There’s really no substitute for putting in the hours. The only way to have an even semi effective operation down here is to personally oversee every stage. Simply put, it just comes down to time spent. There’s so much chaotic energy that it’s so easy for good intentions to slip through the cracks a fall apart.Yesterday was a good day. I was finally able to return to the northern region and deliver the filters I had promised Scott Bonnell’s group. When we arrived to the church the main pastor, Albert, who manages 130 churches, greeted us. It was Sunday morning, so church was still in session. Because Albert wasn’t able to attend my filter demonstration a couple weeks ago, it was crucial that he was here today. We unloaded the goods and he said “You ready?” I replied “sure”, not really knowing what he was talking about. I followed him and all of a sudden I was standing at the podium with the local pastor in front of everyone. He said, “You ready to teach?”. I was planning on just dropping the stuff off, but since the entire community was there for Sunday service, why not use the opportunity to demonstrate. It was classic with a PA system and everything . . . was such a moment.”¨To truly connect on a grass roots level with the community is what this whole thing is about. I felt so damn good to deliver on my word. Everyone really had a look of surprise on their faces when I returned.On the way home my driver/translator, Sylla proceeded to give me a history lesson on the tremendous violence that has plagued his country for generations, and has only recently (past 3-4 years) slowed down. We drove through an area that he said is (still) considered the most dangerous part of Haiti. I might add that the prison was ruined in the quake as well, and 4000 inmates lived through it and were able to escape. Sylla mentioned that most of them would certainly be hiding in this area, as they have always claimed it to be theirs. He said that four years ago he wouldn’t have dared drive through there, but it has since gotten better and with the earthquake things have slowed down even more. It sounded much like the violence we Southern Californians are so aware of in Baja. This area is on the outskirts of PAP and no police ever go there. He said they used to hide in caves in the neighboring hills and would set up road blocks for ambushes on passing cars. Kidnapping was the primary business. A little unsettling since we were passing directly through it. However, I have still yet to feel unsafe. I really believe that in doing this work, I am protected. and everything will work out for the best. It’s just a feeling . . . hard to describe.
Looking up right now, my mind is adrift. Nothing but stars!!!
Its a new day . . .
- Jon Rose