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In which Hank goes on a walk to the spring where the people of Savann Tabak get their water.


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A Bunny
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Good morning John! I'm rotating through my posters. That's right. I'm on my wall. So a couple of weeks ago I introduced you to some of the people of Savann Tabak, a village that I visited while I was in Haiti. Genna and Ulna and Isaiid and Botes and Jan Baptiste. So right after we first met the people of Savann Tabak, they decided to take us on a walk to where they are currently getting their water. Now the first thing that we see on this walk is the broken well, the well that was built at some point and broke who knows how long ago. Several of the older members of Savann Tabak had a great time arguing about when the well last worked. There was no consensus, but there was a great deal of arguing, which is, I guess, one of the ways that you pass the time while you're walking to the well. So we were walking, and, um, walking some more, and then we were still walking, and then we got to the sugar cane mill. So here's what happens. They take the sugar cane, and they run it through a mill that basically squishes the sugar cane and squeezes all the cane juice out. The cane juice that has been squeezed out of the sugar cane is then placed in giant vats, boiled with fires fueled by the spent stalks of sugar cane, and then it becomes a thick brown syrup, and that thick brown syrup is then put into barrels And then it's shipped off, and they ferment it into rum, which is then sold in Port au Prince. So after our tour of the sugar cane processing plant, we walked a little more, and then we kept walking. And then we walked some more, and I kept seeing these houses on stilts, and I had to ask about that. And I was told that in fact people don't live up there; uh, food is kept up there, and the stilts are so they can block rodents. It's basically the exact same idea as a squirrel-proof bird feeder, except that instead of one pole, there's four poles, and instead of bird food, it's human food. And instead of squirrels, it's rats. And then we walked some more, and we kept walking, and we were walking when someone gave me some sugar cane. And it was really good; it tasted like honey, but wetter, and also different from that. I took our guide's lead, and I broke mine into three pieces, and I gave two pieces to little kids. And then my first thought was "But should those kids be having so much sugar?", and then I immediately felt like a douche. Among the many problems I encountered in Haiti, childhood obesity, not one of them. Isaiid said that my teeth must be rotten like his are if I didn't want all the sugar cane for myself, but Genna defended me and said that I was just a nice guy. And we walked some more, and then I stopped to admire the cactus fence because everything in central Haiti is fenced by cactuses. And then we walked some more, and then we got to the spring, and this is not what I pictured when they said spring; this is a muddy hole in the ground. Five minutes ago, I was worrying whether these kids were eating too much sugar, and now I'm looking at the warm, muddy hole in the ground where they get their water. As we were walking back, the translator was talking to Jan Baptiste, and I could tell that something had gone wrong in the conversation, and I didn't know what, and I didn't ask at the time, but later, I asked our translator what had happened. She was asking Jan Baptiste what the village had done for Carnival this year, and Carnival is like the biggest, funnest time in Haiti. And Jan Baptiste said that, uh, they had done nothing this year for Carnival, and our translator wouldn't believe her; she said "Of course you must have done something fun for Carnival, just a little something." And Jan Baptiste was a voiding the subject, and finally she just came out and decided to tell her that right around that time, about six people, in a village of sixty households, had died of cholera. Cholera is not a nice disease, and if you have it and don't get to a doctor or a hospital within a couple of days, there's a really good chance that you die. People get cholera from drinking dirty water. Dirty water like the water I saw those women getting for their children that day. What they need is a well and an infrastructure within their community to help that well be a sustainable source of water for the lifetime of that community. And that's what is going to get for them. If you go to, you will see the progress of Savann Tabak on the path to getting that sustainable water source, and you can give money so that they can help the people of Savann Tabak and other people in similar situations throughout the world. I'm going to make one more video about Haiti, and in that video, I'm going to talk about how and their member organizations are different and how they are changing the entire model of charity from the one where you create people who are dependent on charity into one where you create people who become independent. I hope that you are looking forward to that video; I am looking forward to making it. John, I'll see you on Wednesday.