Thank you for stopping in and spending a little time where I reflect on our life experiences. I am just an ordinary guy surrounded and encouraged by a terrific girlfriend turned into the mother and grandma of our two kids and eight grandchildren. We have been together for over 50 years.

Over a 22 year period, we have lived in three foreign countries, worked in another six, and visited over forty. We have had the privilege of being in the real estate business for over 15 years and then founding an international water filter business.

Lived in

foreign countries

Worked in

foreign countries

Visited over

foreign countries

My claim to fame is that I really enjoy long distance hiking having hiked the Camino (502 miles in 31 days) and the Appalachian Trail (2,172 miles in 181 days).

Now I am working on the North Country Trail, 4,200 miles.

It is the relationship with the giver of life that our journey has purpose and meaning. Those of you that we know have also added a deepness and richness to our lives for which we are forever grateful.

First Forest hike of 2019

I walk the roads of Greater Grand Rapids, rain or shine, hot or cold, sunny or rain, chalking up ten plus miles a week. This was my first hike in the woods in 2019.

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Water is often a metaphor for life itself. Here is what it looks like in real life.

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A 2019 Challenge!

“Our response to the plight of refugees in the coming year will be the measure of our humanity.” Angelina Jolie

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Being Thankful for Generosity

Our water filter enterprise is always in need of additional finances. The need is great and never-ending. The generosity of people and the long days and hard work of our on-the-ground partners continue to inspire us. What is not so common is to be inspired by...

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Connections and Saying Goodbye

I could tell so many stories of saying permanent goodbyes and truly expecting to never see that person again, yet here are a few that we did end up seeing again. Back in the day…It was 1979. Jan and I had been in Nigeria for ten years. We were moving to Liberia to...

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Living Simple is not Simple!

This post is a reflection from Lou Haveman co-founder of Connect For Water, Lou hiked the Appalachian Trail raising money for life-enhancing products for those who live in the developing world. This is one of Lou's reflections from the 2,172 mile through hike of the...

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Priority of my life – hiking

One priority of my life is hiking. I have completed several long distance hikes including The Appalachian Trail-2,0127, The Camino-502, and now the North Country Trail-4,600 miles. In 2007 I had spinal stenosis which caused severe pain and aching in the calves and...

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Rwanda Diary – February twelfth – fifteenth

Wednesday, February twelfth. We meet first thing in the morning with our staff. It is like being the director of an orchestra. The guys we have are young, eager, tireless, enthusiastic, and for the most part, exciting work with. Having a good staff was one of my big...

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Rwanda Diary – February tenth – eleventh

Monday, February tenth. Daily I try to get into the field and participate in the distributions but it never happens. There is too much organizational stuff to coordinate. Every day or so we hear of atrocities. This is a scary place. We learned two small vans, each...

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Rwanda Diary – February sixth – ninth

Thursday, February sixth. Jim rapped on my door at 6:00 A.M. We had to be at the Bujumbura International Airport by 6:45 to catch the World Food Program plane to Ngosi. We were 30 minutes early and the airport was totally vacant. Up to four months ago, the airport was...

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