Haiti. Part Five.

Posted: August 26, 2010 in Haiti Mission Trip

Friday. Thursday was eventful even though I think it’s purpose was meant more for relaxing. Friday would prove to be one of the most physical days yet. We set out to finish the work we started last Saturday because we didn’t have enough time and some of the jobs were lying vacant for the past week. So we picked up from where we started and scrambled to finish the job. I was put on the team to hoist the massive water cistern off the ground and on to the shed that was sitting adjacent to the orphanage porch. After emptying all the water out of it back into the well they dug with their own hands with five gallon buckets we started on the plumbing. The first thing done was to glue the pipes together that were going to attach the cistern to the well pump. This was easier said than done, as was everything in Haiti. The pipes that Bruce managed to find did not fit together properly and had to be grind down with a pocket knife before being twisted together forcefully. We managed though. And in the end had water running from the well to the cistern to the house. Mission accomplished.

Or so our group thought. After we had finished with the plumbing I took, along with some other of my friends, a rest in the shade of a tree that was hanging over a picnic table. We watched as the other unfortunate individuals who had been placed inside the other groups picked up trash around the yard and built a barrier of cinderblocks around the trash pile to keep the burn pit in one central area. It was nicely spread around the yard when we first got there. Well, apparently we were noticed by our youth pastor because he quickly needed all hands on deck to perform what I previously thought impossible.

There had been a lot of rain the past week we were there. Especially in the evening. Every morning we woke up the puddle in the middle of the yard grew bigger and bigger until it covered at least a good portion of it. Not a small puddle at all. Twenty-five by twenty-five feet across was the width of this miniature pond. And pastor Tom wanted to fill it in. I looked at it with despair. There’s no way. Well, they found one. Using two massive piles of dirt mixed with lots of concrete blocks, rocks, glass, and barbed wire we filtered all the trash we could and used the dirt to fill in this lake. There was one shovel, a pickaxe, and five buckets.

This was not fun. It was dirty, muddy, and just plain hard. There seemed to be a cinderblock every time you struck with your shovel, when you had it, so we ended up just chucking the shovel and digging with our hands. This proved to be a tad dangerous though due to the barbed wire that was running through the seven-foot dirt piles like veins. There was no wheelbarrow. Oh wait, there was, it had no wheel though. So every pound of dirt was carried by hand in five gallon buckets full of dirt dug by hands nearly shredded by tiny glass fragments and barbed wire. I had my character building done for the day.

The progress seemed to go extremely slow, especially when you were digging in the very end trying to find what dirt was left between all the concrete. Eventually it was done, we all stood back with our dirt covered faces, arms, and legs and wondered how many more rainstorms it would take to fill it back up again. Probably one.

Even if it didn’t stay nice for long, it was one more thing we could do for the people who had been so generous to us over the past week. We were so grateful and this was a small thank you for their generosity. That night we rested and took showers to get all the grime off from the work. It was a job well done at the orphanage. Tomorrow. Well. Let that come when it does.

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