Community Matters: Haiti Lineman - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Community Matters: Haiti Lineman

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Every day we reach for a power switch, and instantly, our homes are filled with quick and convenient energy.

But, in some places around the world, electricity is not a commodity, it is a luxury.

Bonnie Campo talks to one man from North Dakota, who traveled twice to Haiti, so that he could teach a town how to build essential power lines.

If you are afraid of heights or foreign culture, Josh Hoffman's job is not for you. Through his company, Northern Plains, he has volunteered with five others to help the "turn on the lights" in Haiti.

(Josh Hoffman, Haiti Lineman) "It was more just helping people with something that I know how to do. So to be able to offer that service to someone was what I was looking for."

He found it. And, the need for his profession is growing greater by the day.

(Josh Hoffman, Haiti Lineman) "Linemen don't last very long over there. It's either cause they don't know how to do it safely. We have a lot of safe work practices to go go by, and they don't have that, or they don't know that."

Things became interesting for Josh when he had to build power lines the old fashioned way-- with his hands.

(Josh Hoffman, Haiti Lineman) "Just kind of being able to go back to, I guess, our roots. Going back to a day without modern machinery and tools that we are so use to and take for granted. It it's very humbling being able to do something like that.

Then he began to learn things-- things he could never prepare for.

(Josh Hoffman, Haiti Lineman) "Everyone always has a smile on their face there. You know we have stress to deal with, and all that everyday stuff, because they don't have the stuff we are use to. The payments and traffic of vehicles, they don't care about that. I think everyone should do it. It's very rewarding especially if you have a skill that you can teach other people. It's priceless.

He says he hopes to venture to Haiti again so that everyone can have access to electricity. In Minot, Bonnie Campo, KX News.

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