Solar Cooking in Haiti

It was a joy to cook in the Sun on Friday.  For most of the week there was too much cloud coverage for solar cooking to be successful, but Friday morning was bright and sunny.  I brought with me two boxes of Near East rice pilaf. I asked the kitchen staff for a couple of eggs and some ground coffee.   I brought a couple of black cooking pots, a black coffee pot, some Reynolds oven bags (to protect the pots from the  wind) and three solar cookers - one purchased from solarcookers,org - the others made from “Reflectix” attic insulation.

The rice pilaf, the eggs (which I cooked in a black can without water) and the coffee were done in two hours. I added the coffee grounds after the water had heated (after an hour). I gave rice and one of the eggs (they shared the  just to taste it) to the cooks and their children.  They were very excited to see the solar cookers and the squealed in delight when they felt how hot the food was and how good it tasted.  With joyous enthusiasm they said, “Bravo, Pastor Bill!”

I gave them plates of food which they ate with great delight saying, “se bon!” - it is good!   When Pastor John returned, I gave him some rice pilaf, the other egg and some coffee.  He enjoyed them all.  I made the coffee with regular tap water (which I’d otherwise never drink) and knew that if the water reached 150 degrees it would be pasteurized and it wouldn’t be a problem.  I drank most of the pot (with great relish) and I’ve been just fine.

Also, I hooked up my small 45 watt solar panel on Friday.  I used my inverter and plugged in lamp with a florescent bulb into it.  It worked fine.  When I return in August, I will bring some extra wiring.  The batteries I ordered in Hartford should be here by then and I can make a permanent installation.  That will be a great blessing here.  The electric company cuts off the power several times a day with no warning.  We ate several evening meals by candle light and rejoiced when the electric power came back on.

My vision is to supply this area with the raw materials and have Haitians make, sell and distribute as many solar panels as possible.  They can be made out of cardboard and reflective mylar, or out of Reflectix insulation which can be purchased in rolls at Home Depot.  They can be made and sold for about $10.00 per unit.  Ideally each family would have a couple of these so they can cook a couple of types of food at a time (I used three).

I also hope to raise money to supply each church in BEM with a solar panel so they can have light at night and fans by day as they worship.  If each church has a couple of them they can hook up a sound system as well.  They units cost about $500.00 a piece (including batteries, wires, shipping, etc.)

Please pray for the success of this project. If you are moved to support this solar project, money can be sent to BEM via this website. We have churches in villages that have no electricity and the church can be a source of light in so many ways.  The continued cutting of trees for charcoal in Haiti is a terrible problem.  This can be reduced with the introduction of solar cooking.

In the Sun - for the Son!

Pastor Bill