I knew it was just a matter of time. Our 80 year old sugar maple split and I found half the tree on our lawn breaking a wood railing fence. What you can’t see are the three milk containers hanging from maple syrup splines tapping the remaining trunk for maple sap. I am trying to decide if I cut the whole tree down or trim it and make a small platform with a zip line to a yet to be dug pond. The old takes on a new purpose or will soon fad away. Meanwhile, a smattering of snow still remains on the ground while the temperature bounces between 50 and 70 degrees in mid February. It is a season of change.

Over the last year Jereme and Natalie have taken over all Business Connect travel. Jereme continues to build our international network. Natalie runs the logistics of shipping like a smooth running machine. I help sourcing resources, nurturing ongoing relationships, and write short reflections and updates. Although Jan and I took a short five day cruise out of New Orleans we are finding it increasingly difficult to travel. Staying home sounds better all the time. As I write, snow is forecast and the fireplace is roaring. I have the grill cranked up boiling the Maple sap and can just start to smell the aroma of maple syrup.

Life is good in spite of the changing seasons. The reason is because of the great people surrounding us. With such people the drama of life and events are quickly put in perspective and we can continue to live in gratitude and purpose. Below are two very short emails received in the last ten days. One story is from Haiti, another from Tanzania.

Just want to send a follow up on the January trip to Haiti and how the Water Filter Project went.

The trip was a success. The medical team of 2 providers and 2 support people saw greater than 325 people.The Water Filter Buckets were distributed to just over 40 people with the remaining systems placed in schools for the children on a daily basis. Junior, a Haitian employed by the organization, was able to purchase NEW buckets w/ tops for $3.70 each. The first day having the people put the systems together on there own was chaotic. The attention span was short and by standers / on lookers created excess noise. But, we persevered through. The 2nd day the buckets were put together by organization staff. The people were gathered in a church and with the interpreter the systems were explained. How they were assembled, how they worked and how to take care of the systems. The people came up three at a time to received their systems and in return demonstrated how to clamp the water flow, clean the charcoal pre-filter, and how to back flush the filter. It went much smoother and was organized.The Solar Lights were a great success with the school children.Thank You so much for your help with the order and your time explaining the system. And, for taking one for the team by carrying the items to my car!I have been in contact with the organization: Sow Hope. Mary Brown is the executive director and is interested in the Solar Light Charging Station. I have passed your contact information on to her – so if you receive and e-mail from her – it was I who sent her. I do still plan to stop by to purchase the book Aid to Trade one of these days. I will let you know prior so we can arrange a time. Thank You again for your help in obtaining the products. Attached are some photo’s for your viewing pleasure and one of the area’s we visited.Beverly JansmaMedical Coordinator Mission to Haiti.

Since 2004, Sisters of Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI), have reached out to more than 7800 rural women, microcredit and entrepreneurship programs, 225 trafficked children , and 5500 street children. Sisters are enjoying the atmosphere created in the campus with the drinking water facility with your special support of installing water purifier for the smooth running of all the activities at the center.

Gratitude: We, the sisters of DMI, in the name of all children and staff express our heartfelt sincere gratitude and thanks for your valuable financial contribution to get accessibility to the healthiest drinking water, especially important for children to safeguard their health. The water facilities have enabled our trafficked victims children, sisters and staff to have good health and to engaged in every activity (health care, spiritual, vocational skill training and outreach programs), accomplishing their roles and functions productively and fruitfully within the campus.

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