Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Water is Life

Drilling day finally arrived!  I led the caravan of drilling equipment.  We only had to travel 37 km (23 miles).  It took us over 4 hours due to the condition of the roads.

We arrived at the "rock".  This is the signpost for the village of Nendorko and the place we have to turn off the main road.  As you can see, it says it is only 8 more km. But, it took another hour to get to the village!

This is one of the places I was concerned about with this huge, heavy truck.

We finally made it and were welcomed by the ladies and children.

Kisima Drilling Company was the drillers we chose.  This large white truck was full of interesting bits and pieces needed for the comfort of the drilling team, as well as the numerous 15 foot rods used to drill.

The school children were estatic!  They stood on the sides of the road and waved as we went by.

After locating the spot to drill, the villagers gathered around with the drilling team and our group.

Prayer before drilling begins. 

The driller's decided the tree had to come down in order for them to position their drilling truck.

The drilling truck began raising the "drill" portion.  The ladies standing around us started backing up.  Some of the children started running.  They were all certain the truck was going to fall over!

After it got into position, they were more comfortable with the situation.

Meanwhile, part of the drilling team began erecting their tent and cooking area.  Their team had 11 members including their own cook and security guard.

I knew I didn't want to miss any of this exciting experience, so I brought Peninah (a Maasai nurse who is also a board member of Starfish Charities), and Teresa, my friend and house helper.  We packed cots, food, and anything else we felt we needed for our comfort.  This is the back door of the church/school.  Pastor Matayo (in red) was showing us our "home" for the next four days.  We were very comfortable.

We cooked inside our little room over a gas cylinder.  Here Teresa and Peninah are preparing a stew.  Although we brought enough food with us, the community slaughtered a goat and divided it between us and the drilling team.  Yum!  Please remember we had to carry all our water for four days, and there wasn't any electricity, flushing toilets, or even a phone signal!

Part of our routine was brushing our teeth!  Teresa couldn't resist taking the picture!

We watched the children arrive for school each morning.  Its hard to tell what they were carrying, but they were required to bring sticks (for the cooking fire), and a liter of either milk or water.  Even the smallest children arrived with a stick in hand and some sort of container.

Then they stood over this large cooking pot and poured the dirty water from the nearby pond.  This water was from recent rains, but the water hole was shared by humans and animals.  It was dirty brown.  After they poured the water, the teacher added the peas (or lentils -- not really sure) and put it over a fire to cook all morning as the children were in school.  From time to time, one of the students would go check on the fire and stir the pot.  The teacher was responsible for cooking lunch for the kids each day.  The milk they brought was used to prepare chai (tea) for the two teachers.

Back to the drilling!  The men continued preparing the rig and the drilling rods.

The goats were very excited the tree got cut down!  It made eating the leaves much easier.  Throughout the day, the goats returned time and again for a snack!

I made popcorn and began handing it out to the children and women.  The ladies didn't enjoy it, but the kids kept coming back for more!

The driller's were very generous when they had to get water for the drilling process.  They went to that muddy water hole to get what they needed.  The drilling guys realized the burden these women carry while fetching 40 lbs of water on their backs.  They offerend to help them by hauling those containers of water in their truck. 

The "thing" they are pulling on from the side of the truck is actually the 8' drilling bit.

Getting the bit in place.

Maasai men anxiously anticipating whatever comes next!

This is dust!  It was choking and overwhelming, but necessary to get down into the ground.

Every two meters (6ish feet), they had to take a soil sample to help them understand the rock formation below.

We noticed the soil below the drilling bits was suddenly darker and we knew something had changed.  At a closer look, we realized it was water.  Glorious water!

The geologist taking the soil samples showed me his muddy hand!  What an incredible sight.

Animals are amazing.  These goats were in the field nibbling on grass and shrubs.  Suddenly their heads came up, and they ran to the rig and found this new stream!  What a joyful sight.

Pastor Matayo had been at the church training the young women of the community.  When he arrived, I pointed out to him that they had found water (maji).  

He looked at me in disbelief and repeated "maji?".  I said yes.

He got teary and covered his face as if he couldn't believe such a thing was possible.  He has lived here all his life and has never known clean water.

The next response was that hand in the air prasing God for such a miracle.  Then my tears began to flow.  Overhwhelmed and overjoyed.  I have wanted this for them for such a long time.  And it was my birthday!  What an awesome gift.

One of the leaders in the village just had to have his picture made with me.  He presented me with a liter of goat milk.

The ladies with the donkeys were trying to head home.  Suddenly there was water where no water had been before.  The donkeys became very excited and confused and refused to go where the women were trying to lead them.  It took alot of coaxing to get them past that stream of water!

These cows were nearby and ran to that wonderful stream.

The men are conferring and rejoicing and most likely planning!

My lady friends and I were in the shade with the community womenn and children during the drilling process.

Several gifts were presented to me and my friends.  Lovely beadwork made by the women is a treasured gift.

There was virtually no network for our phones.  However, if you stood under this tree and held your phone at just the right position, you could get enough bars to send text messages!  I was standing here for five minutes texting my children in the states, and various other people who were excited to hear of our success.  What an amazing day!

Our fantastic drilling team!  The drilling was successful and that makes them happy.  The well is 271 meters deep (889 feet).