Local man helps out in Haiti

Eric Carlson donated time, equipment and labour to a struggling school

Peninsula resident Eric Carlson is seen here in Haiti

Peninsula resident and irrigation specialist Eric Carlson travelled to Haiti earlier this month to help out a school that was in desperate need of a water system.

Carlson and a group of five others — Langford fire Chief Bob Beckett, Lt. Steve Adams, Savory elementary school principal Jane Penn, Glenwood Meats owner Rick Fisher and Langford’s former chief building inspector Dan Reynolds — travelled to the country to donate their time, labour and equipment to a school and an orphanage.

“It was a real eye opener,” said Carlson of the project. “I went down without any expectations because I didn’t want to set myself up for shock or disappointment. It took a couple of days to get used to being there but then you realize they are incredibly proud people. They are very nice and very welcoming and they were so appreciative of what we were doing.”

All the volunteers that went paid their own travel costs to allow all donations to be put back into the community. Langford Fire Rescue along with other community volunteers have worked with the orphanage in Haiti for a number of years but this was the first time they branched out to help other aspects of the community. Carlson, who works with his brother who owns a rainwater collection system company, was responsible for setting up rainwater collection tanks at the school so that the school could have water for its water fountains and taps.

“The school was my primary job, although I did also help out at the orphanage as well,” explained Carlson.

“When we arrived, the school only had one tank that held 500 gallons of water and even that wasn’t working properly. So I fixed up the old one and we were able to afford two other 1,000-gallon tanks, so now they have the capability to hold 2500 gallons rather than just 500. That’s important because in Haiti they have long dry spells where they won’t see rain for a long time,” Carlson explained.

He added the team had enough money left over to pay a pump truck to fill the tanks so the school could start with them full.

“I’ve never volunteered before in such a way and I had a great time with the team. They were fantastic. It felt like a real quick eight days.”

Carlson got involved with the initiative through his brother Dennis, who is a member of the YMCA-YWCA in Langford, as is Beckett.

“I always knew I wanted to go to a third-world country and volunteer and I had mentioned it to Dennis at one point after I had just moved down here in the spring. He heard about the initiative through Bob and next thing you know I was fundraising to go,” laughed Carlson.

“I’m still processing a lot of stuff from the first trip but if they needed me or my skills again I would definitely go. It was such a humbling experience and everyone gets something different out of it.”

The team also installed a battery inverter system in the orphanage to help ensure food in the fridge and freezer won’t spoil when the unreliable power grid cuts out.

This year marked the team’s eighth trip to Haiti since it was hit by a major earthquake in 2010.

 

Just Posted

Autism support dog helps Langford boy hold his head high

Family shares story for Autism Awareness Month

Give your immunity a boost for National Immunization Awareness Week

Immunize Canada calls on Canadians to stay up to date with their immunizations

Bear sightings historically rare in Langford: City staff

51 bear complaints or sightings in last year

Families hop over to Easter celebrations at Millstream Village

Annual Easter Eggstravaganza had lineups before 11 a.m.

Archaeologist monitoring building work on Tsawout First Nation amid burial ground concerns

Some in community claim construction has potentially disturbed historic graves, contractor disagrees

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

B.C. RCMP receive application for Police Cat Services

RCMP announced the launch of the Police Cat Services unit as an April fools joke

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Most Read