Relationships are the building blocks for sustainable communities! I was so proud to watch these relationships between Clemson Engineers and the Haitian people develop over the course of the trip to Haiti. It takes more than expertise, talent, education, and skills to work alongside partners; it takes time, energy, and a listening ear. It was fun to watch how empathy provided a pathway to find solutions in Cange, Haiti! #clemsonmoments
It was just last night and I was overhearing a conversation, someone sharing how hungry they were while watching a ballgame. As I sat and listened to the conversation, I began to become overwhelmed with annoyance. I was trying to figure out what bothered me about this person’s diatribe.
Then it hit me…I was thinking about Tito and his friends.
I was raised in a family where engineering as a discipline surrounded me, my father being a Mechanical Engineer and his brothers in similar disciplines. It was almost understood that I would become an engineer. This day, this moment, I felt like I was an engineer.
It is Sunday morning, the day we are returning from Cange, Haiti; and it is time to head to the church on the hill. I was not sure what to expect from this Episcopal Mission. I had a feeling the service was going to be in Creole and even noticed many members of the church reading a Creole Bible. Protestant religions represent a small portion of the of the religious base in Haiti where Vodou is practiced by 100% of the population.
After the church service, I was thinking about how amazed I was with the number of people who connected to the sermon. As I was walking out, I noticed these children were running up the stairs to the church, nicely dressed in their church clothes. They brought out their best today, running up the stairs…hand-in-hand…not a worry in the world.
Water…clean water…I do not know what it is like to walk miles upon miles for water, much less clean water. Here at one of the many water fountains in the remote village of Cange, Haiti, people gather bringing their buckets to collect water. They are coming from all over the mountain, some walking miles upon miles in both directions. Once they arrive, they fill up their buckets with water and either carry them in hand by their side, or upon their head. Some walk hundreds of steep steps up and down the mountain, carrying the water.