RBR ON THE ROAD – DAY 6 HAITI

Seth Stammler (far right) stands in front of the new Water Station in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, with (l to r) Brad Stammler, Jeremy Hall and Bryan Frackman

Today was the big day for Seth and Sporting Chance Foundation, as the itinerary was to head to the SCF’s water well – called water stations in Haiti. The second key goal of Sporting Chance Foundation is to provide potable water for the people of Haiti. After driving around for the past two days, we can see why this is such a key mission for the over eight million people that inhabit this country that is about the size of Maryland.

As we traveled to the water stations through the streets of Port-au-Prince, we were struck by the garbage and waste that littered the sides of the road. Weaving through the traffic of the Tap-Taps, trucks and motor scooters, we saw what looked like a canal. This shallow canal was filled with plastic waste piles as well as other garbage and the runoff water flowed through it. Standing on the rock piles within in the canal were people dipping plastic jugs into the water, filling it and taking it away to their homes.

We finally arrived at the water station, and it was just minutes from the canal. Next to the station was a wire archway overhead that said Bienvenue L’Impasse Trankil, literally translated as, “Welcome to Relax Street”, a neighborhood of around 10,000 people. Though it was anything but relaxing in this busy part of Port-au-Prince, the line at the water station was already 20 deep, mostly consisting of young children and teenagers. Each child was carrying a 5-gallon bucket with lids so that the water wouldn’t spill out. They stood in line in front of the two water spigots that were controlled on the inside by an attendant that was continuously filling containers. Before the water flowed into the 5-gallon container, the kids would have to pay one gourde, the basic Haitian currency. That equates to 2.5 US cents – just two and a half cents for five gallons of clean water.

For Seth, and his two Foundation Board members, seeing the water station in operation made the three-year project worth all of the time and effort.

“To finally see this finally operational is amazing,” said Stammler, as he stood with the attendant operating the spigot. “After what we have seen here over the last few days, it’s obvious that these water stations are badly needed. Building more of these water stations is something we have to consider doing in the future.”

After touring the water station, Seth and Gwynne Beatty from the Voila Foundation handed out 5-gallon buckets to people so that they could get water. After seeing the water station working, the next issue we learned of is that getting a 5-gallon bucket is no easy task. Most of the people who need the water now have to seek out a container to transport the water. And, we learned that the 5-gallon buckets cost about $4 US dollars or 160 gourde, a lot of money for someone here.

We walked a few hundred yards from the water station and came upon another canal that went off as far as we could see in the direction of the sea. We walked along the bank of the canal, and again were hit by the sight of the waste that fills the canal and watched water flow through it. Gwynne then told us that where we were standing used to be the Haitian shoreline not too many years ago. But the powerful water runoffs from the rains have washed dirt, rocks – and tons of garbage down from the mountains and formed more land. It was a shocking revelation.

It is obvious that there is much to do here in Haiti. And it has to start somewhere and with someone willing to do it. One person that has stood up to help in the challenge has been Seth, who was struck by what he saw three years ago on his trip here. Three years later, he came back to see the results of what he started. Even though, there is a long road ahead in Haiti, with people like Seth committed to the work, there will be more victories in the near future in helping the people of Haiti.

Seth Stammler watches as water is collected by the young Haitians

A young girl carries the five-gallon bucket weighing over 40 pounds on her head

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5 Responses to “RBR ON THE ROAD – DAY 6 HAITI”

  1. IMSYE87 Says:

    Im not even going to point out you incorrectly labeled your own vice-captain in the above picture.

    Nope. Not going to say a thing.

  2. gas huffer Says:

    He’s been hitting the Twinkies in the off-season. Good man.

  3. lou Says:

    Stammler is a really good guy.

    On an unrelated note, DC scum signed that salvadorian winger Cristian Castillo. A few people were hyping him up (including myself) in the summer after seeing his amazing highlight video and hearing that a potential mls move was possible. I really hate DC.

  4. NYCfan Says:

    Has Seth had any luck scouting for a new coach down there? Is Soler planning on doing any type of interview any time soon? Oh BTW any news on a new coach?

  5. Cindy Says:

    i love that Seth [and Jeremy] do things like this. good on them, glad to see it!

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