Harrison Middle School Makes Waves & Fills Hearts

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Waves For Water is grateful and proud to share that we have been delivering water filtration systems in high gear in response to the cholera outbreak in Haiti. During the week of the one year anniversary of the earthquake, we distributed 1500 systems in Port-au-Prince, Leogane, and Cite Soleil.

One of the week’s destinations was the orphanage La Maison du Sourire with 50 children in Leogane where we donated water filtration systems with funds raised by Harrison Middle School.

The children at La Maison du Sourire have no access to clean, drinking water. What water they do have comes from a shallow, contaminated water table barely fit for human consumption.

Through the generosity of the students at Harrison Middle School, we were able bring this very simple solution into the jungly outskirts of Leogane and with it, clean water and hopes for a healthier tomorrow.

After doing a brief demonstration for Pastor Jean Nidaud Beaussejouer and his staff, the filters were put to immediate use. It filled our hearts to see the children go for the water with the appreciation that this new gift is there to better their lives.

We spent several hours setting up the filtration systems and engaging with the children. Attached are pictures of our visit sponsored by Harrison Middle School.

From all of us at Waves For Water, from the children at La Maison du Sourire, and from Pastor Nidaud who says he can never express it enough – THANK YOU!

— Waves For Water

Reflections of Perseverance

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Yesterday was the one year anniversary of the quake that rocked this country to its core…

I write today from a place of great appreciation and humility…

Yesterday was a day of mourning…and a day of rebirth. The city streets were vacant of their normal traffic congestion…the air was eerily still…yet there was an intense spiritual electricity running through my body the entire day. Everyone was out walking around in the streets, dressed up in their finest church attire. When the clock struck 4:53pm you could hear voices chanting from different pockets of the city. A city united…

It’s obvious to me that this last year has been incredibly life altering for so many involved with this event, but I wouldn’t dare pretend to know what it’s like for anyone but myself.

I’ve spent the better part of my years surfing and adventuring around the globe…and there has been no shortage of lessons learned along the way. Actually my experiences on the road have defined who I am today. In my opinion, the exposure to different cultures and beliefs systems are exactly what helps us develop and progress as individuals. From lessons in basic street smarts…respect…acceptance…and local traditions – the vast diversity of world is truly our best source of education! That said, the polarizing lessons in humanity that I’ve learned this past year have really trumped everything. I am constantly humbled by the overwhelming compassion and perseverance of the Haitian people – they are strongest people I’ve ever seen.

We have a fairly simple, yet stark, bottom line in regards to Waves For Water – get as many people access to clean water, as quickly and efficiently as possible…and no matter how much our efforts scale, this bottom line will always remain.

It was just a little over a year ago that I brought 10 filters in my bag on a trip to Indonesia – kicking off my first W4W mission. Since then the growth trajectory of our little NGO has been surreal.

We just completed a project with Compassion International that consisted of 16,000 filters for Haiti. Combining that with our other partnerships throughout the year (UN, JP HRO, and countless other smaller groups) we’ve distributed over 30,000 filters to this country. The simple math of flow rate per filter suggests that 2,000,000+ people now have access to clean water because of this. Last Sunday we started another project with Compassion International that will supply 40,000 more filters to their widespread network of church affiliates across the country. I’m very proud to be working with all our partners – big and small.

Two days ago we went to a small orphanage in Leogane and distributed 4 filters to them. We spent the better part of 3 hours there. The day before that, we did training and delivery of 1,300+ filters to one of the networks for the Compassion International project.

There’s obviously a big difference in scale between the two but with respect to our bottom line I mentioned before, each scenario is of equal importance to me. This was so clear to me during our time at the orphanage. Within minutes of setting up the first system there we’re kids drinking clean water out of it – a direct and very measurable difference…just like that!

I love the idea of this solution reaching people that will never know us because it was given to them by one of their own… this is how we’ve always operated – train a few solid community representatives and then let them distribute to their people… But it’s always amazing to see the difference you’ve made right before your own eyes. What we experienced that day at the orphanage was a beautiful representation of our work, distilled down to the purest core – one human helping another.

