Monday, February 25, 2008

Let's go see the Source of water

We still fit two more bodies in the back of this truck before we headed to thewater source.

We went to find Dominique and Jewells (ADIR engineer) so we could head up to the water source. When we found them the whole water committee was waiting and wanted to go with us to the source. We didn’t know where we were going to put them but Farrell said it was their project so they better go with us. We piled ten people in the back of our 4X4, 5 on each side and three in the front seat. We realized that our commvie dream ride was coming true. We were getting to ride in a commvie at last (see previous blog). We were packed in and actually it was somewhat easier as you bounced off of each other rather than the sides of the truck ,as you went over the terrain. Across from Farrell sat Maree Josee (Yes, she is one of the water committee ,a real community advocate). Our legs were all tightly bunched side by side and Marie’s legs were between Farrell’s We went over a big bump and everyone went flying and Farrell grabbed Marie's knees to keep her in place and keep her from coming on top of him. She cracked up and Farrell told her she needed to stay on her side of the truck. That really cracked her up.

We traveled through 4 villages. We stopped in each village and the people came running. The government water engineer told the crowd that the water project had been approved and would start very soon. There was much yelling and singing and tongue warbling (if you have been to Africa you know what that is). Everyone was very excited. This will be such a blessing to all of these people . Approximately 200,000 people will benefit from this water.
Walk from here!

When we got to the top of the hills we thought that Omer would stop and we would walk up but he just kept on trucking and we were bouncing up the mountain, a real four wheeling experience. He finally gave up and we got out and walked. The source is down a ravine and the hill we walked down was very steep with footholds to stick your feet in. I knew if I started to fall I would just roll to the bottom. We had an entourage of village children who had followed us up and so there was quite a crowd with all of us , the water committee, the ADIR team and all the children. We reminded ourselves that people walked this trail everyday with 60 lbs of water on their head.

The Water Committee

This is the owner of the property where the source is located. He was carrying a machete to clear his path through the brush.

Elder Frandsen pronounced the water source as good and strong as before and everyone had a drink of the beautiful water. Well almost all of us. Some of us stuck with the bottled water.

There are three sources they are going to capture and pipe to a large reservoir and then the water will gravity feed down to 4 villages ending in Luputa. The source is large enough to give a good flow all the way down. What a blessing water is. We just keep thinking about the mothers who have to spend so much time getting water for the family and how much easier this process will be and the gift of time it will give to families when a large chunk of their day can be devoted to something other than getting water.

Well, when you go down you have to go back up and so now we had to hike back up that steep climb. I started up doing pretty good when all of a sudden our site manager, Daniel, came up beside me and said something in French. He grabbed me by the wrist and started hauling me up the mountain. I could hear Farrell laughing down below me saying Daniel’s responsibility is to always take care of Sis. Barlow. Now this boy was moving. He had me climbing at top speed. My butt was burning but I didn’t dare slow down as he was moving and I knew I would get dragged so I just kept climbing. This was like climbing up a step ladder. By the time we got to the top I could hardly catch my breath and I was gasping for air. Daniel got a good laugh out of that and at that point I felt my legs turn to rubber. Daniel has been doing those bicycle trips to market and he looks like one solid muscle. Farrell forgot to tell him I have very little muscle.
Second source

We all felt so rewarded for our trip. The project was on its way. We had our site manager. The people had been told and were overjoyed at the prospect. The water committee was ready and the source was as good as ever.

Robert could return to SLC and report that all is well in Luputa and calm the fears of all those who are worrying about the $2.7 million dollars being spent on a water project in a little village in Africa.
My partner on the hike

ADIR Engineer who will manage the project

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