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October 20, 2010

One of the things we westerners really don’t appreciate is the privilege of having clean running water pumped into our homes.  I remain fascinated and thankful for the water that comes out of my wall and especially water that goes around in the toilet.  So, what’s it like to not have water in your village?  Well, it pretty much sucks.  When I arrived at Tribewanted October 1, the compost toilets and just been completed- a true luxury for us firstfooters.  For the poor guys who were here preparing for our arrival, they had to carry the orange shovel of shame to the bush, sometimes having to hold an umbrella while attempting to keep the roll of toilet paper dry. Needless to say, we all love the compost toilets.


As for drinking, bathing and laundry, it’s a one mile walk up hill to the river to fetch fresh river water.  Granted we’re beach front and also have a beautiful brackish lagoon for our backyard, but it’s not drinkable nor ideal for wash.  Jerry cans, those bright yellow 20 liter plastic jugs seen all over Africa, are the water delivery vessels.  Children as young as ten can balance these  40+lbs. cumbersome things on their heads, some with no hands. I can barely drag the cans ten yards to fill the bucket shower.   Early on, we had to load all twenty jerry cans into the back of our truck, drive up the bridge where we’d scramble over rocks to submerge the cans into the water,  load the truck, drive back down the road to our village, unload the truck and haul the water cans down to the outdoor kitchen.  After nearly two weeks, we now have a completed well which will provide water for us and the neighboring village of John Obey Beach.  It’s going to be wonderful not to have to haul water anymore for us and a life changing luxury to the villagers here.


How many showers can you take with one of these? The more you carry, the less you'll use!

James and Aaron at the river

Filippo, Aaron and James fill the water tank

the well diggers

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