Thursday, January 22, 2009

Trip to Haiti Jan 11-19, 2009

Hello all,

Well - here is another update.

I just returned from 8 days in Haiti repairing water wells. The trip was very successful. I went with a team of 6 people from Michigan (3 people), Ohio, Alabama and Texas. Not the least of which was Dar, my father in law. It's quite a trip getting there with all the plane and customs hassell, but it was worth it.

We repaired 12 wells that will service not less than 15,000 people. Some wells were badly in need of repair while others were downright trashed. Only one was still usable when we arrived.

The island is very beautiful, but the people have ruined it over time. 30 ish years ago someone showed the people of Haiti how to make charcoal and they cut down nearly every tree doing it. The near complete deforestation changed the rain pattern that left the land dry and without wildlife. The people put garbage and human waste in the rivers in such quantities that the rivers died. This horrible water flowed out into the ocean and killed the reefs, which in turn mad the fish leave. Currently I am told you need to go 50 miles off the coast to catch fish - a feat that virtually no Haitian boat can do. Lots of work to be done on many fronts.

We arrived in Cap Haitian on the North side of the island. We packed the trucks and left only hours after arriving to get right to work.



I am sorry that you cannot see this better, but this is the river in downtown Cap Haitien. It is totally filled with trash and the smell is horrible. It looks like both banks of the river are landfills


The traffic was a lot like Africa - but with more rules. Nairobi had chaos on the roads, but this was only 1/2 chaos.
This well we removed and replaced with all new parts - looks pretty good, but did not work. It was very common for the people to use the pumps until the handles wore the shaft in half, then replace the shaft with a piece of re-rod. Then they use it until the handle fails.
After every well, we explained how to use it properly, gave them a manual on how to maintain it, shared our testimonies and told them about Jesus. The white guy in the red shirt on the left is Jim from Living Water explaining the pump to them. The Haitian on the left in red is Jellin - the local pastor who rode along with us to translate and assist in people questions (they speak a mix of French and Creole). We did three wells near schools and this scene of many kids crowding around was very common.
The people were wonderfully friendly, very gracious, kids were smiley and warm. The kids all wanted to pinch my skin to see if my skin felt different. They see white people occasionally, but do not get the chance to touch them and get a hug. I suspect that we were the first white people that some of the kids had been close enough to touch. It was very fun.
One of our team also brought a fris-bee. This made for great entertainment as they had never seen one and did not know how to use it. Lots of laughs all around.



This guy was one of the people that we gave the English manual on how to maintain the pump to. They all have Jillen's information so that he can translate it and come do the repairs. This man was thrilled to be honored to be the one to get the book.
There are enough stories to keep the pages full for a week. Call me if you want more information or more specific pictures.
I would like to thank all of you who gave money to the fund to allow trips like this to be possible for us. Without you we would not be able to reach these people with Water and the Word. God Bless you in your endeavors and keep up the good work.
I will be home for about a month and then it looks like I will be off to Luanda, Angola to drill some wells for about three weeks. 2 weeks ago I was in Oklahoma City for dart drill training with my brother-in-law. I will use this in Luanda.
Renee leaves in 4 days for an 8 day vacation to the Dominican Republic with her mom, sister and sister-in-law. It is something they have talked about doing for years and finally her parents gave it to the girls as a Christmas gift.
Please write to let me know that you are all well.
NOTE: If Ryan Arledge gets this - please call me I have lost your e-mail address.
Blessed to be a blessing,
Eric Fogg
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