Well, we’re done day one of training class #2. I think the sense of being overwhelmed is settling in for us. I haven’t been sleeping well in the last week. Things like waking up yelling at someone or something because I’m having a really real dream. It takes a minute or two for me to realize it’s just a dream. We’re both starting to feel the fatigue and are feeling the burn of an entire month with ZERO days of not having extra people around. It’s not a bad thing, having extra people around, it just wears on us when it’s constant. We’re having to be more firm and say no to a few things just because we know we need the down time. I think we get a whole 3 days next week before the next group arrives…
The class is going well. I don’t have to teach this week because it’s just a 2-3 day class for teaching installation and how to do the education that goes with the filters. That’s Chris’ part. I can’t say that I’m sad that I don’t get to say my two bits… ;o)
Today we had a woman come by from a community in the Artibonite valley. She is part of a community health organization and was sent to find out how they can get filters into her area. She has a filter in her home that we installed previously and she wants to see more out there. This is so incredibly encouraging for us because this community is already organizing itself and taking the initiative. We’re going to do everything we can to support them in their efforts. It’s so crazy to see the demand for filters going up to the point where people are spending two hours on a tap tap to come find us. When I asked Jean to come talk to her (he’s our project manager) he said, “Tet chaje!” which basically means full head. See, the guys took 39 filters to the Artibonite yesterday to fill part of the orders we got from the load we took a week or so ago. They still need to go back later this week with another load. Jean got orders for 38 more filters yesterday. It’s exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.
We got word that our container *might* be released this week. That would be nice. We’ve got so many exciting things on this one, again. A cement mixer that will actually be used for washing sand for installing the filters (yes, i know it’s strange to use a cement mixer for sand, but it works really well), tools that we really need right now, like the parts for our concrete vibrators that cut filter production down by several hours. We have diffusion plates (they go in the filters) on there – 6000 of them – which is enough for our use and for us to supply other projects for a good part of a year. My treadmill, which I’m just itching to get at. Some storage cupboards for the house (yay!). So many things that we’ve kind of forgotten what there is. It’ll be like Christmas in November.
Yesterday I felt like a bit of a tour guide. I even had my own tour guide van! A friend that has been trying to get some stuff going in Haiti for several years, but has met wall after wall of frustration, stopped by with her board of directors. They’re on a fact finding mission to try and get more specific with what the ministry is doing so that they can be more effective. Through some emails earlier I was able to help them connect with some people, but yesterday I took them to actually do face to face meetings with two different organizations that we think would really benefit from the partnership. Lori is a dental assistant by trade, and would like to put her skills to work here in Haiti when she visits. Her board would like to work with local organizations to do things like start vaccination clinics, teach sexual education classes, and work with woman in the areas of prenatal care and the like. It was really cool to make introductions and then sit back and watch visions come together. I watched people light up and get excited and I love that. Chris and I are firm believers in doing something and doing it well and really focusing on that, rather than feeling like you have to do a bit of everything. When you can see focused efforts working, the impact over the long run is amazing. I was just really encouraged by being a part of what could be a really great thing.
I dropped off one group and picked up another and brought them back to our house to visit. A couple on the team that came over are considering adoption down the road so we talked about that and Haiti and just life in general. It was a nice way to end the afternoon. I would say day, but we still had students that were showing up…
Today my parents and brother booked their tickets for Christmas. I’m super excited about that. They are most definitely coming.
We’re going to Port next week to take Owen to the airport. I realized today that I haven’t been more than 25 minutes down the road in a month and a half. Crazy how that time can go by. Chris HATES going to Port and tries to go as little as possible. I like going just because I need to get out every once in a while. I’m interested to see what our crabbiness level will be like in the new van. Not being covered in sweat all the time? No sweat for dirt to stick to? Hmmm.
One of the errands that we need to do next week is grocery shopping. We’ve got a Vision Trip coming in on the 8th and I need to stock up. Because the grocery store is two hours away it always takes some planning. I mean, we can get some stuff locally, but even that is at least a 30 minute drive each way, and the choices are limited. I’m talking about more than just basic fruit and veggies, which we get from the local market. I’ve had to get myself very organized and now have a detailed meal plan. From there I can make a detailed grocery list. Just so you know what kind of a goon I am, I do my grocery list in Excel. Yes I do! And, I do it all the time, not just for groups. And, that list is organized by aisle. That came about when I realized that when I gave Chris a normal list half of the things didn’t come home and he would just say, “Oh, they didn’t have it.” What? They didn’t have coffee? Huh?!? Then I realized that he would just get annoyed with having to go find things so when his annoyed-with-shopping meter hit it’s breaking point he would just head for the check out. Again, grocery store 2 HOURS AWAY. Meal plan. Need certain things for said meal plan. Can’t run out for what is forgotten. Thus, the aisle plan. Now ALL of my groceries come home, unless they really don’t have it. Or, I do the shopping. There, now you know another freaky weird goon thing about me.