Friday, May 28, 2010

Sambazon CEO Ryan Black Volunteers in Haiti

I had the privilege of spending a week of vacation last week volunteering in Port au Prince, Haiti. The trip was organized by a local church group of 14 people including me, some of the members which had made trips there before and after the devastating earthquake in January of this year. I personally felt compelled to go there in an effort to share some hard work, love and service to a country and people who need it terribly. Despite the overwhelming conditions (heat, poverty, water, medical, food, housing), the Haitian people’s happiness and energy reminded me of Brazil, one other country in the world where the energy and joy simply can’t be overcome by the poverty. This was uplifting and exciting.

While I was there, I ran into Sambazon Ambassador Jon Rose. To bring clean drinking water to school children in Kenya & Uganda, Jon’s father Jack Rose started Jon Rose then created Waves for Water to bring the solutions developed in Africa to the rest of the world, and most recently, Haiti. W4W is arming local people with water filters and buckets - a simple yet effective water purification system that makes any accessible water potable. Jon, Jack and all the remarkable people I met in Haiti truly revise the boundaries of what is possible.

I don’t have to tell any of you how truly blessed we are to have been born in country where most of the basic needs are not even a question. While my personal journey to Haiti last week was in the name of building a concrete wall and servicing the people down there, I knew that leading up to the trip that I would benefit much more from what they gave than what I could give them. Coming back to lovely San Clemente and reflecting on an intense week at a Haitian orphanage, I am quite sure of this. The video above is 10 minute slide show of the pictures that I took and the love that was shared with so many beautiful kids and hard working people.

-Ryan Black

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