Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cite Soleil, Haiti: Water Distribution Day

It's another warm and sunny day with the occasional lightning flash in the distance last night. The work has been slower than Team Leader Richard wanted but we are managing to assist our mason in every way we can. We removed the forms from the concrete/re-bar pour we did yesterday and it all looked good. Yesterday was spent assisting the placement of concrete blocks along one end of the home to give the roof a slope. Blocks were then piled on each side, and blocks were broken so that their pieces would form the slope.

It's nice to have everyone healthy and back at the work site. This afternoon we are helping a water distribution tanker - free potable water will be offered to anyone with a container!

We met the "Help Tammy Help Haiti" group at the roundabout, went an additional 500 meters and waited until white, bristling with firepower, UN emblazoned military-fitted Land Rovers, arrived at our front and back. Very shortly a large water truck arrived and we began our short, slow trek into the most impoverished part of Citie Soliel. Meanwhile, children and adults smiled and waved from their homes along the route. The place where we will stop is called "the houses of zinc" sector by the UN military, which consists of Brazilian forces. An officer told us their tour of duty is around six months, before returning to Brazil. The homes are built on tidal land, beside the sea, so they each have a dirt floor, with walls and roof made of zinc-coated tin, making them like ovens in the summer months, and the location they are in, like a swamp in the rainy season.

We drove by orderly concrete walled dwellings before we arrived at the shore; The water truck stopped 100 meters from the shore, amidst a virtual wasteland of plastic bags and vegetable matter.The families saw what was about to happen and people came running from everywhere with ever kind of container that would hold water. Then the tap was turned on.... There was no stopping it, or the endless stream of buckets that passed quickly beneath the precious water.

Cam Grant

DWC Participant

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