Day 2 – We Walked…

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This morning we woke up and got to greet the final member of our team. Now complete we walked to the job site to see where we would be working this week which involved a steep up hill climb filled with beautiful views and what seemed to be endless dirt roads. We got to the school and had the chance  to look around at what progress has been made so far. Although it may not look like much yet we know it will have an amazing impact on this community. We saw the retaining wall and what has been started of the walls of the school and were told that it has taken 6 months of work by hand to get to the point it is at today. Tomorrow we get to start work on the two classrooms we will be finishing this trip.Once we were done at the school we filled up our water bottles and headed into the community eager to meet the children we will be providing a school for.  Turning ourselves towards the opposite side of the mountain we rejoiced in the thought of a downhill trek into the community. Standing on the pavement steps Cole (our trip leader) told us he was going to take us to a home where a single mother was raising 5 children, as well as another home where the father is unable to work due to an injury which prevents him from walking now. While visiting these homes Cole had wanted to show us where they got their water so we grabbed some buckets from both houses and starting walking, and walking, and walking. In the beginning we could never fathom how hard a little walk for water could be. Standing at the top on the paved steps in the community we thought the most difficult part was behind us but then we continued into the mountains. Along the way we stopped for a quick game of soccer with the local children in a flat patch beside the path. Following the excitement of the soccer game we got our second wind and continued on towards the well. Looking back on the walk for water it seems too easy to say, “it took us 20 minutes just to reach the well”.  In this country you don’t “just” do anything.  You have to compensate for the sweltering heat and the unforgiving terrain. Walking up and down hills, on paths that when you take a step you wouldn’t know if the rock you just stepped on would move from underneath you, or if you would slip on a slight decline in the ground, or look up at the scenery and trip over something protruding from the ground.We reached the ‘well’ only to find out that this well was a spring from the side of the mountain. Standing on the rocks watching as one after the other filled their buckets from the spring it was hard to see that ten feet away there were people washing their laundry and themselves. Finding out that the blanco’s we here to carry water back to the community we were greeted with more containers and enthusiastic children. Having the jugs full we turned back to the community.  If we thought the walk was challenging before, we were in for a treat! We didn’t know it then but as we carried the water we realized, this isn’t just a one time thing for them. The people of this community have to do this all the time. It was at this point that the buckets didn’t feel so heavy. Each one of us picked up a bucket and start the hike into the community along side many of the local children doing there everyday walk for water. As we were huffing, puffing and struggling to get through rough mountain paths the kind eyes and warming smiles of the children as they passed us on their way gave us a second wind. At the end of the hike we were thanked by the families for what we did, it showed us how grateful they were for the fact they had water today.In the afternoon we drove into Cap Haitien to look around a little. We had the opportunity to see some of the Cap Haitien Cathedral, as well as some of the french influenced architecture and historical sites. When the day was over we sat down for dinner and discussed how excited we were to start our project tomorrow.By Chad, Liz and Safen

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: May 4th, 2011