Water Filters and Nail Polish in Haiti

Read Day 1 Here      Read Day 2 Here      Read Day 3 Here      Read Day 4 Here

Friday, Nov. 30

I woke up promptly at  sunrise, as usual. For breakfast we had really hot cream of wheat in red solo cups. I added corn flakes to mine (kind of like granola). I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I did have it on a couple of sleepy mornings; it was thick & strong. We headed out around 8:15 to install more filters – each group did 4 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. I joined Robenson’s team today (with Hank, Gwen, Matt, and Scott), and I quickly found out that his process was a bit different from Patrick’s. The first house had two rooms, and we installed the filter in the back kitchen area for a very sweet lady and her adult son. The 2nd installation was for a nice younger lady. We walked through a scenic field to get to the 3rd or 4th house, where the family really enjoyed having their photos taken. I forgot to take photos at a couple of the houses, so my memory of all the installations has already begun to fade.

Robenson explaining how to use the water filter we installed in this woman’s home.
I wish I did a better job of capturing their smiles – many of them looked so serious or sad when I shot the photo, but they lit up when they saw their picture.

We went back to the church for lunch of tuna sandwiches around 11:30, then we rested for about an hour before heading back out. The 5th install was at a house so small we couldn’t all fit, so Gwen and I stayed outside. There were a couple of adult men and about 3 boys waiting outside with us, so we tried to communicate with them without much luck. They did motion to us to stand in the shade, because the sun was beating down on us. The boys enjoyed having their photo taken there, too.

Matt and Robenson inserting the tubing into a water filter.
A little boy curiously waiting outside his home while our team installed a water filter.

We installed a couple more filters – one at a house with a beautiful elderly woman outside. I took her photo and told her she was “bel” (beautiful), and she gave me a big smile and said thank you. It might be my favorite photo of the trip.

A beautiful Haitian woman outside her home.

The others installed a filter at Oldi’s father’s house, and they were each given coconuts, sliced open for fresh coconut milk. A short time later Fred got sick, although I don’t know if it was related. Unfortunately he felt bad for about 2 days and barely ate anything. (We later heard that he took his servings of food to the street to give away to passersby.) After the day’s hard work, we stopped at a bar/barbershop for Cokes (in glass bottles, which you must return). Yes, there was a barbershop in the back of the bar. I passed on the Coke since I haven’t had soda for years. We were happy to see the kids waiting for us at the church when we got back. I got out some nail polish, and one little girl in particular really enjoyed painting my and Gwen’s nails. A few other kids picked up on it, and the boys painted their own nails with the clear polish. The girls even convinced Scott & Matt to let them paint their nails clear, too! (Shhh…don’t tell them I told you.) My original vision of cleaning their feet and painting their toenails didn’t quite work out, but it brought smiles to their faces, so I’d call it a success.

This sweet girl spent a great deal of time painting my nails. (Thanks for taking the photo, Gwen.)

We had a tiny bout of rain, then dinner around 5. Tonight we had rice with chicken & Congo beans in sauce, mango, and a delicious (pumpkin?) spice cake. Once it started to get dark we headed inside. The evening devotional was great again, with several tears shed. It’s always a great time to share feelings and experiences with the group. To bed by 9 again – hard to believe the trip is almost over.


6 thoughts on “Water Filters and Nail Polish in Haiti

  1. I love reading about your trip! Your pictures and words paint your experience beautifully. Did you specifically pack nail polish to use with the kids there? I wouldn’t think to pack nail polish on vacation, so I was curious if you had read of activities that would be fun to do with the kids and brought along some supplies.

    1. Thanks! We were told we could bring items to donate and activities to do with the kids, so nail polish was one things I thought would be fun to do with the girls – something I figured they may have never done before. Plus it was small & easy to pack. I also brought along some coloring books & crayons, and several people brought balls and other activities.

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