Haiti Construction Internship Post #3

We worked at the school for 4 days total building the outdoor classroom and garden area. On Friday I finished framing the structure and then the next day I put on the tin roof. Once the classroom was done and the whole garden area fenced in, I built two gates for access. It was hard building anything out of the lumber they had at the school because it was all very warped and splitting, but it was all we had (non-local wood is expensive in Haiti because they have to import it from the States).  I installed hinges and stapled chicken wire to the gates and hung them. The last day we were at the school we planted a bunch of starfruit trees and some other trees on the perimeter of the fence. We found a few holes in the barbed wire fencing we put up a couple of days earlier and fixed those. Next we are heading back to Cap Haitian and then to the center in Lambe where I will spend the last couple days of my time in Haiti.

Henry Miller

Haiti Construction Internship Post #2

Wednesday we drove from Cap Haitian south and inland to a small town called Pignon in the middle of Haiti.

We are staying at a school here and building a garden and outdoor classroom on the campus. On Wednesday we measured out the site and started digging fence posts. We put in all the fence posts around the garden and strung barbe wire around it to keep out the cows, goats, and pigs that roam here.

I also helped lay out the classroom, and we dug the footings for the posts. Once we got everything level, square, and plum, we mixed concrete and poured them. The classroom I am helping build is going to be attached to an existing building that is under construction as well. The footings dried over night. Next we stated laying out where the rafter ledger is going to be attached to the existing building. Screwing that in was difficult because all the drill bits we had were weak and the concrete screws were not self tapping. I am still trying to figure out how we can make it more secure. The last thing I did before we stopped for lunch was start putting on the rafters. The pitch of the roof is 2/12, and I am elated that I brought a speed square with me because cutting the rafter tails was much easier. For the rest of the day, I will help finish rafters, then put bird blocking in them, then put 1x2s on top, and lay the tin roofing over that.

I also have to make a couple gates for the garden entrences as well.

Henry Miller

(I am posting for Henry as his access to WiFi is limited.  Mike Schemmel)

Haiti Construction Internship Post #1

May 23

So far everything is going pretty well here. The last few days we have traveled a bit around the north side of the island, and I have been working at the organization center. It is in in Lambe, a small town outside of Cap Haitian where I flew into on Saturday.  I put tin roofing on an outdoor structure and built a few wooden benches for it too.


We traveled with another group to the Citadel, which is a large castle/fort that was built after the Haitian revolution to protect them from other invasions by the Europeans. I am finding that the history of Haiti is fascinating. The revolution of Haiti was lead by the slaves fighting against the French and Spanish that controlled it originally. It was the only slave revolt in the world that was successful.

Yesterday I thinned and cleared a orchard with banana trees behind the house where I am staying at. I built some other furniture for them as well. Tomorrow we are driving south to a rural school where I will be building a fence and an outdoor school structure.


(I am posting for Henry as his access to WiFi is limited.  Mike Schemmel)

Haiti Construction Internship Planning

I have recently been talking to Rosedanie (my internship mentor) on the phone about Haiti logistics. I am starting to write out a list of the tools I will need to bring down with me and what tools she already has. Some people have donated a few items, such as iPads and a rototiller, that I will bring with me. I am a bit worried I will have too much stuff to travel with, but we will see. When I will be in Haiti, it will be twords the end of the rainy season, so I have to plan for either rain or sun.  All and all I am getting very excited to go on this journey!

Henry Miller

Haiti Construction Internship Description

For my internship I am going to Haiti to help build schools, houses, and work at an orphanage. I will fly down there with my tools and meet Rosedannie Cadet, who lives part time on Orcas and is a family friend. She has an organization in Haiti where she is originally from. Her non-profit organization is called “Helping Hands Noramise” and was established in 2009 and is centered in Limbe (Rosedanie’s home town). Rosedanie left Haiti when she was a child and went to school and college in the United States. Nine years ago she returned to Haiti and was devastated by the economic state of the country and made it her mission to help. Rosedanie enables people like myself come to Haiti and help in the orphanage and with other things related to her organization. If you want to support this organization, here is a link: http://noramise.org/donate/.

I potentially will work on building an outdoor classroom and do some maintenance on their orphanage. I hope to help as much as possible and be as productive as I can. I have been working in the trades for the last few years and have cultivated a decent understanding and knowledge of building. I hope to educate other kids about building, so, when they grow older, they can have some knowledge for a possible career.

I am nervous about traveling so far on my own and living with people I do not know very well. The reason I am doing this is because I feel that I have been fortunate enough to have learned alot about building, and I want to use this knowledge for good by giving back to people in need. I also hope to learn more about a part of the world I have never been to and experience the culture there.

Henry Miller


Rosedanie Cadet

Helping Hands Noramise


The orphanage: