Leslie has been with Clean Water for Haiti full time since 2005. She serves the organization alongside her husband, Chris, and is a mom to Olivia and Alex. Along with running the administrative side of Clean Water for Haiti Leslie is also at the helm of most of the creative projects that happen behind the scenes.
As we’ve been watching events unfold in the US over the past two weeks our hearts have been heavy. While it would be natural to want to speak out immediately, we’ve also been watching our friends in the black community asking that we first listen and learn, then be active in standing with them in the fight against injustice towards people of color. And by standing with them they are asking for more than words, they need us to be DOING.
I’ve been thinking and praying a lot about what our role as an organization is in the fight against injustice and standing with people of color. As I’ve been rolling all of this over in my mind and heart, and Chris and I have been talking together, I keep coming back to the place of knowing that this is the very reason that Clean Water for Haiti exists. It IS the root of why we do what we do. The organization was started to fight injustice that deeply affects people of color.
Haiti, as a nation, fought for, and then claimed its independence from slavery in 1804 – over two hundred years ago. It was the first black republic to be founded on a slave revolt. While that is amazing, we still, over 200 years later, see the scars and effects of slavery on this nation. People of color have been trying to rise out from under the oppression of slavery for centuries all around the globe, but here in Haiti the struggle has been so difficult for so many reasons.
The core of why we exist is, yes, to help provide access to clean water, but we do this because we know that the reason people in Haiti do not have access to this very basic thing is because of centuries of broken systems that continue to keep them in a state of poverty and oppression. We do it because we believe that every person has value, and yes, we want to physically work towards connecting people with a means to improve their health and situation, but more so because we believe they matter. The black lives we see around us every day, and interact with every day, they matter.
Chris and I are also Christians, and while we don’t talk about that on this platform a lot, it is the thing that drives us in everything we do and in how we lead. We believe that God has called us to love people first, no matter what. For us that means we are always coming back to that as we lead, as we develop programs, as we employ local people, as we work with our board and donors, and in how we communicate on behalf of the organization. It affects how we raise our children and how we interact with our community. We are also broken people who often make mistakes, but we try to be aware and have soft hearts so we can change and grow through those things, and ask for forgiveness when needed.
As I’ve been thinking through these things, I realized that my first thoughts about writing this were to go and list off all the things that we do as an organization to work towards justice and equality, but that’s not what’s needed right now. Right now we need to continue to listen and learn how to be a support to our brothers and sisters.
If you’re looking for resources that can help you learn and understand this Google document is a great place to start. For the month of June the movie Just Mercy is free to stream on all platforms. I had already had it in my mental list of things I wanted to watch so we’ll definitely be checking it out this month. I also just started reading White Awake, which isn’t on the list but I believe should be required reading for anyone who identifies themselves as a Christian. Another book that Chris and I both read several years ago is The Book of Negroes, which is fiction but based on a historical document by the same name.
And, while CWH is registered in both the US and Canada, we know that our greatest area of impact is here in Haiti, working to support the black lives on our staff, in our community where we live, and in the communities that we serve. It’s our commitment to do that not only in how we shape our programs, but in our employment practices, at the board level as we work on governance, in how we welcome visitors here in Haiti, in communicating with our support base, and on platforms where we share about the work that we’re doing. If you have questions about any of those things I hope you’ll reach out, and we hope you’ll join us as we continue to learn how we can fight injustice and racism.
Chris reads the Economist religiously. Every Thursday night he downloads the latest copy and then hunkers down and pours over it for the next few days, taking it all in. He has this amazing mind for details and facts, all the overwhelming and important things that most of us don’t feel like we have the time or headspace for on an average day.
Back in January, after reading the latest release, he started talking about Coronavirus, this thing that was spreading through China, and how the world needed to pay attention, because it could become something. Something big. I smiled and nodded and we left it at that.
A week or so later news started breaking more widely that it was spreading around the globe. We had some hard conversations that involved me trying to remind him of the stats and him realizing it was stressing him out. During payroll around the end of February we talked with our staff about this spreading illness, and that we all needed to be aware of it and the fact that it may come to Haiti. We talked about things we could be doing to help prevent it – hand washing, coughing into our arms, etc. One of the guys said, “It won’t come here if you believe in Jesus.” We had to inform him that a virus doesn’t care what you believe in, and that Jesus would still be with us in sickness.
