One of the big, exciting things that we have going on right now is the development of the new mission property. We’ve been at our current location since 2002, and because of some security issues that lead to bigger things, and because of space limitations, we’re moving!
Clean Water for Haiti bought new land back in December of 2012, and we’ve since been slowly doing what we could with what we had funding wise, which hasn’t been a ton. The property was fenced. A well was dug and cased. We built the generator and pump house and installed those pieces of equipment. Earlier this year our driveway was put in, not because we want pretty, but because we don’t want to get stuck in the mud every day of the rainy season. That was in February. Since then we’ve just been maintaining.
But, no more! There are some exciting things in the works and we’re just praying for all the details to be finalized. Suffice it to say, it’s enough that we can start moving forward with some things. For the past few weeks we’ve been finalizing building plans and then about two weeks ago Chris had a couple of the guys start putting some things in place so we could start moving forward with actual construction! It’s so exciting.
A simple latrine was built. Really, it’s a hole in the ground with a lid that you move out of the way before squatting, and some woven palm fronds for privacy, but it’s enough that this girl is happy to not have to use the plantain plants for cover any more. We just wanted to make sure the construction crew had a place to use since things are gearing up. I’ll spare you any pictures for now…
You guys! That picture above was taken the day after they finished really clearing the space where our house and mission office will be going!! When I say cleared, I mean they really cleared, not just trimmed things down. They leveled it out too, all by hand. Amazing! Where there were once ridges from watering canals it’s now relatively flat. So exciting!
Our initial plan was to have a backhoe come in to dig foundations and septic tanks, and to do as many of those all at the same time as possible. It’s meant working through a lot of plans and building drawings to make sure things are as we want them. Last week we found out that what we had been planning on for a machine isn’t going to be available until March. Boo! But, Chris got on the phone and started shaking trees and where it seemed like an impossible thing to find, it turns out there might be several options in our area. Crazy! Several years ago this never would have been the case. People always ask what changes we see here over the long term, or “post earthquake” (because that’s the marker most people have for Haiti) and for us it’s always the little things. Stuff most people would never even think about. Better customer service. More available resources. Road development. Garbage cans. Small things.
Last week we went with several cans of spray paint and the plans for out buildings, like the filter production area and storage “depot” as they’re called here in Haiti. Basically a shop area to store all the tools and materials needed. Staff bathrooms. The sand washing area was also marked out. We’ll do the welding fabrication shop later since it’s just a cement pad with a small storage room.
The thing that I love about this whole process is that it brings out the best of who Chris and I are as individuals, but also as a team. Where he is detailed and focused in one area, I am in another. He’s thought through the entire work yard from wiring to doors to space planning. He’s talked extensively with the guys and taken their input into consideration. We’re excited about the facilities they’ll have to work in when this is all done. Me? I know every nook and cranny of the plans for the house, office and guest house/volunteer residence. I’ve thought through every annoying thing about our lack of space, or things we wish we had as far as these facilities go. Nothing extravagant, just incredibly functional. Our main goal as we go through this whole process is to get to the end and then 5 to 10 years down the road and not be wishing we’d done something differently. Concrete everything is pretty permanent!