When we went into this year we knew our funding was down, and that we would be slowing things down a bit. Chris and I firmly believe in working continually and balancing our output with our available funding, rather than going hard and running out completely. The fact that we have employees, with families, who are not only our biggest asset as an organization, but also reliant on their full-time jobs is something that is never far from our minds. Aside from that, working continuously provides a better quality of, well, everything that we do here. Did you know that Clean Water for Haiti is one of the only continually running bio-sand filter projects in the world?
So, we’ve been plugging along. And it was fine. Yes, we would love to have more funding to be doing more filters, but we looked at the time as a blessing where we could focus on other things that needed some TLC.
Fast forward to today. Phew!
This is the short version…
Our Santa Fe alternator went out last week. It’s in PAP, will be picked up today and needs to be re-installed.
Our van has been making a clunking noise. Evens finally had time to check it out yesterday and knows what the issue is, but in the process a bold broke and fell inside a section of the motor that is hard to get to. After talking to a mechanic Chris was told that under no circumstances should we start the motor until it’s fixed. We have no idea how it hasn’t destroyed the motor to this point. We’re looking for a mechanic that can come from Port au Prince to fix it.
If you’re counting, that’s two passenger vehicles not running today. The only thing left is the work trucks…
One work truck left first thing to get a load of gravel to take to the new land for the driveway.
The other work truck left with Chris, Olivia, Sean and the rest of the guys going to the new land. Chris was dropping them off, then taking Olivia to school, then getting dropped off back at the house and Evens took the truck to go get another load of gravel.
Are you starting to feel the crazy settle in? If not, let me keep going…
Jimmy is still here at the mission today working on the septic tank. We’re all hoping that he’ll be able to finish laying the blocks today so they can do the form work for the cement lid tomorrow. Man, I miss flushing our toilet…
We have an organization coming to pick up 10 filters. Two of our guys will go with them to Cite Soliel to install the filters today.
Those two same guys will the take public transit across town to go and get the fixed alternator for the Santa Fe, then take public transit back to the mission.
Until the org arrives those two guys are digging leach lines for the septic system.
Um, it’s almost 9 am and the org hasn’t arrived yet, so it’s going to be a very long day for those two guys.
Feeling scattered yet?
Now, because we don’t have any working passenger vehicles we had to ask friends if Olivia could go to their house after school until Evens can take the truck to go pick her up. Hopefully they’ll be able to load in the gravel quickly today and she won’t have to be there too long.
Sean needs a push broom to fill the gaps in the pavers with sand. We don’t have one and can’t think of where we would buy one in our area. A friend has one. But, because both work trucks are gone and both passenger vehicles are broken down we had to ask our friend to make a special trip out to the land to deliver the broom for us because we can’t go get it from him.
Do you feel completely confused? Yeah, me too.
Oh yeah! I leave for South America on Tuesday. My husband gets to stay here with two kids, school runs, a volunteer, a big project, a septic tank and non-working vehicles to fix.
Needless to say (why do we say that, then actually follow it up with whatever statement we feel is “needless to say”?) things have gone from slow and quite to outright nutty around here. Last night Chris was trying to make plans for who was going in each direction and could hardly keep his head on. He didn’t sleep much last night either.
But, it’s not a bad thing. Yes, it’s a lot to manage but we’re actually excited about all of it and feeling blessed.
Blessed because we’ve connected with a great mechanic in PAP who was able to fix the alternator in a couple days, for less that $100.
Blessed because of Sean. Everything about Sean.
Blessed because while it’s taken almost three weeks, and we still don’t have a working septic tank for our house, it’s getting closer to being done and one of our guys has learned so much about block laying in the last two weeks. The tank is triple the size of the old one, and built the right way.
Blessed because, while we have two broken vehicles, we have two vehicles. When I started with the mission in 2005, if the truck broke, that was it. We were tap tapping. While it’s logistically crazy, we are able to get everything done. The Santa Fe should be fixed soon too.
Blessed because we have a staff that work hard, want to learn, and have a good attitude. These guys work in the hot sun all day. When I go out to the new land, I typically find them joking around and that’s hard to do when you’re slinging gravel and dirt and doing all the hard work. I admire that.
Blessed, most of all, because we know that when things get a bit crazy like this it’s usually because good things are coming. We can choose to get discouraged, or we can choose to have joy in the midst of the chaos and confusion. Our attitude and what we’re willing to leave in God’s hands determines everything.
We would love it if you would keep us and the mission in your prayers in the coming weeks as we take care of everything here. In our experience it comes in blips and it’ll be a lot of things to deal with all at once, then things calm down. The challenge is remembering to step back and breathe, and then take care of business.
Thanks, and happy Thursday!