We kept going as usual and watched COVID-19 spread through Europe. Then cases started in the US. Haiti put measures in place to be screening people as they arrived, starting back in mid-February. I applaud the government for that because it was ahead of most nations on that front.
A couple of weeks ago we had another meeting with our staff to talk about the fact that it was definitely going to come to Haiti and we needed to be prepared. We all kept doing life as usual but started making slight changes, like not holding hands when we did morning prayer. Haitians are very social, so this felt strange, but we adjusted.
Cases started to spread in the US and Canada. We had a visitor here at the time, and we made the decision together that she should probably head back to the US before borders closed. She flew out the afternoon that Haiti’s President announced that the borders would be closed at midnight and that flights would no longer be able to land in either of Haiti’s airports.
We talked with family back home to check in on them and see how they were doing with the now imposed “shelter in place” advisories. We kept talking with staff about government mandates here in Haiti, and how that could affect our work. We talked about potential issues with foreign organizations just because people won’t have enough knowledge to know how this is affecting the whole world, and will want someone to blame. Foreigners are the natural place to point fingers, even though recent months have seen few flying in, and many have left, because of the unrest for the past year. The bulk of people traveling in and out of Haiti are Haitians.
Last week, we collectively made the decision to continue working with safety measures in place. Our prayer circle got a lot bigger in the mornings as everyone worked to keep 6 feet between them and the next person. Some of the guys started arriving wearing their own masks, and I went to work making masks for everyone else. We stopped sending the delivery truck out after the government said no transport truck can have more than 2 people on it. Staff wanted to continue doing filter follow up visits, but had to wear masks and gloves while out. During their visits they distributed flyers with infographics about Coronavirus that showed preventative steps, and what symptoms to watch for. People were very grateful to get this info, many saying that they thought it was a joke or rumor.
We watched Haiti’s cases go from 1, to 2, to 5, to 8. This weekend cases were confirmed at 15. The Dominican Republic, which shares this little island with us, has almost 900 confirmed cases. We can’t help but wonder how accurate Haiti’s numbers are. We suspect there are many more cases here, but because of lack of testing facilities and resources people either aren’t getting tested, or won’t get tested. We’ve heard that some places are reporting threats to those that test positive for COVID-19, so it would be a major deterrent for anyone getting tested. Haitians are also constantly dealing with respiratory illnesses at this time of the year from various colds, flues and dust, as well as a long list of maladies that are fever based. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find out that many have COVID-19, but wouldn’t even know it or know the symptoms to be different from other things they’re used to seeing. And, there’s a different acceptance of death here, sadly.
Last year was hard and discouraging. In the midst of rising political unrest we had the accident with the truck that left 6 of our guys injured, and a woman lost her life. We were down a vehicle and have been for the past year. One of the guys is still recovering after needing long-term care.
Last fall we spent about 4 months at home, only leaving a handful of times because of the political unrest. During the first few weeks we kept thinking that something would shift, because it wasn’t sustainable for the country to keep going that way. No fuel, roads closed, schools closed, people not able to move around, etc. When we reached 6 weeks we realized that we didn’t know what to expect, and shifted into a mindset where we couldn’t plan anything with any amount of certainty. We had plan A, B, C, and sometimes D. Our staff were amazing and kept pushing, but we could see that everyone was weary and struggling for so many reasons.
One thing that I can honestly appreciate about what we went through last year is that we got used to being home and isolated. Many of our expat friends left the country, and we couldn’t go places, so we got used to being at home. One day when supplies were getting through I made a trip into St. Marc to go grocery shopping and bumped into friends at the store. It had been about a month and a half since I’d seen other people outside of our staff and community. I almost cried, and felt ridiculous for it. But, it felt so good to see people.
We got used to having to think about all possible sides, to buy supplies when the opportunity was there, and to lay low when needed. We valued each day that we could be working. We valued each day that was safe enough for anyone to be out doing work in a normal way, or to travel to do things that had been put off, whether that was getting fuel, or being able to get to Port au Prince to run errands.
By the time Christmas rolled around, and things were open enough for us to leave for a few weeks of vacation in the US with family, we were tired. It wasn’t that we were physically drained, it was weariness and being drained emotionally. You see, that waiting and watching takes its toll.
And here we are again. And I already feel weary. This life has brought so much in the years that we’ve been here, and I just feel weary right now.
We’re watching things happening around the world, and have been watching for weeks. We’re worrying about family and friends back home as we see cases daily increase. And we’re waiting and watching to see what will happen here in Haiti.