Lastly, next time you’re out with friends or loved ones, raise your glass in honor of your brothers and sisters down here… cause believe me when I say, your voices are heard.

Much love,
Jon

Long Trek to India

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I just made the long trek to India to join Jonno Durant and Stefan Hunt on their quest to visit every state in the country.

If you saw their Surfing 50 States film, you can imagine what this one will be like.Fortunately for me, we’re on the coast near a city called Chennai, so I will be able to ride a few waves while I’m here. Even better, I’ve been able to do some good work in this clean-water-challenged region. We gave a filter demo… and lecture on the importance of clean water, to primary school today. Was AMAZING!

I also met someone who could be our perfect networking here – his name is Isaac and he and his parents have run an orphanage in the area for the past 15 yrs. He’s perfect! This shot is of all the kids and me and crew on stage just before the lecture/demo. More to come tomorrow! — Jon Rose

Check more about Jonno and Stefan’s project at www.surfing28states.com

Challenge & Determination Breeds Success

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Fritz and I had an incredible day yesterday. We got out of the city and visited his home town of Leogane (epicenter of quake). We had a special lighthearted mission this time… and after the days we’ve been having it was so damn refreshing to get back to the core of what we do – give people clean water, and have fun in the process.


Fritz had learned of a Haitian National soccer game that was taking place – Mirebalais (epicenter of Cholera outbreak) VS Leogane. The plan was to show up just prior to the game and present both teams with the few brand new Nike soccer balls that we had left over from our Game Changer Kit project.

We were to give each team a water filtration system so they could have it running at all their practices, games, etc in the future… Fritz being the “unofficial” mayor of Leogane had it all lined up… we showed up gave quick demo on the filter system to each team and then pumped up the new balls.

After the ref’s checked them out and gave the nod, I walked out into the field and presented the new balls to the captain of each team. Whenever I’m with Fritz, I get to experience the REAL Haiti and I would very much like to take this opportunity to thank him… thank you brother!

We watched the rest of the game from the sidelines and experienced the simple joys of sport… and community. It is these types of activities that, for at least a moment, take away all the pain and suffering these people have endured… and just brings them back to the basic fundamentals of happiness – loving, laughing, and sharing a cold beer!


Just before leaving back to PAP we stopped at a nearby youth group that Fritz knew about and gave them a filter system. When we showed up the teacher was giving a lesson in hygiene to about 20 kids. Was perfect timing for us as we were able to not only educate them directly about drinking safe clean water, but also, teach them to use the filtered water for hand washing, etc… these can be the little differences that decides whether one of these kids gets Cholera or not. It really is that that simple…

On the ride home I found myself pondering the whole bureaucratic side to this work (opposite of what we had just experienced in Leogane) when dealing with other NGO’s or local governments etc… and how recently the work seems to have entered a new phase in which the bureaucracy is showing its ugly face more and more… to be expected, I know, but still makes my skin crawl a bit at times. I didn’t come from this world. I don’t have “traditional” training in how to play the game. We look at things through a different lens and it allows us to make some pretty dynamic decisions that have ultimately helped a lot of people. That said, I am also humbled daily because of it. I have made plenty of bad decisions along the way out of pure inexperience, but those bad decisions are always what lead me to my best ones. I think ultimately it just comes down to not being afraid to fail. It’s like that classic Michael Jordan quote – “To learn to succeed, you must first learn to fail”. I can’t think of a more applicable place for this quote than Haiti.

There is always something that rises up and stands in the way of your goal down here and it’s really how you deal with that challenge that determines the entire course of success… or failure.

Cheers!

Cholera is Spinning Out of Control in Haiti

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Tensions are high here in Haiti as the Cholera outbreak seems to be spinning out of control.

