Thursday, May 14, 2015

Looking for possible water projects

Thursday, May 14, 2015

John Mwingira arrived at our hotel at 9AM with a Hertz rent-a-car and driver.  We would drop off the driver back at Hertz after a bit.  The medium-sized SUV has 4-wheel drive in case we get stuck in a puddle since they are in the middle of the rainy season.  The vehicle is kind of dingy and well-used, but it drives along just fine and the air conditioning works.  The weather was tolerable, with the sun only coming out once during the day.  It is muggy, though, but nonetheless better than the weather we had when last in Ghana.

Elder & Sister Wilson and John Mwingira at the home and also district office where Isabell’s used to live.  After seeing John we realized we knew him from years before.

We first stopped at the mission office/housing for E/S Wilson.  We are familiar with this house because E/S Isabell lived there when we were in Tanzania in 2004-2006.  I remember it well since it was the place where we went after I got a case of heat exhaustion.  Sister Isabell fixed me up with fresh fruit, juices and a fan to sit in front of.  It was during the hottest time of year, February.  It was that same trip where I thought I would expire on the plane going back to Nairobi.  It can be unbearably hot that time of year. 

The first community wanted more available water so that they wouldn’t have to pay the owner of this water point as much as they do now.  They did not have great need.  We spent a long time walking all over the area to see that they had other water points to draw from also from this same owner.

After we visited with the Wilson’s, we went to the car rental place to drop off the driver and continued on our journey.  We went to a place where they wanted a new borehole with a hand pump.  We found plenty of water in the area.  Some private parties have boreholes that pump water to places throughout the community.  They want a borehole so that they can charge ½ the price of what they pay now.  It did not appeal to any of us about their great need. 

Pretty lady and her baby boy.

Our second stop was at a school.  All they had was broken down wells that had gone dry; one was machine drilled by the government.  They did it wrong and then left it unused.  It makes one wonder…anyway, we decided that this could be a good area to do a project.  We told them our criteria and think they will be able to save the money, get help from the government, and decide what type of water project they want—either mechanized or hand pump.  About 2,000 kids go to the school; they have lots of buildings for classrooms and have two sessions.  There are enough families around that could contribute to the well and also use it.  There are mostly dip wells in the area—they are not clean.

This school with gobs of children had the most useless and broken wells that were never dug deep enough and otherwise poorly constructed.  It is always fun to be around children who are ecstatic that you are there and taking pictures.

This all sounds like it didn’t take very long.  It appears that Tanzania has the same problem as Kenya does—an amazing amount of traffic.  After just these few stops, we still didn’t get back to the hotel till after dark and long after our normal dinner hour.  Jim was hungry, but I was just dirty and tired.  It took forever for us to get back to the hotel—a real endurance test, and John still had to get back home—not close to the hotel.  We are starting earlier tomorrow and hope to accomplish more visits.  As it is, we are one day behind because of our lost luggage. 

Another day, another dollar…

Love, from Dar

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