Radio Silence

I am so sorry for the abrupt departure from posting updates.

Although I have not been writing, I have still been working on projects.

I managed water well drilling projects in Panama with our Ngobe driller, Simon, March – May. In June, I returned to Haiti.  Haiti was an extremely difficult project, but we did provide a temporary rainwater catchment system. There is a lot of work ahead of me before the permanent water pumping system can be installed, but weather and political turmoil have halted that project for now.

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This rainwater catchment system along with the water purifier will temporarily provide safe drinking water to the patients at the medical clinic serving Marbial, Haiti. 
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These cuties on Isla Popa II, Panama were big fans of the newly painted water pump.

Once I returned to the States, I continued to manage projects remotely. From the donations raised, Hydromissions is able to keep projects running year-round in Panama, Uganda and India. In July and September, I travelled domestically for Hydromissions. Being Stateside usually keeps me busier than being in the villages, but in a different way. Fundraising, project meetings, technical support and speaking engagements are my main time consumers. I am glued to my phone (email, skype, whatsapp, etc) and since my projects cover many different time zones, I sometimes feel like I am “on-call” day and night.

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Washington’s most recent latrine project in Uganda.

So, why did I stop posting updates?

I burned out.

It wasn’t the blog posts that did it ; )

This crazy nomadic life has been difficult.

The burn out did not come as a surprise. For the past year, my health has declined due to the extreme stress and difficult work environments. Family and friends could see it. I wasn’t myself. Everything about me felt untethered and confused. I felt like a stranger in every culture, including my own. I cried a lot. I just didn’t know how to take a break. I was exhausted with the constant travel, working environments, stress of adapting to different cultures and conditions, but returning home didn’t alleviate that stress because I had to quickly readjust to my “home” culture, reconnect with people and catch up on the administrative side of the organization. Hydromissions is so small that most of the workload falls on my shoulders. I have great board members, but they couldn’t just take over because they have their own careers and families. There is no reason for me to detail the emotional rollercoaster that has been my life for the past 5 months, but let’s just say that I have eaten a lot of chocolate ; )

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My ride home from working with Simon on Isla Popa.

I am (mostly) back now.

I am not 100%. I am actually writing this post as I sit with ice packs on my head and around my neck (a daily/nightly routine to help mitigate neck pain and migraines).

But, I am not eating as much chocolate ; )

I still have a a lot of responsibility; I still feel overwhelmed; I still cry at the most inopportune moments; and I still have days where I don’t feel myself, but I am a little more honest about it. I am talking a little more about it; I am sharing a little more with family and friends; and, today, I am sharing a little [publicly] in this post.

I truly love the work that I do – I love the relationships built over the years in many different countries. I love serving people in the name of Jesus. I love training and equipping communities in ways that encourage them and help them realize their worth.

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I asked Simon if it was going to rain before we left and he assured me it wasn’t … ; )

I don’t feel like God is moving me out of this work, but I do realize I need to slow down a little bit for this to be sustainable.

The projects won’t stop, but hopefully I will have more help next year. As for my upcoming schedule, I have speaking engagements on November 2nd and 18th, I leave for Panama around November 20th for a short time and am making plans for a return trip to Haiti.

Thank you for reading this long-overdue update.

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement.

Thank you for your support of Hydromissions.

 

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These little ones helped make a repair to this pump – they were so proud!

…and, since I am trying to get back to posting, I’ll let you all know that a goat-themed post will be coming  soon : )

 

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A mama and baby in our “Gift a Goat” program 🙂

Until then, here are photos from my last couple of projects!

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Simon and I drilling after a very rainy hour long boat ride. 
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There is a small community north of Marbial – about two hours hike deeper into the mountains – where we went to advise on improving this water spring. This is their primary source of water. 
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Jessica, Patrick and Ryan working on the gutters for rainwater catchment. 
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Jessica plans to catch me if I fall 🙂 
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Another little member of our “Gift a Goat” program! 

 

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Smiley is my Haitian-pup.  He follows me everywhere – even on 3am hikes to neighboring villages. 

 

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5 thoughts on “Radio Silence

  1. Caitlyn,
    Thank you for all you do, for all the people you help. You need to take care of you. Sending healing thoughts and prayers.
    Maureen

  2. Caitlin, Take care of yourself. Creating balance in your life is difficult but truly necessary. Your work is physically draining and emotionally challenging. Your greatest accomplishments are still ahead of you if you have a healthy and happy Caitlin in place. Be sure to treat yourself well. R & R for Caitlin is a great investment !!!

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