The Guilty Satisfaction of Traveling with Pure Water for the World

– Shared by Ian Williams, PWW Trip Volunteer


“The children are always the highlight of any trip. Here is one fellow that we encountered at Trianon.”

There’s a little guilty satisfaction that comes over me each time I travel to another country on a Pure Water for the World trip. Am I doing it for them…or am I doing it for me? Perhaps it’s for both.

I’m not going to dig a well or build a school; nor am I going to perform life-giving surgery or vaccinate scores of children from disease.

Am I a selfish tourist playing voyeur to the misery of those less fortunate?

Am I intruding into their world as they try to merely eke out an existence?

I’m not quite sure how to describe the feelings I have on my travels to places like Haiti and Honduras. Then I look at the work being done between each trip to understand the situation of the peoples of such places and how we can do something to improve their lives.

I sit on a water committee that meets monthly and discusses the work of Pure Water for the World and evaluates each project’s progress and the net value each brings to the lives of those we serve.

I see the countless hours of both paid staff and the volunteers in our little network and I feel a part of something much bigger.

I feel that by caring, speaking out and spreading the message of hope that the work Pure Water for the World provides; I, too, help make the process just that little more effective and a little more meaningful.

I am a Rotarian because I believe I can offer something back to my local community and the larger global community we all share.


Getting the job done. Ian helping Haiti team back in 2010.

Maybe this part I play in the work of Pure Water for the World satisfies that balance by allowing me to offer my support for those in need beyond my own home shores.

Rotary International is my chosen vehicle in giving some of my life’s good fortune back to my world. It offers a reward of fellowship and camaraderie; it has allowed me to enmesh myself in the fabric of my local community and it warms my soul that I have given back something of myself along this path we’re all traveling. Whatever the method, whatever the results; I am at peace with the small contributions I make to my fellow man through my actions.

So back to my opening thought:  yes I get personal gratification from the work I do as a Rotarian and through my association with Pure Water for the World. And, yes, I give back to my community and the world as a result. Is it bad for everyone to come out a winner in such matters?


To learn more about how to join PWW on a volunteer trip, click here