In a place like Haiti social distancing isn’t an option. People live day to day, whether it’s working to earn enough money to feed their families, or going to the market to buy that day’s allotment of food. People don’t have electricity to have refrigeration, so they can’t stock up and stay home. Kids have literally lost an entire year of school between the political unrest and now COVID-19. The government is trying to educate the population, to enforce things like putting space between people on tap taps and other public transit, but we know that’s futile because as soon as the machine is out of sight from the police they’ll be loading up again.
It feels futile, but we’re trying to set an example by putting measures in place at work to keep everyone safe, but we all know that they’re coming in contact with any number of people through their day and time at home. They’re traveling on public transit, and their family members are out doing life as well. Most of our staff are taking things seriously, but there’s an element of knowing that we can all only do so much.
I feel weary in the waiting and watching. We have no idea what to expect when COVID-19 really starts moving here. Actually, I think we DO know what to expect, but we’re praying that there will be some sort of miracle that will happen here. The truth is, people live in very close quarters, and there aren’t enough resources to go around. Haiti has over 11 million people living here, and I’ve heard there are only about 50-70 ventilators in the whole country. Families are used to knowing they won’t get the care they might need, and seeing a government that is always looking to see what kind of advantage can be found in a situation versus trying to do the right thing. I think most people will resign themselves to the fact that people will die, and there won’t be a thing they can do about it.
It’s so hard to sit in that place of waiting and watching. It’s emotionally exhausting. But, I can find things to be grateful for in this season.
Our years here in Haiti have taught us to dig in for the long-term, and I’m grateful for that knowing what is to come over the next weeks and months. Here in Haiti we’re used to working on a different time table. Things always take more time than you think they will. We don’t always like it (ha!), but it is what it is. I never would have thought we could stay home for weeks, let alone months, but last fall showed us that we could. And that we didn’t suffer. As we look at the progressing pandemic, we’re not thinking weeks for this thing to move through Haiti, we’re thinking months. We’re planning with that mindset. It’s hard, but we know that’s the way we need to go now.
I know too, that it’s much easier to plan for the harder way, than it is to expect it to be easier. If we plan and think long-term, willing to dig in and hunker down for months if need be, then we’re prepared and wrapping our hearts and minds around that. If we expect it to be anything less, we will struggle and fight more, and deal with more disappointment and be more distracted, than if we take a long-term view.
We know how to be flexible, and when we need to release things too. It doesn’t mean it’s easy, we just know that it needs to be done. We normally plan our annual vacation for the summer. We’ve already been talking to our kids about the reality that it might not happen on that time line either because borders will still be closed, or it might not be safe to travel at that point. If that’s the case, we’ll just bump it back to a point where it is a good time to take it. We started homeschooling it the first part of last year, and it’s been a huge blessing for us because it meant we could continue with the kids school all last fall when all other schools were closed down. Again, this is a think of stability for us, and thankfully I listened to my gut and ordered the last bits of our school books to a friend’s airmail address rather than planning to bring them back during our vacation. They arrived at our house on the weekend and I let out a sigh of relief. If we can’t leave, we can continue on with school and our kids don’t lose anything, and it helps us have some routine and stability when everything else feels uncertain. Our kids actually ask if we’re doing school every day because they rely on that routine, and we’re so thankful for that.
Most of all I think our years here have taught us that we’re much more resilient than we think we are. We can get through more than we think we can. We can feel deeper, process more, grieve deeply and still come out the other side. It may be hard, but we know we’ll be okay. Yes, we worry about our staff, about our mental and emotional health, and about our kids and their hearts, but we try to leave those things in God’s hands and trust that he’s walking with us, carrying us when needed.
So yes, I feel weary right now. But, I am not without hope and peace. This season is going to be a hard one, there is no doubt. There will be loss and pain, grief, anger… all the things. I pray that through it we’ll still be able to keep hope and find joy in things too. To appreciate the small things in our days, to remember how fortunate we are to have each other. I pray that we’ll learn through this and choose to do some things differently when all is said and done. All in all I hope it makes us better people.
“Peyi lock” are words we’ve been hearing more frequently in the past year. It translates to “country lockdown” and it’s a statement about current political issues getting so bad, the country is locked down and people can’t go about their day in a normal way.
Since last summer Haiti has been building steam toward a major outbreak of civil unrest. Chris and I have been watching it slowly roll, and after each of us spending more than a decade in country, we knew it was just a matter of time until things blew up completely.
