Thursday, July 5, 2012

It Takes a Village - First look - the well in Djati

I usually have to drag myself out of bed for work everyday (some of you may know the feeling). The best thing about getting up early for me is -- the possibility of receiving some word from my pals in Guinea Bissau.
Every morning when I get up, I rush upstairs to turn on my computer hoping to have some news or photos. Usually when Maritza sends me information, I will receive it in the morning due to the time difference. But, she is here in the US for the next few days so we have no regular pattern. Yesterday morning I awoke news--but then later in the afternoon, I received at least 100 pictures (and even more this morning!)

Of course I can't share them all but I put some of them into a little video slideshow (which I will post later) and I'll give you some of the highlights and bring you up to date here.

First up....The well in Djati
And, as it turns's not easy doing business in Guinea Bissau!

According to Maritza it actually took 2 different teams before the well was completed. The 1st team hated making the long trip to Djati and would show up whenever they felt like it (you may recall me saying that in a prior post). They wanted to finish the job on their own time (in Africa, that means...whenever)
In Maritza's words
"But you don't mess around with Freddy. The contract said one month and when it didn't happen and they played possum, he looked for another team"
And to make matters worse, the well digger's little brother showed up drunk and threatened Freddy's project team. Freddy took them to court.
"and things have been very calm ever since. We want to do something wonderful for the people and for Djati and there is no room for fooling around and playing games. They seem to forget that Freddy and Raquel have been in Guinea Bissau for many years. They know the in's and out's of the bush. YOU CAN'T FOOL THEM!!"
Note: the rains have started and this is making it very difficult to use the road into Djati. Soon the road will become a river only passable by canoe. In October Freddy will bring the diggers back in again to double check the work. He wants to make sure the rains haven't damaged the rings inside and that the walls remain untouched with no crumbling. Then they will put on the finishing touches which consist of a pulley type gadget for the gathering the water and safety measure to make sure no children fall in or are injured.

Well digger
These roads are terrible roads under dry conditions
Add in some rain and mud. Later the road will be an impassable river
For now, things look really good. The well is working, The water is clean and there is plenty. No more walking for water and the people of Djati are BEYOND HAPPY!

Next up - update on the school in Djati and the video slideshow I promised


Toni said...

Life is never easy for the people of this country, but I hope that what we have started to do will make it a little easier for them. Freddie and Raquel and Martiza are such wonderful people to help us out to make our wishes for clean water and a school -- we know all to well it would not have happened without them! And with their vigilance to see that it will continue to work and be kept safe-- that is priceless. I worry about the flooding -- will it contaminate the well?

devon said...

Yes Freddy & Raquel are a God send. These are the normal rains that they get every year. The road turns into a river. Another reason we need to get a medical clinic set up there. Right now the sick must be taken out by canoe. Next project.