Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Water Truck Day - Scott/Wermager 10-10-18

Water truck day.  Where do we even begin?

Today we started with our usual morning routine consisting of coffee, prayer, breakfast, and COLD showers to wake us up :)  We packed up the essentials and headed out for another day on the tap tap.

We spent our entire "work day" in City Soleil, which is known as the poorest city in the western hemisphere.  Each stop we had with the water truck was in a different neighborhood of the city.  There is a distinct smell upon entering Citi Soleil and each stop was a different experience. As we entered into the neighborhood the children recognized the tap tap and would jump right on the back. At each stop we were met with Children running and yelling "hey you", the women and children were more prevalent bringing in the 5 gallon buckets, there were some men but it's mainly a womans job in this culture. 

The first two water stops of the day went along smoothly. The children jumped onto the back of the tap tap and as we pulled up and they opened the door, we got out and lined up, the water truck had already started the water hose and we as a team took over the hose and started filling buckets. The line here went fairly well, at times the people would try to butt in and get their buckets filled before others, but overall, it went smoothly.

Many of the children came running up to us wanting to be held, tugging at our clothing, braiding our hair, just wanting any type of loving attention; some had buckets themselves and had to carry the buckets back to their homes, many on top of their heads. There were kids and adults with buckets that after having them filled needed help getting them onto their heads and would motion for us to help them. 

The third water truck run the amount of kids running around was impressive, there were people with buckets trying to get in line ahead of everyone else and there were people pushing to get in to fill their buckets.  There was just mass chaos towards the end of our water truck run.  We found out this stop was known to be a bit more agressive, as there was a little more tension and immediate need for water.  We enjoyed watching the children take bathes in buckets in the middle of the street, you could tell it was a luxury for them.

While waiting for the water truck to go back and get more water, Valerie, our tap tap driver, took us to the pier and our nostrils were insulted with a fishy smell with a mingle of garbage and swamp. After getting closer to the water we pulled up and got out and was able to watch some fishermen with some fishing nets and even helped them pull the ropes to bring in the nets. they only bring it in so far, then they take a small boat out to it and pull up the  net onto the boat. We also saw some boys fishing for sea gulls; they would put bait on a hook, throw the line out into the water and wait for the birds to come check out the bait and hook them and bring them onto the pier. Just as we were leaving, there was a boy who caught a pelican and there was all sorts of comotion when that happened.  We watched two men swimming to catch the pelican and then a man jumped in and almost landed on top of the bird, but started waving it in the air to show everyone he had it. Lots of cheering and clapping. You could tell that this was a big victory for them, and it was very exciting to witness!

We then visited Hope Church/School/soon to be medical clinic. We found out that on this site they had to dig 80 feet with the pilings, and 40 feet deep to pull out the garbage as this site was City Soleil's dumping ground. This site had been a water truck stop for 10 years, then Healing Haiti  started to pray over this land to become the church it is today, along with the school. The idea of this vision becoming a realty was seen to be impossible, but God had different plans.  The process has taken about two years. The medical clinic part of this will open soon, but not certain when. There are currently 300 students that attend Hope church/school now, and their lives have drastically been impacted.

After this we went to the Fleri Farm Plantation. Here we met with Kenny, he took us on a tour of the 28 acre lush grounds with coconut trees, mango trees, papaya trees. It was wonderful listening to his enthusiasm for this Farm and what he and Healing Haiti's plans were for this land. They want to be able to impact the lives of 1000 people with this farm by using his neighbors for resources as well as hiring 40-50 people to work the land. He pointed out that the coconut tree is a male tree, there were two of them, and the line of coconut trees beyond them were all female tree, each producing fruit and that the winds come from the angle of pushing the pollen onto the female trees. He explained that the farm is hoping to produce fruit that can be prepackaged and shipped internationally at some point.

From here we went back to the Guesthouse and we got on our bathingsuits and walked up a block to the Elite Hotel to go swimming. We all got some sodas and juice and enjoyed french fries! We were gifted some fried plantain, which was a delicious treat.  Laughter filled the pool area as we bounced beach balls and enjoyed the cool water!  We can't wait to go back again!

We came back to the Guesthouse and had a nice Haitian meal.  Our "word of the day" takes us awhile to get through, because our group is so interactive.  We truly value our time to reflect with one another, it is such a blessing being with each of these indivuals.  We had some incredibly vulnerable moments tonight during devotionals.  Our group had the chance to express raw emotions, and it's almost as if the air in the room felt lighter and more peaceful afterwards.  What a true blessing it is when you can feel God's presence so clearly.

Our devotion topic tonight was "dying to self, to become more like Christ"  Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.  Against such things there is no law." 

We go to bed with overflowing hearts, and sound spirits ready for another day to serve.  We can't wait to see what God has prepared for us for tomorrow.