Last summer the sitting president announced a major hike in gas prices, which is something that needs to happen, but the method was a major shock to the system, so to speak and people revolted. Since then, every few months or so, we’ve been going through days of the country being locked down, or “peyi lock”, as people protest the current government. These “lockdowns” take the form of roads being blocked by rocks, rubble, and burning tires and are manned by protestors. They can and have and do get violent at times, and in the really bad ones, police show up to try and restore order, which can result in tear gas or shooting. It’s not good, but it’s the way things work here in Haiti. This method of getting the government’s attention has been used for generations, and to the people, feels like the only way to be heard.
From an outsiders perspective it seems extreme, but I come from a country where my vote matters and my voice can be heard in many ways, so I can understand the frustration of feeling like you have to resort to extremes to have anyone pay attention. The sad part is that Haiti has built up a reputation because of this cycle, and so many of the good things that are here get missed because of it.
For the past few weeks we’ve been experiencing gas shortages and supply issues. There IS fuel in country, but businesses are not selling it consistently to put pressure on the government to raise prices. That does need to happen because Haiti was getting subsidized fuel for a long time, and the government set the price per gallon based on that, but when that supply ran out prices didn’t go up to reflect the regular market price, so Haiti has been selling fuel at a deficit for years.
As the lack of fuel increased throughout the country, people started to protest. Last week we had to stop sending staff out because we couldn’t get fuel, or because they couldn’t get where they needed to go because of roads being blocked by protestors. This week things have escalated. On Thursday rumors were circulating that Thursday would be a bit quieter, but for everyone to prepare for the “bataille finale” – the final battle – on Friday.
We’re never quite sure what to believe or listen to when rumors start to fly, so our usual approach is to just keep doing what we do every day, and see what happens without getting worked up or making big plans. CWH is very self-contained, in that we have a full solar system that powers everything for us, including our water pump that pumps water from our well to our holding tank for use around the compound. As long as our staff can get to work, we can work. And all through the unrest for the past year they’ve showed up every day, even when things were bad, so we just kept working. Yesterday we did exactly the same thing – we got up and we went to work, and so did the rest of our staff. Many were late because of road blocks between home and work, but they eventually got here and did a full day.
As the morning went on reports of major unrest through the country started to spread, including photos and videos. It’s hard to describe just how “big” this is, other than saying that Chris was here through 2003 and 2004 when things got really bad before Aristide left, and this is like that. In the 14 years that I’ve lived here, things haven’t been on this level.
I/we always try to be prudent in what we share, because we don’t want to exaggerate or blow situations out of proportion. Haiti already has enough bad press as it is. So, we try to wait and see what will happen, then share what we know to be true so those that follow what we’re doing have accurate information.
So this is what we know to be true right now…
Yesterday much of the country was shut down because of large protests. In major cities, especially Port au Prince, huge mobs took to the streets. Some were peaceful and marched and chanted. Others caused destruction of homes and businesses. Some were also violent. A lot of stuff was burned and looted. In some locations police stations were over run by gangs of people. When this happens it’s an indication that the scales have tipped, and it’s scary because everyone knows the police are already ill-equipped in situations like this. These are all things that have been verified by photos and videos, they aren’t rumor.
In our community things were quiet. The surrounding communities had roadblocks and some issues, but other than not being able to go anywhere, we weren’t affected by those. Our community has always had a reputation of being peaceful and calm and as one that doesn’t get involved in politics. We’re thankful for that because it means the mission is safe and that our staff can come and work when others aren’t able to do so.
We aren’t sure what will happen here in the next few weeks, but we know to prepare for this to continue, and we are as best we can. We’re asking you to pray for Haiti right now, and to follow along with what’s happening. One of the best news sources for what happens here is the Miami Herald. You can also sign up for our email updates and I’d encourage you to follow our Facebook page. We’ve recently started doing video updates so we can get a bit more personal in how we share.
Thanks for praying for this beautiful, complex country that we love so much.
It’s a question we get often as we share about what we do here at Clean Water for Haiti, and it’s a good one to be asking. People want to know if their investment in helping get Haitian families clean water is going to be a long-term thing.
