The Difference Between Life and Death - The Kore Timoun Truck

The Kore Timoun Land Cruiser has gone 200,000 miles over the roughest terrain imaginable to bring deathly ill children and their caregivers to help.

I am well along my journey in Leogane by the time the sun has its first glimpse of the plains beyond the mountains. The road is riddled with bulging rocks and sudden drops that rattle me and my passengers. Last night’s rainstorm converted the low-lying parts of my road into a swamp.

The mud sinks to my hubs and sprays backward across my white paint as I put all four wheels into action and continue on. There is too much work to do and no time to play in the mud.

Today is distribution day. Meti, in the driver’s seat, is excited. He has planned months ahead for this. We have spent days together on trips to local cities, hauling home loads of gravel, sand, cement, and wood. 

 Families receive instructions for latrine construction from Kore Timoun WASH project manager Metichael “Meti” Vilius.

Families receive instructions for latrine construction from Kore Timoun WASH project manager Metichael “Meti” Vilius.

Members of a rural mountain community surround me as we stop at the distribution point. They have walked miles from their homes to receive building materials for household latrines, which will provide the first form of waste management in their community.

In the afternoon, I stretch my engine to 80 kilometers an hour on the way to the hospital. I carry Wilkenson, whose height and weight is a fraction of most children his age. 

 The Kore Timoun truck is often the only option for transportation to life-saving care for critically malnourished children.

The Kore Timoun truck is often the only option for transportation to life-saving care for critically malnourished children.

Wilkenson sits beside his mother, who must stay by his side while he receives special treatment to build his strength and bring his development back to normal. The two of them have never been to a hospital. They could not have afforded the price of a two-hour motorcycle ride from their home in the foothills.

Dusk is painting itself across the horizon by the time I return home to rest. My tank is near empty, but there will be more work tomorrow. There is always more work to be done.