In August, managing partner of Amos Sales Paul Amos went on a mission trip to Haiti to install Firestone PondGard Liner at a hospital. Below is a blog post he wrote detailing the project and all the team worked through in order to accomplish this mission. At the end of the blog post there is a gallery of pictures from the trip.
Firestone PondGard Install at Hospital Lumiere (Written by Paul Amos)
Hospital Lumiere is a Haitian hospital in the mountains on the western peninsula of Haiti in the town of Bonne Fin. Here they serve the medical needs of the Haitian people in their region. This hospital operates on a combination of donations and patient payments for services. As Haiti is a very poor country, this hospital would not be economically sustainable without donations.
Power to run the hospital is one of the most valuable resources especially in a country where you can’t “tap into the grid”. This hospital uses 3 sources for power: solar energy, a diesel generator, and a hydroelectric generator. The hydroelectric generator is served by a large pipe located in the bottom of a pond in which the force of the water turns the generator.
After Hurricane Matthew, the synthetic liner (already 30 years old) was damaged, making it difficult to keep adequate water in the pond to service the generator. The managing company purchased Firestone PondGard from Unit Liner company in Shawnee, OK to reline the pond. During the week of August 27th, myself and 4 others from the states went on a mission trip to this hospital to install the liner with a large group of Haitian laborers.
During installation, we battled many obstacles. The rains would erode parts of the sub-grade and, by bucket/bag load of sand and shovels we would repair it. The pond is on the side of a mountain with limited access, a mountain slope on 1 side, and a steep grade falling off the other side. The slopes were 2:1 and in a few cases steeper. With limited access, we were forced to pull the liner up these slopes from the inside of the pond (typically a bad idea). Applying seam tape would require the help of ropes and a lot of patience to complete. We got two panels with underlayment in on Monday and the same on Tuesday morning before a storm stopped us.
I was awakened Wednesday morning to thunder and lightning. For those of you unfamiliar with liner installation, we cannot work in rain or wet conditions, because the seams will fail. Up at 3 AM from the storm I found our team leader, Chris, also up. As we watched it rain and enjoyed the refreshing cool, we both felt concern about completing the project before Friday (our last day). Our conversation shifted to our faith and we agreed that God brought us to Haiti to line a pond and that is what was going to happen.
Wednesday morning the project met us with water in the floor and more eroded sub-grade. Here we found the beauty of persistent, willing Haitian labor. De-watering Haitian style involves a train of men on a slope with 5-gallon buckets. More buckets and bags of sand to redress the slopes. And believe it or not, by lunchtime we had put down another panel bringing us to 5 of the 9 total panels installed. We had excellent weather on Wednesday and decided to work until sun down. That afternoon, we installed all remaining panels, sealed the liner to the outlet in the bottom and all seams to a level of 4’ of depth. Any rain now would not require any de-watering. Thursday, we booted to the inlet, finished all seams, tested and rerolled all seams. Friday morning found us with some minor details remaining to finish the project.
What an amazing week to be able to help this hospital and their good work, to see Haitian labor do amazing (and seemingly impossible) things, to make new friends, and to see God’s faithfulness. I am grateful for this opportunity, for my new friends, for the work the hospital does and a chance to participate in it.