Tuesday, June 14, 2011

2nd Water Truck Day

Saturday - June 11

Two team members, Allie and Maddie (my daughter) picked up the bug yesterday and had to stay back at the house to recover.

My co-team members, Lindsay & Spencer, and myself went back out on the water truck in the morning for 2 more water deliveries in Citi-Solei. This day was hotter and drier than our earlier run on Tuesday - following the heavy rains the night before.

The first stop went fairly smooth. However, with it much hotter and drier, the 2nd stop was quite different. People lined up on the narrow streets between the shantis before we could even get the water truck backed up. Our driver had to move the truck 1 block down to a spot where he could backup before the women and children rushed in with their buckets.

The water started flowing as we filled buckets but they wouldn't stay in line and all started pushing forward - surrounding the operators running the hose. We had to turn off the valve on the hose and pull out. The driver went down another street and we started the process over again with all of our 5 person team doing more deligence on keeping everyone in line. Not much time to play with the children on this delivery as past.

An elderly lady, my guess 60-70 yrs old, came up to me with a bucket suggesting to cut to the front of the 100+ deep line to get water. With the 2 prior attempts of delivering water having failed and trying to keep order, I motioned for her too to go back to the end of the line. Followed was the disgusted look on her face she gave me.

5-10 minutes past by and with the line 150+ deep I started feeling guilty about sending her to the back and realized she may not get water before we run out. I realized, I had made the wrong decision. Carrying a little girl in my arm, I walked to the back of the line looking for the elderly lady. I found her and asked for her bucket, grabbed her hand and took her to the front of the line. I felt better and she was beaming. Although language barriers, I knew she understaood the guilt I had felt.

After I filled her bucket, she took her wrag and wrapped in a coil to place on her head - the padding they use to carry the 50# buckets. All she wanted was for me to assist here in lifting over her head. Instead, I suggest I carry it to her shanti which she gratefully accepted.

After about 30 minutes of flowing water we ran out. There was still a line of 75+ deep with their empty buckets we had to leave - hard thing to do. But knowing the strong compassion of the Haiti people, I'm certain some of the women & children with multiple buckets filled found it in their heart to share with their fellow neighbors.

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