Monthly Archives: August 2015

I hate writing! Having lived with an undiagnosed case of dyslexia for my entire childhood, I bare may wounds about writing.

I spent so much time and energy making sure I was NEVER required to write or read aloud in front of anyone for my entire life. Even as I write these words now, I know I have probably made several spelling or grammatical errors, however, I can not see them. I know that might sound strange but that’s the truth. I can not see the mistakes or misspelled words. My brain “auto corrects” everything that is incorrect when I write. The fact that I now FORCE myself to write as often as I do and as publicly as I do, really baffles me.

I sometimes wish all my photos we just good enough to stand all alone. No words. No grammer. No sentence. I am not word-smith and I seriously hate writing.

It’s always my objective when taking photos to create images that require no words or captions.

Did I mention that I seriously, seriously hate writing?

There is now greater joy in a father’s life than to know his child’s chance to succeed in life by excelling in school has been greatly increased! This father joy and laughter at his daughters excitement was magnificent to observe.

This Samuel Sainvil he is 18 years old and was orphaned as a baby.

I can not image how difficult it would be going through life without ever knowing your parents!

Samuel we so reserved when we gave him his solar light, however, once I asked him what he would do with his light his face lite up and he said… “Study more school work!” It was a fantastic moment.

If you didn’t notice the words on Samuel shirt please view it again. I personally don’t think there could be a more perfect shirt for this moment in Samuel’s life!

Gratitude is like the human muscular system, the more you exercise your feelings of gratitude the stronger it becomes, the quicker it responds and the faster it recovers from being beaten down.

One thing that I have noticed during all my travels with @wattsoflove is that although all the people we serve have very, very little in life, they are always so grateful for even the littlest of things.

Yes, the light brings them great joy, however their gratitude goes beyond anything I have ever experienced in the United States.

Yesterday, as we were packing up, we told a few young girls that they could have the empty boxes and straps that we shipped the lights in and they actually jumped for joy and began clapping.

What we saw as disposal and trash, they saw as a gift, an opportunity, a blessing.

Their amazing display of gratitude and joy made me realize I need to seriously exercises my own personal gratitude muscles substantially more when I return home.

What baby born into this world deserves less opportunities to succeed in life than another child?

Why should “where” child is born or the social economic structure they are born into have such a profound pre-determination of the quality of their life?

A great friend of mine once said “you can’t see a persons heart if you can’t see their eyes.” I will always remember how true these words are no matter where I travel or whom I photograph.

As this child’s mom waited to get her new light, I was totally drawn to her baby’s eyes and truly felt I could see her sweet and tender heart as we briefly interacted.

We can only hope that her families’ new @wattsoflove light will allow this sweet girl to attain some of her hopes and dreams as she grows.

Light = Opportunity! #WOLHaiti

This is Otancile. She has been a single mom for 20 years while raising six children. She was very intense and determined to learn everything about her new @wattsoflove solar light during our training session.

When I asked her son Ernso what was the greatest thing about his mom he said “She is my hero! She provide me the financial support and allowed me to get an education. And my education allowed me to become the man I am today. Education is so important. I love her very much.” Today’s post is in honor of all the mom’s in the world that silently work so hard each and every day to raise children, work, cook, clean, bandage physical wounds, sooth emotional wounds, wipe away tears, provide a shoulder to rest on, arms to hug, hands to hold and most importantly, champion and push their children to become the best individuals they can be!

Mom’s truly make this world a better place and providing a Otancile a new solar light was our honor!

This little girl now has a the opportunity to study at night. Because of her new solar light she has a brighter future in more than just one way!

It’s so nice and rewarding to work and serve others with your family! My sister Nancy Economou, Connor Economou, and me, Kevin Kuster. Oh and that other guy in the back is out newly adopted brother Ernso!

The great news is we safely arrived in the town of Seramond and were greeted by 200+ enthusiastic people!

The unfortunate news is we were only scheduled to deliver 90 solar lights today.

I am not gonna sugar coat it… it is REALLY hard to see such need and not have a new light for everyone that shows up. Although we explain as best we can before arriving that we only have a limited number of lights, you can’t blame those not on the list for coming and hoping that there will be extras lights some place in the back of our truck.

In this image you can see our assistant Ernso reading the names on the official list. As he was reading I could audible hear the tension from the room as they ALL hoped and prayed that their name would be read.

I once hear “your gratitude grows your giving and giving grows your gratitude!” So, today I am very grateful!

I am grateful to be in Haiti. I am grateful that I get to serve. I am grateful for our WOL team and I am so grateful for those that support out mission.

Light=Gratitude. #WOLhaiti

2 1/2hr flight to Miami, 3 hr layover, 2 hr flight to Hait, 4 hr van ride to Hinche in a big time storm and no AC. Plus one of our @wattsoflove team members missed her flight to Haiti.

Clearly the journey into the unknown has begun. I love it!

Up packing, charging batteries, organizing camera gear and preparing for my trip to Haiti till 12:30 am last night! Had to wake up at 2:30 am to be at O’hare Airport by 3:45 am. Wow!

Right before I closed my widows shade to catch some needed sleep I was greeted by an amazing sunrise.

I think this is a great sign that my trip to Haiti with @wattsoflove is going to be a glorious on!

Leaving tomorrow with our @wattsoflove team to distribute 500 LED solar lanterns, 500 solar backpacks, to vulnerable communities in Haiti.

Teaching my son where his dad will be before he leaves is always a special moment for me.

Look for realtime updates as we begin our journey to Haiti tomorrow.

Leaving for Haiti very soon. Although this will bey first time in Haiti I know I will meet many wonderful families like this one that I met in Kenya. Sorry I have not been posting much but, I have been so busy.hope to be back in the photo snapping swing soon.

Need something to do right now? Check out my interview with @hashtaggedpodcast. They just launched & interviewed both @joshjohnson and I. So good tips, stories, inside stuff on #JJ and my time @playboy. Link is in my bio.

Son of a son of a sailor.

The food is great the view is even better