blog is written by Curt Van Inwegen
re·spired, re·spir·ing, re·spires/
v. 1. to inhale and exhale air for the purpose of maintaining life;
breathe. 2. to breathe freely again, as after a period of exertion, anxiety
Here at Action Wipes, we normally think of exertion in the
context of physical activity and the associated perspiration and cardio work.
But after this week, we’ve added the term RESPIRE to
our vocabulary and it takes on a whole new meaning.
I had the opportunity to visit Haiti this past week as part of a
business trip (unrelated to Action Wipes). There are parts of Haiti that are
classic Caribbean on the north side of the island and
even the action sports market is showing growth, with the recent MTB Ayiti Stage Race. With the weather hot and
humid in the mid-90‘s, I had packed a bunch of Action Wipes to use and handout.
We spent the majority of our time in the city of Port-au-Prince
and the surrounding area, which is busy, dusty and home to most of the
country’s destitute, living in areas of poverty so severe, that Haiti is
regarded as one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. As part of this trip we had to head thru the
Port-au-Prince to the town of Gressier; a roughly 24 mile trip that took us
3-1/2 hours of mind-numbing traffic and poverty. It was sad and psychologically
But there are bright spots, one of which is an organization
called Respire Haiti,whose mission
“encourage, educate and empower restaveks, orphans and vulnerable
children.” They currently feed over 700
children weekly, hold class for 300 students and are building what will be the
only local medical clinic. It was a stirring experience to see the 180 degree
difference in the people and children of Gressier and watch an impromptu soccer match on Bellevue Mountain with laughter,
smiles and hope. At that moment, I gave my entire stash of Action Wipes to the
founder, Megan Boudreaux. It was my way of saying “Thank you” for the
inspiration and the ability to breathe freely again, with hope, that no matter
what the odds, we can always do more, try harder and make a difference.