Saturday, January 19, 2019
I can't absorb all of this.
The ride in the Tap-tap, we ride through the city in the back of a truck with wire mesh surrounding us. The streets are full of vendors, automobiles, scooters, trucks, buses and pickups full of riders front and back. The noise is constant, loud vehicles, horns, vendors and people going about their day. Sidewalks lined with vendors selling clothing, food, auto parts and who knows what else. We pass a couple of funeral processions, one of them lead by a brass band and all the mourners dressed in suits and Sunday best. It is Saturday, as we pass the athletic fields there are several soccer games proceeding. Meanwhile scooters are beeping as they pass by, trucks and cars honk their horns regularly, somehow traffic keeps moving as vehicles change lanes and navigate turns. Our first stop is at the Water Station where truck after truck is filled with water from a deep well. There are 4 lanes of water trucks with large tanks lined up, each having a five inch pipe overhead that is filling them with water. Trucks coming and going continuously and somehow they seem to find order in the midst of what looks to me to be chaos. The truck we are working with is filled, leaves for Citi Soleil Station #16 and we shortly follow. More traffic and vendors as we get to Citi Soleil. It seems there are more street vendors than our previous trip and there are many people shopping and walking about.
As we get to Water Station 16 the truck is there and people are lined up with their buckets and other containers. Don and I begin the process of filling the containers from a 4 inch hose out of the tanker In spite of our directing them to get in "La Line", it is not long until the scene is chaotic as I try to line up containers and Don directs the hose. People are tugging at me, pushing and trying to get in line, Don is struggling to keep control of the hose as people try to direct it to their container. Children are in line getting water to dump over their heads and enjoy. Eventually we have filled the household containers and as we run out of water the kids are still there. As I said it is chaotic, but that delivery of water is essential to the daily survival of all these families. It seems so disorganized yet this process arranged by Healing Haiti and other NGO's happens every day and it works.
After the water distribution we again visited the wharf accompanied by a host of children wanting to be carried, hugged or given attention.
In the afternoon we visited the Croatian Orphanage which was established after the earthquake. There are 40 plus children aged 5 years to 20 years living here. We spent the afternoon playing soccer, basketball, jump rope, coloring, other games and activities. Croatian Orphanage is another good example of people having a vision and stepping up to the plate.
So I can't absorb or simply explain the Healing Haiti trip, but I am grateful to be a part of this mission if even only for a week on site. It is certainly a mission worth supporting and continuing.