West Tennessee Haiti Partnership


At dinner on Wednesday night we enjoyed the company of another old friend , Andy Ripp. He is the architect for the new St Vincent’s school and we have known him since we all stayed at the same guest house 6-7 years ago. The new school has completed dormitory areas for our permanent residents (see previous post) and 9 classrooms finished to date.  Plans to repair the existing swimming pool and make a soccer field and playground area are underway. Drew and Maureen and Sonya attended the dedication ceremony on Wednesday morning and came back with much excitement and many photos. Of course, like any new construction project, there are time delays and budget realities.  A walkway between the dorms and the classrooms is now gravel. Imagine pushing a wheelchair along that path!  As Bill Craddock, chair of St Vincent’s governing board is fond of saying, “There’s a grant opportunity everywhere you look”
Yet the school is built all on one level and has ample room for the children to play outside. No more carrying wheelchairs up and down the stairs.

I remarked to the team at dinner that my own place of employment, Church Health in Memphis, is moving to a new building.  Old buildings occupied for 30 years are being emptied and there is much anxiety about our new “home”, even though we are all excited about what the new place will offer us.

St Vincent’s old and new. Like friendships.   Sometimes there’s a flat tire along the way.


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