Pictures of Really Exciting Things

The team left yesterday morning. We had a really great time with them. I’ll admit it, we were hesitant about hosting groups again because there were some really challenging times in the past, but it was a great experience for us and I think has given us a chance to see how much has changed around the mission and for us. We’re in a place now where we can keep doing the mission work and host people well. It was encouraging.

As promised, some pics from the last few days…

Q: How many Canadians does it take to get coconuts out of a tree???
A: Three.
Q: How many Haitians does it take to get coconuts out of a tree???
A: One – and no ladder.
JoDanna and Bryce go hunting for magoes…
Chris using the machete to open the coconuts for consumption.
David and Bryce pouring a filter on Friday while the group worked with our staff.
JoDanna and Brett on cement patrol.

Friday afternoon I took the group up to Canaan, an orphanage up the road from us, to show them around. Pastor Joel gave us a good tour that ended in the rabbit/pig pens. They’re raising the animals for food for the kids. They’ve got about 50 rabbits right now with more on the way. Chris and I saw this area last fall when they were just getting started so it’s fun to see how much progress they’ve made.

On the way home we stopped to get the VW tire that I dropped off to get fixed. Rasta, and his buddies that run the local couatchou repair shop learned very quickly that this white woman was not stupid/naieve/completely clueless when they tried to charge me $20 to fix the tire when I KNOW it’s $15. I very bluntly informed Mr. Rasta (named this because of his dread locks) who I work for, who I work with, and that I know the price of getting a tire fixed. He looked at me and said, “You’re right, it’s $15.” Yes, it is. Good try though.

The group had a lot of fun doing things that we don’t even think about, like climbing trees, playing on the beach, hunting for shells, chasing lizards…you know – the really fun stuff. We put them to work on Friday morning in the yard with our staff where they learned how to build and unmold filters, sift sand and wash it. They LOVED all of it. It was hard to get them to leave. Apparently we’re stellar hosts and my cooking abilities are off the chart. Yes, my ego was boosted repeatedly while they were here. It was fun to have more mouths to feed :) In all seriousness, we would love to host people from the organization again and are already making plans with Bryce for future visits.

After Chris left with everyone to drive them back to Carrefour yesterday I crashed for a bit. It was a much needed rest. TARA – I had a cankle and a half! No – not pregnant! I think it was the combo of being on my feet for two days straight and that I got bit on the ankles by some random bug that I react to. I had a similar toe incident back in early June. The cankles have almost diminished though, thankfully.

I got the house cleaned up and back to “normal” and did a slight turn around with things just in time to welcome some friends for the night. Dennis, the guy that bought our boat, has discovered the fun of staying in the dorms. For him it’s like camping and even though we insist that we have a fully equipped kitchen he loves to get out his BBQ and cook outside :) He brought Kevin, his daughter, with him which is cool because we’ve been wanting her to come visit for a while. We always have fun when we stay with them in Port so it’s nice to be able to return the favor.

Yesterday after the boat was all prepped we went out for an afternoon sail while Chris enjoyed some “Chris time” back at the house. We went out into the BIG waves for a while then decided that they were a bit too unpredictable and we needed to take a break so we pulled up to Club Indigo and had a sandwich break, then headed down the coast a bit more to visit David and Judy. We swam, had tea and made some big plans for today.

In about an hour we’ll head over to David & Judy’s for an afternoon of frivolity that will include much croquet, card playing, some dominoes and a big yummy lunch. And probably swimming. Yay!

Our friend Barb arrives tomorrow morning! Woo hoo! I’m excited to see her. It’s been over three months. Things always feel weird when people aren’t around – kind of like pieces are missing. I have to do the accounting tomorrow. I’ve procrastinated long enough! Then it’s going to be a day of getting everything and ourselves ready to go. We’ll be heading into Port on Tuesday afternoon to spend the night with friends which will be fun, and then they’ll get us to the airport on Wednesday morning. We’re so excited to be heading out for holidays. My mom has sleeps counted! I think it’s 5 now until we see them :) And camping – much camping! Whoop!

OH! I can’t believe I almost forgot. Eddy, our lawyer, got our scooters back on Friday after a visit to the Archaie police with all papers in hand where he reminded them that their role was to provide a service to the people, not run a business. And, that not only was their little “storage fee” of $5/day per bike (especially when everything they had asked for was previously presented to them) illegal, but also completely ridiculous. He walked out with all three bikes and nothing paid. When Chris asked him what his fee was for all the time he spent just waiting to talk to the police (they had a very important meeting with the UN for most of the day) he said, “Well, you know, I need one of those filters in my apartment in Port au Prince. ” Um, okay. No problem. This is why we love our lawyer – he gets things done and does it for next to nothing, mostly because he wants to see the legal system working properly here and doesn’t want to be one of those people that tries to take advantage of foreigners.

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About Leslie

I'm Leslie. Wife. Mother. Missionary. In the day to day my husband and I are responsible for running Clean Water for Haiti, a humanitarian mission that builds and distributes water filters to Haitian families. Living in Haiti full time provides lots of stories, and as I tell my husband, our grandkids probably won't believe most of them. Maybe writing them down will give me some credibility.

5 thoughts on “Pictures of Really Exciting Things

  1. This note was such fun to read. You are going to be leaving for vacation/weddings on a nice upnote. Shiny new bedroom, kitchen ready for the fridge, a rewarding group experience, success with police, an ethical lawyer, deflated cankles, and maybe even a bit of sailing tan.The praise you received is well deserved. Hugs Barb J

  2. PS I saw the planter in the background of the photo of Chris opening the coconuts. Previously I never saw anything but stunted, to the point of being Carri bean Bonsai, plants. I was so happy to see your plants are growing and thriving in the planter by the porch! Congrats,You have a super green thumb Les!

  3. Barb – Don’t give me props just yet for the planter. I just planted half of those plants on Wednesday morning and they were already grown by a friend of mine. Ask me in a month and we’ll see what kind of progress we’ve made :)

  4. Glad everything is going so great, I’m sure that means your vacation will be more relaxed also.One question though- aren’t the filters only good for physical & biological contaminants? Doesn’t Port have a ton of industrial contaminants? I know that theoretically, somewhat clean water is better than not clean at all, but if people think they’re getting pretty clean water and then don’t work to get better than just somewhat clean, that seems unfortunate. It makes me think of Britt having to send patients into hospitals without first cleaning their wounds, as otherwise it would appear that there was treatment happening, and more not needed.

  5. Val:The filters can’t filter salt (ocean) water or chemicals. Most of Haiti’s water sources are contaminated because of human carelessness or lack of education. Though it might seem like Port is a big industry town because of it’s size, it’s really not. Compared to other cities around the world that would match it in size/population there is very little “industry”. Most of the pollution in Port is vehicle and dust related, not because factories are puking out chemicals or smoke.The filters exist to reduce/eliminate water born disease through filtration and have been tested and been proven to do just that – eliminate the microbes (bacteria, protozoa, viruses and worms) that are disease causing – with a filtration rate of 98-99% in filters that were tested in Haiti (Project Bravo results, 2005). The case might be there that some filtration is better than no filtration, but we have a lot of confidence that for the type of contamination that Haiti has the filters are doing what they need to/are designed to do, and they’re doing it well. Until Haiti has the infrastructure to establish some emissions laws the rest will just have to be lived with.

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