One thing that has always impressed me in coming to Haiti is the unpredictability of certain things, like water for example. Every day since I’ve arrived I haven’t been sure if when I turn on the faucet or the shower, water would actually come out.
And then there is the Haitian driving. Where I am staying there are no stop signs, no traffic lights, and sometimes no paved roads. Riding in the back of “the frog” every morning (the green open air truck that drives our group wherever we need to go) is always an adventure. You always need to watch to know when you will hit a pot hole or when you will need to duck under an oncoming tree branch.
Today though I was most struck by the fact that electricity is really a luxury. You’d figure that out real quick too if you had 6 tables and 15 benches to make, all the power tools to do so, but not a spark of power.
I think I checked the drill at least 20 times this morning hoping that it would start up.
But thank goodness for old fashioned saws and hammers and a little brute force! Needless to say, we were all excited when at 2:00pm, after working all morning, we checked the drill and it suddenly worked!
Our excitement lasted for about five minutes.
It’s 4:00 as I write this and we’ve had about an hour of power… I actually think it just turned off again. Still, it’s incredible the amount of work you can do with one plug and such a small amount of time! To be the most efficient we could be we had a designated “plug switcher” who would alternate power between the saw and the drill when either person was taking a rest; every moment was valuable!
It’s a real wake up call to me, who so often am on the computer or don’t even think about the ordinary things I use that take electricity: the microwave, the toaster, lights, the vacuum… I take so many things for granted.
This is just another little Haitian lesson for my daily life: notice and appreciate the little things because you don’t know just how blessed we are!