These poor people have been through so much and the frustration is escalating to an all time high. They want answers, and frankly, they deserve them. It feels like we’re encroaching a secondary epidemic to the Cholera situation – one fueled in violence. There have been so many senseless deaths since the Jan quake and now the people just seem like they’ve had enough. I don’t blame them. The sanitation conditions here make a perfect host for disease and sickness – what could potentially be nipped in the bud somewhere else, has every opportunity to thrive here for months, if not years… killing hundreds of thousands of people along the way. The current death toll in Haiti is over 1200 but the health officials released a projected number potentially reaching 200,000+ by the end of this thing.

Water, water, water! Our work here has never been more important than now. Clean water is Cholera’s Kryptonite! The second element in all of this is the simple access to education. So many people aren’t aware of the basic hygienic precautions that can be taken to prevent this horrific disease. It seems like most of the organizations here are working very hard on this, each having specific appeals set up to combat the problem. We have been working closely with a division of the UN called CVR (Community Violence Reduction) that we have partnered with at the onset of the outbreak. Together we have successfully distributed 4,000 filters to the outbreak hot-spots. We are also partnered with an organization called Compassion International and we have agreed to do the assembly, distribution, and training for an order of 16,000 filters that they recently made directly with the manufacturer. These filters are also targeted for the Cholera hot-spots.

There is progress being made but the intensity along with it makes us feel like we’re working double-time. The UN is facing serious implications regarding this outbreak as there are rumors that the disease came from the Nepalese (UN) military base in Mirebalais. This is the same base that I stayed at for our UN Military project no less than two weeks before the first cases were recorded. The rumors state that there was seepage from the latrines on the Nepalese base into a nearby river… and because there is a similar strain of Cholera found in Nepal, it’s felt to be more than coincidence. I feel for those troops… they are great people that would never hurt anyone intentionally and now have a tainted image here. The result is an uproar against the entire UN operations down here in the form of rioting and demonstrations. In the Northern city of Cap Hatien there has been serious rioting. And literally as I am writing this I just received an alert from the US Embassy notifying all US citizens that demonstrations have now started in PAP.

As usual, I have been traveling around with our Haitian partner and good friend, Fritz Pierre-Louis. Our wits are sharply tuned and we are in an unmarked car, so in general, I feel safe enough… besides, Fritz is packin’ heat! I couldn’t ask for a better comrade than him…

But the UN is preparing for the worst and have certain areas blockaded with troops… anticipating… standing strong.

The last two days have been full-throttle and we are keeping our momentum consistent, even when we get hung up. It can be very frustrating down here with bureaucratic limitations around every corner. But I’ve realized that if we just keep moving… working on something… anything – the power from that energy carries us through. For example, we have a huge shipment still stuck in customs, but instead of sitting around waiting for them to clear Fritz and I have been organizing all the buckets needed for upcoming distributions through a new local source we have. And even though its only picking up and transporting buckets, at the end of the day we can sip our whiskey’s and say – “hell yeah!… we got something done today.”
If you can say that at the end of every day here in Haiti, you are ahead of 99% of the population.

Why does Coca Cola in a foreign country taste so damn good?

Any help spreading the word for me on this Cholera situation is greatly appreciated…
More soon,
Jon

Indo Tsunami Relief

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The destruction on these islands from the recent tsunami is everywhere.

Around every corner are views of once abundant landscapes, decimated into a wreckage of snapped trees and flattened brush. I’ve been coming to these islands for almost 15 years and to see some of the landmarks I’m so familiar with, altered beyond recognition is nothing short of eerie. As a matter of fact, we’re currently anchored off a well known surf spot called Rags Right and due to the tsunami’s warpath, I can virtually see straight through to the backside of the island. This is also the case at many of the other known surf spots since most of them usually sit on the flatter corners of the islands.

Temporary shelters

We’ve also been battling some heavy weather… actually the strongest I’ve ever seen out here. We’re all good, but it has made things a bit more challenging when motoring between regions.

Earlier this AM we were anchored off a small village that we found out later has 50+ people still missing since the tsunami – a very sobering statistic.

