Did you have a good year?

One of the benefits of flying commercial to NYC is for Delta to lose one of two bags, which must not be easy on a direct flight. They graciously returned it it 15 minutes ago, near 3:30, allowing me an early start on the day.

Politics is weird, but the market has been hot. I imagine COPAns have had as good a run as anyone.

My chief market indicator, Craig Rich, is in the doctors’ lounge talking about how good his stocks are all the time now- my usual indication to sell. When he gives that up and talks about Texas Holdem all the time, I buy. Of course, a belt and suspenders kind of guy, I vetted this method with the COPA money gurus, but it’s pretty foolproof.

I’ve come across a few posts lately delineating how well we are doing, and at least one looking at what to do about the consequences of so much success- dealing with tax liabilities.

I can help you here.

I read about an old friend in the news the other day, and I’ve been thinking about all that ever since. Not quite an aviation piece, but there are some terrific drone shots in the article.

Catherine Porter is the NYT bureau chief for Toronto, and she went to Haiti after the earthquake almost 8 years ago.

I never crossed paths with her, but it is clear we didn’t miss by much. We traveled some similar paths.

Her story is here:


It’s a fairly gruesome tale. But it caught a lot of what Fr Rick Frechette is doing, has done for 30 years and more.

He’s a high gravitational force kind of guy, dragged me right along in his wake, changed a sweet airplane adventure into a whole other thing. Airplane folks like to GO places, it took awhile to learn to BE somewhere. that’s harder.

Trying to strike repeated blows a single point, we built a GI lab there, delivered piecemeal by SR22. No running water, but there were some workarounds. Crashes and chute pulls were good for exposure, some donations resulted. When the flow of that and other money dried up, Rick suggested I might want to crash another, but I was only willing to follow him so far.

Sanjay graciously compiled some of my posts after the chute. The “love in the time of cholera” post, also gruesome, is most closely aligned with Ms Porter’s article.


COPA played a role in things, too:


Over time, Rick replaced the tents with containers, then some semi-permanent structures, and now a real hospital, with a real 2 room GI lab, where Dr Nathalie Colas runs the show, using 70s era stuff I scrounged. The “GI lab” post shows the humble start, and this shot shows Nathalie in the new spot:

It’s a sweet lab, our edifice complex is sated.

But the equipment, which of course had passed its “sell by” before I scrounged it, is falling apart at a rate I can’t keep up with. A standard Haitian problem.

Which brings me to the pitch.


Send some money if you can.

Label it COPA.

See if we can keep it going.

Thank you.

stlukehati.org works if you type it, but the link in yer post needs fixin’.

More importantly, money will be sent in 2017, marked COPA. Excellent idea. No downside. I feel a little better already, but I wish there was a biglier way to thank Father Frechette. Thanks for the nudge. Happy Holidays to all.

Apparently Fr. Frechette’s writing skills are contagious, as Richard has the gift of expression, too. To get a feel for this program and this man, I would suggest you read his periodic letters to supporters. They are uniformly beautiful (and terrible) IMHO. To say those of us on this forum are first-world folks is an understatement, and most of our problems are trivial by comparison. I can safely say the Fr. Frechette is not waking up today trying to decide between the S-Tec and the DFC90.

I would also encourage you to check out stlukehaiti.org, and give if you can.


Thanks For bringing this in front of us again…we need that. Any idea how much is needed to buy equipment? I just read a thread or 2 categorizing the net worth of certain COPA members. Maybe we need a ”goal”.



I would also like to suggest setting up a regular monthly donation. It’s easy to set one up on the St. Luke website and ongoing support would be most beneficial.

I fixed the link, thanks, Jim.

Ben I appreciate the notion. I need 50,000 to get the lab right, and was using COPA signature both to recognize COPAns’ generosity, but also to nudge Rick to put the money there.

But Rick has this huge operation, so he’ll spend it where he thinks best. Then lean on me to put up my own 50K to secure the lab.

He’s an expensive friend.

But taken altogether, he’s the best man I ever met, so I’ll probably be scraping the couch cushions, looking for spare change.

Thanks for the gift of an opportunity for great meaning, in the midst of our lives which are filled with great doing and getting.

You did this before, and I read up on Frechette’s hard, inspiring work. This is an impressive arbitrage situation: dollars in the U.S. have little value compared to dollars in Haiti, so converting one into the other creates value from thin air. For a business junkie, I find that appealing. Like tithing itself, also a great arbitrage: everyone I know who does it ends up with more money than if they didn’t, for reasons which are weird and psychological, obviously not mathematical. Value from thin air.

Last time COPA stepped up decently, IIRC. We probably could beat that . . . if everyone gives a tenth of a tenth of a tithe of their stock market gains!

Replying in order to give this another bump. A little really can go a very long way.

Best wishes to all for the holidays.

John, thanks. I agree. It is hard for me to imagine a place where my contribution is more meaningful.

Much more eloquently stated than this poster’s capability! Let’s keep this going!

The gift that keeps on giving…:slight_smile:

Dick helped me to get involved flying back and forth from Florida and later introduced me to St. Luke’s and Fr. Rick. I passed it forward to a few of my former lacrosse teammates at ND with a group house building trip in Cite Soleil. They’re a bit hooked now too. Once you get involved here, you tend to stay involved.

Fr. Rick, Fr. Enzo, St. Luke’s are a great group; tireless, effective servants where the rubber meets the road. One of my 59yr old very fit friends who still occasionally runs marathons went with Fr. Rick on one of the recent boat trips, transporting 1mm lbs of stuff (cement, rebar, seeds, food) on a multi-day barge trip over open water to Jeremie. He came back amazed at Fr. Rick’s energy as he could not keep up with him.

Haiti can be a tough place and these people are very deserving of help.

Here’s an illuminating but short video of how things got to this. (The writer Paul Theroux detests French colonialism, calling it “self-serving, manipulative, trivial-minded, obnoxious, cynical, and corrupting”. Tough to disagree watching this video.)

Still four days to get a 2017 tax benefit.

Great video that is very enlightening. Thanks for sharing.

Nice video