Six weeks ago we shipped a container full of medical supplies, birthing beds, and 300 feet of plastic pipe to hook up the water system at the hospital. Worst-case, it takes 4 weeks to get a container to Port-au-Prince. We left ourselves a lot of wiggle room. Or so we thought.
Alas, nothing in Haiti is predictable. With the change in government last week, we got caught in transition (and translation) and as of this morning our container had not cleared customs. Only a senior government official can do this and despite our best efforts, we couldn’t find this elusive character.
We hoped to get here and start the week by looking at our supplies. Instead, we’ve spent the last two days looking for them. We’re only here for five days and I was worried we wouldn’t meet our goals so we made a decision to stop waiting on others. We had bought supplies locally many times so we figured we could do so again, even if 300 feet of piping was a tall order. We had already expanded the scope of our water project the day before, so we were going to need to buy more anyway. Why stand around waiting for some official to grant us our goods. Action beats waiting any day.
As I mentioned in the post this morning, our goal is to provide clean water to the maternity ward by the end of the week. The only way that can happen is if we start today. And so we went to work. You can see below that the reference to the “Haiti Home Depot” is based on fact, although I suspect this is not a licensed franchise.