3 “Best in Haiti” trophies.

Flying missionaries land on our soccer field to take Hugues and top scholars to USA.

Water drilling project that we started. These 3 men have been trained to operate the drill and have a little business started.

Ahhhh…water!

Future apartment land.

60+ units.  Income to school & hospital. Apartments for medical staff and uppper school teachers from Port au Prince.

Quads

Under construction.


Inside of unit.


12 units done, many more to go.