Tuesday, July 31st – Moms & Daughters Team:
Our sweet (and pretty) team from Minnesota is filled with fun, energetic, devoted -- and mostly very sweaty -- mothers & daughters. Breakfast was terrific: fresh mango, avocado, bananas, eggs, thick pancakes, and some kind of juice that tasted like blended papaya & oranges. Pretty much everything my teenagers eat at home each morning, right?
We departed mid-morning for our first stop with the water truck. We navigated quickly on the tap-tap (the Haitian version of a taxi) and were on our way. Our team felt a sense of peace – and purpose – as we hopped out of the tap-tap. Delivering water in a slum neighborhood is not comparable to any other experience in Minnesota. I was trying to make a reference point, but it’s difficult. Think of going to the Minnesota State Fair on the busiest day at Midway (hot, crowded, dense) then imagine you are working the only food/water/drink station at the fair. Everyone has to come and stand in line and wait for you to fill their bucket with water, the only clean and safe hydration source for a week. Now takeaway all the other amenities at the fair, and you have a small picture of “water truck day” in Haiti.
The words that the teenage girls came up with to describe delivering fresh water in Cite Soleil were all honest: chaotic, intense, meaningful, life-changing, purposeful. I can confidently admit that we don’t operate right on the edges of life or death, living in Minnesota. God has blessed our state and our country, even though we all know its challenges (and disappointments). But to see children, pregnant mothers, and a few teenagers jostling and shoving each other to get their bucket filled is a wake up call for all of us to thank our Lord Jesus for what He provides to us every day.
We made two more stops with the water truck, each to a different part in Cite Soleil. The second stop felt uncomfortable, probably because this neighborhood hadn’t received fresh water in some time. Is it any wonder?
First time to Haiti, and the smells, sounds and sights of the country are overwhelming, and not in a good way (at least to this first-time team member). Look beyond the filth, the garbage piles, and what passes for a “house”, though, and you do see joy on the faces of the children in the midst of these conditions. A good lesson for those of us so accustomed to a fast internet connection, a Caribou Coffee nearby, and a vehicle that not only works, but also has AC.
My most profound thought while viewing the snaking line of humanity waiting for water (I had a lot of un-profound thoughts, too) was that these people need water for life. We all do. Jesus promises Living Water for our souls to ensure we are never thirsty again. We just have to drink. ~Brenda Alberts & daughter Emma