Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 156: BSF BSF BSF

Living, breathing biosand filters (that'd be the BSF in the title for the uninitiated) and loving it. I was out all morning jumping from the baby orphanage to School 3, then School 1, then School 4.

The baby orphanage has a particularly nasty well they'll be using for their source water so I wanted to make sure they knew exactly how to use the filter they have, as their orphanage is home to many babies and infants, who are most likely to get sick and die from waterborne illnesses. I'll be damned if that happens on my watch. The good news is the staff there are very attentive to learning about the filter, and seem to be using it right. I only installed it last week so it is going to need at least another week before the biological layer, a key component in a biosand filter (hence the "bio" in the name) forms enough to adequately clean the water, so they aren't drinking it yet. I'll head back over some time after the two week mark to get samples we can then test back here at base. Once I get the results of those samples back I'll give them the all clear, assuming they come back clean. The samples we've run so far, for filters we've installed earlier, are coming back clean so I don't see any reason the baby orphanage will be any different.

The schools each have three filters in them - one per classroom. It was fun to head out to them and see the kids in action. I love Haitian kids. I don't know what it is. They have such a curiosity to them. I suppose all kids do, but especially so here. At School 1, the kids weren't actually in school, for whatever reason, so I put them to work fetching me water from the well and doing other things to help out. They loved it, and laughed at my terrible Creole as I tried to explain to them what I was doing.

The biosand filter workspace. My home away from home, even though it is technically attached to my home.
Spirits are really good right now. Spoke to a certain someone yesterday at length and got some clarity around that, which, given I've been thinking about it a lot, was needed. At the end of the day, we simply really miss each other, and have been trying to find our respective ways to navigate that. As it stands now, I'm still set to go out to the UK shortly after I leave Haiti, which I'm really happy about. It will be wonderful to see her, and to see my friends there. I'm also very excited to check out some of the graduate schools out there I'm interested in, and to head back to Oxford and walk those ancient streets again. That year there, now almost a decade ago, was a wonderful one for me. I haven't been back since early 2003. Kebab vans here I come! Alas, I won't be able to go into the Oxford Union pub anymore, where pints are cheapest, as I'm no longer an Oxford student, but hey, there's only like five hundred other pubs within the center radius of that city. I'm sure I can find a nice place to appease the palate. It'll be fun to show her around some of my old haunts - the Temple Bar, the Turf, the Eagle & Child (known as the "Bird & Baby" to the locals), New College (my college when I was there), my old houses (if I can remember where they are), South Park, etc. I also can't wait to see Paddy and Simon and Jodie, all good friends of mine. I've known Paddy since my time at Oxford, and Simon & Jodie I met here in Haiti. Good people the three of them. I'm also very much looking forward to seeing my ex-girlfriend-turned-old-friend Pamela. She's got a beautiful little boy now, and we're still in conversation, so yea, all good there. Ah, how time does what time does...

Thanks to the afforementioned young lady in London that I'm so fond of, I've now been turned onto The Hype Machine. Such a cool resource to find great new music! I've been digging around it, discovering all sorts of great tracks. You can check out my profile here:

Yea, you know you love it. My musical tastes are impeccable. Ha! To each their own...

OK, on that note, I have three more filters to install in an hour and a half, out at School 5, so I need to take some time this lunch to get another bag of sand washed, and the filters prepped. Hasta pronto. I've hatched an idea that I'm excited about. Share soon.

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