Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day 4 - Change of Plans

Alright then, change of plans.

Instead of doing the mayor project I mentioned in my last post, I was approached yesterday by Henri, one of the staff here at HODR with a new opportunity. She knew I was going to be onboard with HODR for a while and wanted to recruit me for a project she is trying to get implemented. Essentially, I'll be leaving HODR basecamp here in Leogane for a week, starting today at 1PM, to go meet up w/ a husband and wife missionary couple and eight or nine local Haitians to learn all about portable water filtration systems. They are biological systems, running off of sand and microbes, which makes them perfect for Haiti given the lack of high-tech filters, etc. The other benefit is when they've been built and installed correctly, and the owners taught how to use them, they can be effective for years. The missionary couple has been using their filter here in Haiti for over ten. Once we've learned all about them, we will return to HODR basecamp in Leogane and start building and distributing them, first to schools and other high-priority areas, and then to at-risk families and what not. All in all, I'm really looking forward to learning about something entirely new. The fact that one of my closest friends, Paddy, whom I met in Oxford almost ten years ago, is also on the project (he is here until mid-late August) is icing on the cake.

I do feel bad about bailing on the mayor project though, mostly because Kim and I have become friends and I was looking forward to doing that with her. Truth be told, I really didn't have any idea how many opportunities there actually are here for the longer-term volunteers, and I shouldn't have told anyone I wanted to jump onboard with anything until I had more time here to see what interests me. Live and learn.

I still feel like I have so much more to write about but I really want to brush my teeth, take a shower, and get organized a bit before I take off. I'll get that done then snap some photos of the basecamp to post up here. Hasta pronto!

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