Today was water truck day.
Everyone wakes up gets breakfast and gets on the tap tap for an all day excursion to a slum of Port Au Prince called Cite Soleil. There is a substantial amount of things to see along the way to the site as we go to meet the water truck. I saw three people on one motorbike, lots of congested traffic, loose goats, a herd of cows moving down the same street as us in the opposite direction. Unlimited tap taps and motorcycles passing our car on either side. Horns beep beeping away. We were awash in many different smells on the route to our destination. Some good, like cooking meat and ocean air. Some not good.
We rendezvous with the water truck and arrive at the first of three stops. A chorus of kids shouting "Hey you! Hey you!" comes streaming into our tap tap. We smile. All the children learned this phrase in English and it did get our attention. They were all smiles as we disembarked down to the ground. Children and babies in all manners of dress and undress ran to us claimed us and took us away. We held the babes and even bigger kids. We helped fill, carry and haul buckets of water until the truck was empty. It was hard work but very fun. Always, throngs of babies all around waiting for you to have a free hand to hold. Or if you had an arm free they wanted to get picked up and held two or three at a time. They were pleased to examine us, our clothes and shoes.
The kids and people wanted us to haul buckets right to their front door and even inside their dwellings. Smiling and sloshing water the whole way. I set my buckets down in the corrugated steel labyrinth that was the neighborhood and looked into the home I was delivering to. It was small. Windowless, dark, hot, made of rusted corrugated steel on the roof and walls. Each side of the dwelling shared a wall with its neighbor. Inside couldn't have measured more than eight feet by eight feet and had a dirt floor. A big barrel for water was in there and nothing else. This is what she was smilling about. Practically house proud. But what did I know.
I think sometimes a house is just a place to keep your water barrel.
Seeing this whole day happen makes you think. How much do we really need to be happy?