For Chris and I, and our long-term staff, we know that filters can last a long time, because we’ve all had first-hand experience with them in that regard. Before CWH moved to it’s new facilities, the filter in the round house (it was literally a round house) had been working for 14 years, and we only had to clean it a couple of times, because our water source there was clear and the filter didn’t clog up at all. All of our staff are gifted a filter after 1 month of employment, so all CWH employees have had experience with their own filters working for many years. Some of our guys have been with us for over a decade, and their filters are still serving their families well.
But, what about filters that we install in the homes of others, for people who don’t have the same background and experience with the filters that all of us at CWH do? Do those filters last as long, and serve as well?
Last fall a missionary couple that we’ve known for about as long as Chris has lived in Haiti (early 2003) called to ask if we could send one of our filter technicians to check on their filter because it had stopped flowing properly, and none of the user maintenance that we teach our filter owners was working.
Kendy arrived and found one of our “gran moun” filters – one of the “old men” of CWH filters that have been installed. Mike and Marion said that they believed we installed this old man back in 2003, before CWH went through some revision projects to help decrease the size of the filter to make it lighter and use less materials, while maintaining it’s filtration capacity.
This version of the bio-sand filter was the same version that Dr. David Manz designed when he did the first designs for household use. Dr. Manz didn’t ever patent the designs, because he wanted them to be “open source” and free to the world. His goal was to make household water filtration available to anyone who needed it, whether they lived off the grid, or in a developing country with few resources for treating water. Last year Dr. Manz was inducted into the Alberta Order of Excellence for his work with biosand water filters.
The filter that Mike and Marion had, and that CWH used for the first few years of operation, was a beast. The concrete box itself weighed 330 lbs. That’s before any of the sand and gravel needed for installation was added. Another 90 lbs of sand and gravel goes inside the filter to make it function properly. We recently reinstalled one of our very first filters to use in the guest house, which was the same version that Mike and Marion had, and it took four of our guys to move it into the guest house to install. Can you imagine what our staff had to go through way back in the day when they were installing these things? Or the wear and tear on our delivery trucks?
Kendy, as he was attempting to do the repairs on the filter, commented that it was like working with a stranger. Everything was so different from what we do now in our filter program.
The filter box was bigger and heavier. The sand inside was coarser from what we use now. Instead of a diffuser basin there was a lip on the inside of the filter and a plastic plate (diffuser plate) was used. The lids, while nice varnished wood, were very basic compared to the carved lids we used now that are made by local craftsmen.
Kendy’s tools in his installation kit didn’t match the tube on the filter, so it was difficult to do some of the routine work that our technicians do. In Kendy’s opinion, we’ve made a lot of changes for the better over the years.
After working to do the normal cleaning, the filter wouldn’t run properly. Kendy took all the sand out and washed it, then reinstalled it – twice.
The filter still wouldn’t work, and after exhausting all options he and Evens, our foreman, decided to have Daniel drive a new filter over to Mike and Marion’s to replace the old man filter that had gone into retirement.
While Kendy was working Marion told us how much they had loved using their filter over the years, and told stories of the thousands of gallons of water that it had treated for them in that time. Imagine – 16 years of filtering water!
After Daniel arrived with the new filter, he and Kendy did quick work of installing it for Mike and Marion so they could once again have a working filter in their home. While they were sad to say good-bye to their old friend, Marion really liked the blue filter that Daniel had chosen for her.
So, is this story of a 16 year old filter a common thing for CWH, or a rarity?
Well, the truth is, we don’t know. We DO know that the filters owned by our staff and that are used at the mission compound have served us for over a decade (with the exception of the newest ones installed after we moved), with all the normal maintenance we teach our filter owners.
Part of our service plan to our beneficiaries is to visit their filter one month, three months, and one year after installation. During those visits we make sure the filter is working properly, and we reinforce the maintenance and user education. Because of those visits, and the data that we gather during each one, we know that over 95% of our filters are still being used after the first year. But, we didn’t know what happened beyond that, so we decided to find out. Two years ago we started doing 5 year follow up visits, and tracking that data as well. It turns out that this year, when those visits on filters installed in 2014 were done, over 80% of them were still being used!
Is it worth investing in Clean Water for Haiti, with the hope that you’ll be helping to provide clean water for a family for many years to come?
Leslie and Kim are in charge of social media these days, so I rarely write any kind of update anymore. However, a few different people have called or written me in the past few months asking me if Clean Water for Haiti is still active. It turns out that it’s been a long time since the last blog update on our website, and work is a bit slow for me today, so I’m going to step outside my usual role and write to all y’all.