My ultimate goal with Waves For Water has never been to just walk in somewhere and give aid, but rather pass along the information I know to certain key people in the communities I visit – with hopes that it’ll empower them to help each other and ultimately take the power out of my hands… eliminating foreign dependency, etc…

Jon training deck hands on boat

Well, that happened today. It felt so good. I taught the Indonesian deck hands on our boat how the filter works… how to assemble it… and maintain it. Then we sent them into the nearby village with some supplies and two filter systems. Now in their hands, it was their job to present the filters, do the demonstrations, and educate the village leaders on this new solution… I knew that they would do a better job than I ever could… these are their people and they have a certain rapport with each other that I will never have. This is the case everywhere I go in the world – it’s always best when I can just serve as the initial conduit. Then once the program is in place, they can grow it organically from within the existing fabric of their community. The end result – the student becomes the teacher and so on and so forth…

Locals, now educated demonstrate the filter process

The mission with the Indo deck hands went so well that it sparked a new concept… the thought is to do a deal with the fleet of Indies Trader boats (one of which we’re currently on) in which they are always stocked with a small inventory of filters. We could raise appropriate funds back home to keep buying more filters and then throughout the year send batches of them over with the surfers we know heading over. All the deck hands would be trained so that no matter where the boats are, they can always send some filters into nearby villages.

Our guys in whats left of village before demo

This would obviously be very handy if (god forbid) another catastrophe were to hit the region. In my opinion, setting up a program from a proactive standpoint such as this, far surpasses the contrary. Why wait until something bad happens? Let’s just find ways to put these solutions into areas we already know to be hot spots… How many lives can be saved by eliminating the time wasted in post disaster logistics?

To me, if this concept comes to fruition, it will be a shining example in the evolution of this program.

Humbled and grateful by this experience…
JR

Our guys explaining the filter

Catching rain for water source

Operation Indonesia

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Tsunami destruction

Mother nature is so powerful… shocking really…

We finally arrived to the islands two days ago after 35 hrs of travel. Like most of the charter boats in the area, our boat is pretty well packed with aid supplies. We also have 3 (Indonesian) SurfAid International (primary NGO in the area) workers on board who are coordinating the aid distributions for each village we pass by.

Bob Hurley handing off supplies to aid workers

The first two little villages we saw yesterday were 90% leveled. One of the them had 18 fatalities from the Tsunami… and to give some perspective, there’s only about 80 people in the entire village. So do the math – a quarter of their population erased in an instant. Its like all of their houses just disappeared into thin air with nothing but a little cement foundation remains.

Nothing but foundations remain of the villages

The reports from the villagers are suggesting that most of the casualties were from people getting hit by debris (cement blocks, wood framing, or trees) when the wave came in. The other cause is a bit graphic so I apologize in advance – they said that once the mass of water receded back out to the ocean it pulled people with it… most of whom were children. The children and elderly are the most susceptible to being swept away because they aren’t strong enough to grab onto a tree of something stationary until the surge passes. In most of the villages we’ve visited there are at least a few people still unaccounted for that are feared to be among those who were swept out to sea.

All of this intel is hard for someone like me to really grasp. I may be standing in their decimated village seeing the destruction with my own eyes… or hearing first hand from them about their horrific experiences, but I really have no idea.

Jon Rose & Brandon Guilmette unloading aid

We can do our part and help them as best we can… but until I’m sitting in a little tropical village and a relentless 3 meter wall of water steam rolls through in the middle of the night, I will never truly understand what they went through.

There’s no doubt these people are resilient and used to adversity… their character was tested beyond comprehension and yet they were all smiles when greeting us. We demo’d an distributed 3 filters to the survivors of those two villages. The filters we’re using for this mission will produce enough clean water for 100+ people so we’re generally giving 1-3 per village.

Jon Rose building filter system

There is very little help getting to these people and if it wasn’t for the surf community, it’d probably be next to nothing. SurfAid International is doing a great job of coordinating aid efforts and effectively distributing throughout the region.

