SUNday, Jan. 15, 2012: The Difference That SUN Makes!

Most mornings, when we arrive at Eden Garden, we hear the familiar sound of the generator screaming in the background as the ladies in the kitchen use the blender or other appliances to prepare lunch for our kids.  Each month we spend between $350 - $500 dollars on fuel for the generator.  Power is something that our team in Haiti has learned to not to count on when we make these trips.  We know that we will have to structure our work around when the generator runs, so we can charge our batteries for drills, etc.  This trip was no different in that respect until Sunday - the day that everything changed.
Scott, Ron, Misael & Terri working to get the panels installed on the roof

Our team arrived early in the morning on Sunday, knowing it was our last full day to get our projects completed before heading home on Monday.  We arrived to silence...all that was heard were the sounds of our kids running and playing together as they enjoyed their day.  Breakfast was being prepared without the sound of the generator.  It was then that it hit me - the solar panels that you see in this picture had now been connected to the dual 3500-Watt inverters that you see in the next picture ... and WE WERE PUMPING AMPS!!!  The solar team had nearly completed its installation already, but Sunday was our first day to see how the orphanage would run on solar power only.  Our solar team of Larry Wooster, Scott Kramer, Misael Henriquez, Kurt Kesselman, Marcel Pichot, Sean Ryan, as well as our partners from Sonlight Power Company; Allen Rainey (Founder) and Terri MacGregor (Electrical Engineer) had overcome obstacle after obstacle to "GET 'ER DONE"!  Now, we were watching the meter as the sun began to fill the photo cells on the roof with energy.
Larry Wooster & Misael Henriquez

All I could think of when I watched the energy in our batteries climbing was the same thought I had when I watched the clean clear water pumping from the water well we drilled in May of 2010...... THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING!  Now, the team that has been working all week to install new wiring to the school with fans for each classroom was going to have the power to get those fans working in time for class on Monday morning.  Now, our students and teachers can teach and learn in comfort.  Now, our kitchen staff can better plan their meals, keep food longer and more fresh as they will have power for the fridge and kitchen tools that they need.  Now, Jean Claude and his wife (who left their home to come live in the dorm at the orphanage) can at least have a rotating fan blowing on them as they sleep in the miserable heat. Now, all our kids can have ceiling fans running in their rooms tonight.  We now will be able to use the critical security lights that can stay on all night to help keep our kids safe.  Why? Because the SON provides us with the SUN in Haiti.  There are many things this country is lacking, but sunshine is certainly not one of them.  This solar project (made possible by the fund-raising from the New Hope Adventist Church's S.O.S. Missions Team) has changed everything! I (Dave Wooster) spoke to Jean Claude after our return and asked how many times they have had to run the generator since our departure on the 16th. and he said ZERO!!!  This funding, this talented installation team, this SON and HIS SUN has changed everything!  For that we are more thankful than words can express.  NOW it is on to planning for things like a computer network and distance learning and many other things that reliable, affordable power now makes available.  Thank you to all of you who have contributed to this LIFE-CHANGING project!