This week feels like it’s draaaaggging. Yesterday Chris thought it was Thursday and whined a lot when I told him it was only Wednesday. I had to agree with him. I wished it was Thursday too.
I had a really bad sleep on Tuesday night so I was pretty much useless yesterday. No energy. I just went with it and decided that it was going to be one of those days. No use in fighting it. It didn’t feel like anything exciting was happening, but at the end of the day when I reviewed things in my head it turns out quite a bit was exciting and noteworthy.
We got word from Chris’ dad yesterday that a Rotary grant he’d been working on got approved. It’s a Rotary International matching grant and usually it takes a long (read: sometimes over a year) to process them. He started working on this last fall, all of the papers were submitted a couple months ago, and BAHM! Approved. There are some final steps we have to go through and then the money will need to be transfered and that could take another 6 months, but that’s okay because we’re working off another big donation currently. It’s such a blessing to know that we’ll have the money to run the filter program for the next year. So, that was good news.
Yesterday afternoon I got a phone call from one of the men that was in our last training class a few weeks ago. He was calling to tell us that he and his son in law (who also took the training) had just arrived back from Port where they were meeting with people in the UN and government (I think – the connection wasn’t great) and had received permission to start putting filters in all of the prisons in Haiti. As is stands now the prisons are disastrous with people being treated worse than animals. I know they’re criminals, but they’re also people and they should be given water to drink and food to eat. The project will start slow because Nels and Matt want to do it right and make sure they’re covering all of their bases. A stipulation for working in the prisons was that they also get to minister to the inmates. The UN has committed to providing all the transportation which is such a huge blessing for Nels & Matt because until now they’ve relied on public transit and knew that was going to be one of the biggest challenges of starting a filter program. They have asked us if we would be willing to help them with the manufacturing of filters because they only have one mold. We can manufacture 10+ filters per day and it’s just a matter of them letting us know when they need them. This project is a BIG deal. It’s an in to the Haitian government. Our dream is that every home in Haiti will one day have a filter and that people will be getting healthy so they can focus on other parts of life like work, school, contributing to their community etc. We know that we can’t do this on our own so our goal is to train people to start projects and then support them as they work in other parts of the country. It’s so exciting to see that this is happening!
After we got off the phone we, because we’re lame, came back to our computers to check our email for about the 50th time yesterday. I’m glad we did because we got an email from another foreigner who had sent two men to the last class as well. We knew that his project had already started up which is exciting in itself because if a project starts, and if it starts within six months of a training we’re happy. His started within two weeks. He was emailing to tell us that they had already produced 50 filters, in two weeks, with only two molds. It is possible to get two filters a day from a mold if you time things right. They are and are excited about the work they’re doing. His project was originally for 100 filters but he’s decided to extend the project and keep going because it’s working so well. Actually he said it’s one of the most worth while projects that he’s ever done! Yay!
We had another exciting phone call yesterday with more good news…The Volkswagen has license plates!!!! Whoop whoop! AND…one of our Permis des Sejours is done. We don’t know which one, but it doesn’t matter because the other one will be not far behind. The plates being ready for the truck feels like a major accomplishment since it’s been an 8 month process. The Permis is another big one because I was anticipating that it would take 6-8 months and it’s taken 3. We feel blessed.
So there you are. A bunch of good news from here.