Jon Rose giving a demo of the filter system

The international media has no real idea what the conditions are on the ground out here, because you really can’t until you see it with your own eyes. Even in this case, I can describe things to my best ability but there are pictures, smells, sounds, etc.. en-grained in my head that defy words…

We are doing what we can and will stay the course, but it’s important to know that they need help… and a lot of it. I am creating a log of the villages we’ve distributed filters to and how many each of them get. With that I’m doing assessments along the way, trying to calculate the ideal number of filters each of them would need to be fully sustained. The good news (if that’s even appropriate to say) is that most of these villages are fairly small in size which means in some cases 10 filters is all they’d need.

Jon Rose with SurfAid worker

Once back home we will put forth an effort to raise funds for the additional amount needed from all the villages combined and then get them over here ASAP. The filters we are giving them now will hold them over until the we can get the reinforcement project rolling.

Please help spread the word and also let me know if ANY of you are traveling to Indo soon and wouldn’t mind taking some filters over for us…

To make a contribution please visit:
SurfAid International – www.surfaidinternational.org
Waves For Water – blog.wavesforwater.org

More to come . . .
— Jon Rose

Indo vs. Haiti

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Well… a lot has happened in the last 36 hrs. Let’s just say I’m VERY aware of the significance of making choices for the right reasons – from the heart.

If you remember from my last update, I was on my way to LAX for an Indonesia trip I had scheduled, when I changed my plans last second because I felt compelled to go to Haiti in response of their recent Cholera outbreak. I felt torn at the time and almost bad for letting down the people I was scheduled to go to Indo with… but knew in my gut that I was making the right choice. Later that night there was a massive earthquake & tsunami that struck the exact islands in Indonesia I was scheduled to be on. Yes, I’m serious… The crew and I would have been fine as we would have still been in transit when the quake hit. But crazy, none the less… Especially because, this is the exact region in Sumatra where I was one year ago when I was randomly caught in the devastating earthquake that shook Padang on Oct 1st, 09. That experience was life changing beyond words and also served as the primary catalyst for everything I’ve done with Waves For Water since. It was a tipping point that rattled me to the core and ultimately set me on a new course… a new path.

So when I got the news about this recent quake/tsunami you can imagine how much it resonated with me. Of course I felt very compelled to be over there and helping the villages on those remote islands I have come to know so well. But I made my choice to be in Haiti as an emergency response to the recent Cholera outbreak. We planned and partnered on this Cholera project very quickly with a division of the UN called CVR, led by a fantastic guy named, William Gardner…and his incredible team. Also in the fold was MAJ Brian Woolworth of the UN Minustah. Brian has been one of the single most important components to the work we’ve done in Haiti thus far. Lastly, we enlisted our main man on the ground in Haiti, Fritz Pierre-Louis. He too has been instrumental in virtually every aspect of our work down there, almost since day one.

We arrived to Haiti and went straight to UN Delta base for a meeting with the team… with time against us, we all agreed that at least 1000 filters from the first phase of this project would go out the following day to Saint Marc (epicenter of outbreak), which is about 2 hrs drive from PAP.

Then another 500 would be delivered the following day to Mirebalais and the central plateau – another hot spot. So, Fritz and I did the delivery (& demo’s) to Saint Marc and My Dad handled Mirebalais the following day.

Showing U9 officer filter before demo

The distribution in Saint Marc was handled by William and his CVR team and thru Partners in Health (via Brian Woolworth) in Mirebalais. It was a fast and efficient collaboration between all partners and though we are definitely not out of the woods by any means re the outbreak, we can move forward with the fight knowing that roughly 15,000 people in those areas now have access to clean water…and are further protected from the outbreak. The next phases will include up to 3500 more filters for the confirmed outbreak areas and any new ones that may pop up.

