Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cross-Country Adventures - Part II

The next morning, Matt & I got up at 5AM in order to hit the road early for our travels to Milot. The sun hadn't risen yet, but by the time we got our stuff, climbed down from the roof, and were ready to go, the morning rays were upon us.
Unfortunately, we used our stealth moves to leave without waking anyone, only to find that one of our truck tires was very low on air, and we couldn't depart for our journey until we woke people up to ask for a pump. And no, driving to the nearest Exxon station with "free air" wasn't an option for us.

I climbed back onto the roof to wake an AMURT volunteer, who then hopped in the truck with us to drive to the nearest AMURT office. We get there and find the two security guards sound asleep (sleeping so soundly that we couldn't wake them up with loud noises...and we didn't have the heart to shake them). We eventually talk to the landlord of the office who said there was no pump there. So, we drive to another location where volunteers sleep outside on a concrete slab (5 star accommodations). With a little convincing involved, we got our Gonaives tour guide friend from the day prior to hop in with us and show us a place where people are set up in the street to fix tires.

We needed the left front tire pumped up, but I guess the right one needed air too :).

We got pumped up, dropped our friendly helpers back off, and restarted our journey at 6:15AM. It was a rather scenic drive over the mountains, and the total trip time was about 4 hours (even though it was only 4 hours, that number should be multiplied by a factor of 3 to accurately calculate the mental exhaustion felt after 4 hours on Haitian roads).

Over the hill and through the woods.

When we arrived in Milot, Matt and I met up with the EWB group (Bryce, Melissa, and Dr. Meegoda). They were ready to begin water testing, so we immediately headed out into the town so I could show them each source where people collect water (I was rather impressed with my memory in that I remembered all the locations just from my first visit to Milot last year...all of the sources except for one are semi-hidden).

Front to back: Bryce, Melissa, me

Left to right: Onlooker, Melissa, Bryce

We had lunch after water testing, and then Matt & I showed the EWB group all the goodies we brought to get this Biosand Filter project going.

The goods: Molds, a filter (not broken in transport, woo hoo), lids, diffuser plates, tubes, luggage, etc.

The rest of the day was spent unpacking, showering, rigging up mosquito netting, and planning our activities/goals for Tuesday and the rest of the week.

You'll notice that in many of the pictures taken in Milot we are wearing scrubs. The organization we stayed with runs a hospital, and most of their volunteers are doctors who all have to wear them. So, there is a large supply for all guests to wear. They're very light & comfortable, and we didn't have to wash them :).

That's all folks. Goodnight.

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