We are definitely still active, and we’re not going anywhere. For my part, Haiti has been my home since 2002. I’ve lived in Haiti longer than I have lived in any other country. In certain ways the United States and Canada feel foreign to me now. Leslie has been here almost as long as I have, and our kids only see the USA and Canada as places we go on vacation once a year. Kim is the newest addition to our Haiti office team, but she is working on almost two years with us and almost 4 years in Haiti so far.
It isn’t obvious on our website, but we don’t maintain an office in the USA or in Canada. We choose to focus on our work in Haiti and keep expenses as low as reasonably possible in the USA and Canada. We use a Skype number on our website that is set up to ring through to my cell phone here in Haiti, so I frequently end up talking to people who think I am stateside. Those calls can get expensive, so feel free to send me an email if you have questions – firstname.lastname@example.org.
The work is advancing by leaps and bounds. 2018 was our most productive year ever. We installed 3033 filters. We managed to buy a new delivery truck, hired some great new technicians (we’re up to 21 now) and increased our efficiency substantially. In addition to strong donations from our long-term supporters, some new groups have provided grants and some of them will turn into regular, annual support. Our biggest new donor, USLI, an insurance company, has made a large annual commitment for the next three years which has a huge implication: financial stability. Now that I know we will have at least a certain amount of funds available each year, I can hire the appropriate number of workers without worrying I will have to lay some of them off a year later.
For 2019, we looked at our financial and infrastructure situation and decided we could set an ambitious goal: 400 filters per month for a a total of 4800 filters. This would be more than a 50% increase over last year, our best year ever, but I think we can do it.
For the past 6-7 years, we were installing around 1000-1500 filters/year. Why are things moving so well after all those years of stagnation? Well, first off, those weren’t years of stagnation at all. From 2012-2015 we were working on relocating our facilities to a better (much, much better) location. We were also making major improvements to our education and follow up system. Our program developed a reputation for stability and sustainability, and we built into our staff. Funding was light, but we made the most of things, and when funding finally picked up last year we had all the pieces in place to make the most of it. Kim Snyder joined our office staff in late 2017 and she brought in skills that allowed us to focus more on grant writing and fundraising. The result is that as of early 2019, we are KILLING it! This is the level of productivity we have wanted to be doing for years now, and we’re finally doing it. We’ll reach the same amount of people in a single year that we used to reach in four years!
We had a very difficult February. The main cause was a terrible accident that happened on the way back from filter deliveries. As director, vehicle accidents are one of my greatest fears and the phone call I am always fearing finally came. Our driver lost control of the truck on the slippery, rainy highway and the truck hit a motorcycle before flipping over twice down into a ravine. A woman on the motorcycle was killed, and all 6 of our workers on the truck needed medical attention. One of them has a broken leg requiring a series of operations. Our drivers are all prudent, but accidents happen, and the roads here are very dangerous. In Haiti, unfortunately, much more is involved than simply handing over insurance cards and having the police make a report. Even before all the injured were hauled up from the ravine, people in the area were trying to find our driver so they could beat him. Some other workers put him on a moto-taxi so he could safely leave the area before that happened. After that, there was talk of setting fire to the wrecked truck. We ended up hiring security to guard the wreck but not before many items had been stolen from it.
The aftermath of the accident has been dealt with. Our workers are recovering, but the dead woman will never return to her family. To add to the stress of this situation, Haiti was/has been going through a period of major political unrest. The day after the accident, I managed to go see the workers in the hospital in Port au Prince, but there were rocks and burning tires still in the road from the previous night’s protests against the government. I made it there and back in a narrow window before the highway was shut down again. For the next two weeks, it became nearly impossible to get into the capital, and supplies began to run out in the provinces. Fuel ran out, which didn’t matter because the roads were blocked anyway. Getting medical attention for our workers and dealing with the security and legal aspects of the accident became much more complicated. This isn’t something I could have dealt with myself. We have a good friend and retired policeman on retainer who dealt with all of the most difficult aspects. He has a legal education, so we managed to get through the whole thing without hiring a lawyer. He is even managing the repair of the wrecked truck, which won’t be nearly as expensive as we had feared.
Accidents happen, political unrest happens, and natural disasters happen, but whatever happens we will still be here, working. When families have safe water, people don’t get sick and lives are saved. Clean Water for Haiti is doing it’s part to make Haiti a happier and healthier place, and even with the kind of trouble we had in February, I’m glad that I’m here to be a part of it.