Transferring buckets to UN trucks

I’m honored to be a part of this initiative and the team that made it happen. Our mission in Haiti is water for every single person who needs it… and we still   have so much work to do, but it’s these projects that get us all one step closer to that goal.

I left PAP yesterday, headed directly for Indonesia… and the recent tsunami/quake that hit there just made the decision that much clearer for me. I am still in transit, actually sitting comfortably at 35K feet on a plane headed from Hong Kong to Jakarta. Will be on the boat in Padang harbor by this evening and in the Islands tomorrow morning. I have a bunch of filters on me and since we’re on a boat, we’ll have unique accessibility to some of the remote villages that got hit the hardest and will surely be in desperate need of clean water.

This whole sequence of events has once again reminded me that we are not in control…and that we shouldn’t assume otherwise. There is a bigger design at play and our only job is to enjoy the process.

I’ll update from Indo when I can…
Jon

Project Pakistan

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Children in need in Islamabad

Waves For Water (in conjunction with JP HRO’s CEO) has launched a full fledged effort to help the victims of the recent floods that have left nearly 12 million people homeless—

Combined with our NGO partners on the ground, such as GOAL Ireland (http://www.goal.ie/) whom are  assisting in field distribution and training, there  is a group of mindful and seriously relevant contributors who have stepped up to support this initiative.
Project Pakistan will  provide 6000 W4W filtration systems in its first phase,  to flood victims across the country. This translates to over 60,000 people getting access to clean water. W4W recently sent two representatives (Pakistan Project Manager, Christian Troy & associate, Jordan Tappis) to Pakistan to kick-off the project.
Below are pictures from their trip and an article Jordan wrote about their experience on the ground and first phases of this initiative. More updates to follow—

Touring and IDP camp outside of Islamasbad

Man vs. Monsoon

Words and Pictures by Jordan Tappis

On July 28, a monsoon of biblical proportions thrashed the Islamic Republic of Pakistan creating the largest humanitarian crisis in modern history. Twenty million people were ravaged by a mountain of flood water overflowing riverbanks and bursting dams ‘ exceeding the number of individuals affected by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake combined. Nearly one-fifth of the country is now underwater, 12 million are homeless, a lethal strain of cholera is reaching epidemic levels, and thousands are dead. Entire bloodlines are on the precipice of extinction as men, women and children continue to perish.

Despite the millions of displaced refugees and the dire need for aid, a confluence of intricate challenges has undermined the international relief effort: Taliban militants garrisoned along Pakistan’s jagged borders, rampant thievery, political volatility and a general mistrust of its government continue to dissuade would-be donors from lending meaningful support. As a result, of the $8 billion needed for aid, less than $900 million has actually been pledged to the people of Pakistan. (As of press time, less than $500 million had actually been collected) Meanwhile, the people of Pakistan are suffering through what U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called, “the most devastating humanitarian crisis the world has ever seen.”

In September, my longtime friend, Christian Troy, and I had the opportunity to visit Pakistan for six days (including travel) on behalf of a nongovernmental organization (and its partner in this Pakistan initiative — JP HRO’s CEO) that has been instrumental in the Haitian relief effort: Waves For Water (or W4W), a nonprofit organization that provides clean-water solutions for people in need. Our mission was to assess the situation on the ground, identify effective applications for the W4W water filtration systems, establish and test supply lines, and develop reliable distribution networks ‘ all while trying to avoid being kidnapped, accidentally violating Sharia law, contracting cholera, malaria or one of myriad contagious diseases threatening the only Islamic republic with nuclear weapons.

For all intents and purposes, our six-day, 15,000-mile voyage around the world was a success. We set up three separate water filtration pilot programs, which will, in total, amount to distributing nearly 4,000 filters in the most heavily affected regions in the Sindh and Punjab provinces, with the potential to distribute an additional 10-20,000 filters down the line. (Four thousand W4W filters can provide clean water for up to 40,000 people for an entire year.) During our first 24 hours “in country,” we met with various governmental and nongovernmental organizations as well as local aid syndicates, demonstrated our filtration systems and attempted to identify ways for W4W to factor into the greater relief effort. For two willing guys with little experience in NGO bureaucracy or disaster relief, the experience was dizzying. It was like cramming six months of grad school into an afternoon.

