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Attorney Counselor Mediator

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Peter Meadow
Attorney/Non-Profit Management

This is a reminder that on 5/6/13 2:20 AM, Peter Meadow sent you an invitation to become part of their professional network at LinkedIn. Reminder emails for pending invitations.

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Today we are running exercises under General Christophe at the top of our citadelle. Will he tell us to stop before we reach the end?

Today we take our wares to the market.

Nou se pesher na nord Okap jodia.

Today we are fishermen in north Cap Haitian.

Today we pay a visit to Henri Christophe at Sans Sousi.

Today we are rice farmers in the Artibonite Valley.

Off-Grid in the Real Haiti

The air is amazingly fresh in the hills above Kenscoff.  Three of us from Architecture for Humanity took a weekend off to soak in some devastatingly beautiful scenery and much needed oxygen at Bois D’ Avril, a bed and breakfast on a mountaintop directly west of Kenscoff for those familiar with the area.

Canadian farmers, John and Deb Currelly came to Haiti to pursue the Bahá’í Faith within a French-speaking country in 1981. They spent 25 years living in the Tabarre area of Port-au-Prince before building their retirement home near the tiny mountain village of Bongar.  John supervised the construction which began in 2006 after four years of working through a complex land tenure process.  He began with a .5 km long stone wall bordering their property, the customary way of establishing land ownership.  It took them one year before they began to build their house, shop, horsebarn and cistern which took another three years.  They moved in November 2009 just before the earthquake which rendered only a minor crack in the house.

The Currelly compound represents the majority of Haiti being without utilities or other municipal improvements.  Although a place of western comfort, the Currelly house and grounds are completely off-grid.  Their power is supplied by a 2.1 kW photo-voltaic array mounted on the house rooftop, which usually provides for their power needs except in long periods of overcast days which can extend to a week or more.  Their batteries are housed in an exterior enclosure and fed by an 80 amp charge controller.  An additional 80 amps will be added to the charge controller to increase capacity which remedies an oversight in the original installation. 

I took exactly 3 hot showers in one + days (our house in Pelerin doesn’t sport hot water) and enjoyed every short second of it.  The several buildings on site collect rain water to feed several cisterns which have a total 65,000 gallon capacity, their annual use is near 130,000.  The volume is plenty for their needs through a drought season and even to help supply the neighboring village when in short supply.  Water is channeled to the house roof and through a solar hot water heater supplying the showers.  There’s just something about an even slightly warm shower to give a new lease on life and an especially refreshed composure.  These units are available in Port-au-Prince hardware stores.

Drinking water is created by a bio-filtration system which consists of a concrete box made by Pure Water for the World  (others make a similar version) on Airport Rd.  It can process 15 gallons of water daily into sweet, sand-purified potable water with no moving parts, guaranteed unless the bio-scum layer is somehow killed off by chemicals or earth loses it’s gravity - whichever comes first.

John and Deb use a composting toilet although two other toilets onsite flush to an adjacent fosse (aka pit latrine - I skeptically inquired further about this and John replied that the fractured calcium carbonate geology of Haiti’s mountainous areas are well-suited to filtering and cleaning blackwater).

Fosse adjacent to our lower level guest toilet.

Gory details about the composting toilet?  The liquids filter down to a catch pan and evaporate with an effective stack vent that John says is ‘shocking’ when one is seated and the wind blows.  ”Deposits” are covered with organic matter at each sitting, contents equaling the volume of a milk crate are emptied on a monthly basis to be spread beneath local trees after an additional month of composting outside.  

The stylish compost bin (foreground) contains kitchen scraps and yard waste.  Contents take about a year to work from top to bottom, but the results are a rich black humus which is spread on several of the Currelly garden beds.  John and Deb go to market about once per week and supplement their vegetarian meals with flowers and greens from their gardens.  Salt is absent but added at the table to taste.  Pepper is also a nice addition.  Pass the Tobasco?  

The village immediately outside the wall is a small group of farm families living in an informal community called a lakou.  They collectively plant and harvest, sharing a percentage of the crop and sending the rest to market.

The town center is marked by a rare flat open area covered in grass (+ goats and sheep) and marked by a hitching post of sorts with 1996 etched in the base.  The surrounding hills and area is the garden of Kenscoff yielding mostly root crops of potatoes, beets and onions.

Morn Zombi peak in the distance, a nice hike and frequent place of spiritual pilgrimage.


Lark, the retired jumping champion of Haiti.

One of the Curelly lap dogs.

Sunday morning in Cite de Soliel. Surrounded by sounds of church drums and singing, I’m happy to worship via horseback.

The amazing Monsieur Sabin - actual photo of him coming up.