On our last day in Pakistan, we visited a displaced persons camp in Peshawar, a small city about an hour-and-a-half drive northwest of Islamabad. This shantytown consisted of 150 makeshift tents ‘ mostly donated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees ‘ 200 prefab shelters bestowed by the great country of Turkey, one water supply replenished daily by the French organization Medicines Sans Frontieres, and a thousand or so Sunni refugees all crammed onto a small piece of land along the side of the road in dusty, rural Pakistan. It would be impossible for Christian and me to imagine such a patch of scorched desperation anywhere along our home stretch of Pacific Coast Highway.

The Pakistani people are smart. They are kind, family orientated, loving, and despite the seemingly never-ending struggle they endure, they maintain a deep-rooted sense of strength and benevolence. During our visit, Christian and I were treated with respect and gracious hospitality, never mind the fact that our home country is fighting an extremely unpopular war in their backyard.

There has been a lot of public debate over whether or not Westerners should donate to the relief effort in Pakistan. Many people feel comfortable donating to Haiti, but they have been reluctant to donate their hard-earned money to a country that’s been accused of “harboring terrorists.” A fundamental change needs to happen on both sides of this issue in order for the people of Pakistan to survive this crisis, and I sincerely hope we don’t let politics, skepticism, a lack of understanding or small factions of religious zealots prevent millions of good people from getting the help they so desperately need.

Local temple

To see this article and more online visit — http://www.malibumag.com/site/article/man_vs._monsoon/

Cholera Outbreak in Haiti

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I wish I were writing under better circumstances… most of you have probably already heard that there has been an outbreak of Cholera in Haiti.

All reports say that it’s potential is of epidemic proportions. The death toll is growing hourly and all of it can be stopped by providing clean water and basic hygiene education. I’m gutted by the reports I’ve gotten by close personal friends of mine that are there.

Once again this is another example of how dire the situation is down there… Cholera is preventable, treatable, and manageable and that’s why it is such a shame to see all of these senseless deaths happening. This all stems from lack of clean water and basic hygiene education. This means the work we have been doing down there has never been more important. That said, we have a good plan in place with the UN & Ministry of Health to get a bunch (2500-3000) of filters to the regions in question. I am flying down to PAP tomorrow with my Father to put this plan in motion.

But there ARE winks from the universe that are encouraging and serve as inspiration for us to stay the course. For example, we learned two days ago from the filter manufacturer that there is a stockpile of (unclaimed) filters already in a warehouse in PAP. Half the battle of the work we do is the logistics of getting the filters in country and with the urgency of this outbreak we weren’t sure what to do – nothing seems fast enough in this type of situation. So, all these filters are now going to our UN partners… and together we’ll be distributing them to the outbreak areas by mid-week. The fact that those filters are already there directly translates into lives saved. Period!

Lastly, I’d like to briefly speak about a revelation I had earlier… I was scheduled to be on a plane to Indonesia at this very moment. I woke up this morning feeling heavy and anxious.. and didn’t know why. Once I reached into my gut it became clear – I needed to be in Haiti. That was my truth…end of discussion. The significance of this story for me is the realization that we always know the right thing to do if we just slow down and listen. Listen to our hearts… our bodies. The physical symptoms alone, that I felt, were enough to stop anyone in their tracks. Simply put, when we have a choice in front of us and the physical feeling we have towards it feels light, the answer is YES – if it feels heavy, NO.

Obviously this was a decision that is specific to my personal journey, but I am encouraging all of you to dig into your gut and get in touch with your truth… with your light. It’s these choices that define who we are and where we’re going…

Please help me spread the word about this Cholera situation so we get an influx of the resources needed to help nip this thing in the bud.

More from the road…
Thanks!
Jon