Friday, January 20, 2017
“Humans can dig wells, but they can’t create water.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough
As it turns out, the city of Bunda wanted a small fortune to hook us up to city water. It’s only about 40 meters from our place to the water line, but they insisted on 620 meters of pipe—pipe that was twice the diameter that was needed. Pipe that big would allow them to connect others onto our line and have us pay their water bill—not that there is any corruption here. Then, there is their notorious unreliability, so we are deepening our well instead. We can go down another three meters for less than a third of what the city wanted just to hook into the main. We also discovered that we had a leak in the water line to our new shower for the workers that was dumping almost 1,000 liters a day into the ground. Shaban was able to fix the leak so that will help quite a bit, but we still need to deepen the well. During the three days we will be disconnected from our well, we are having water trucked (well, tractored really) from a boarding school up the main road from us. A wealthy benefactor supplied that school with a well that is 300 meters deep (ours is just ten—soon to be thirteen) into the same aquifer that we use. For about $30 a day, they pull a big tank with a generator on top down to our mission and pump over 3,000 liters into our tank which is more than enough for our daily use, especially with the leak fixed. We need water for about 100 children to drink every day and wash their hands before and after their meals. Water for cooking, water for mopping the concrete floors, as well as water for flushing toilets, showers, washing clothes, and drinking water for our five dogs, too. Until you have to do without, you just don’t realize how much water it takes to get our mission through a single day. The well guys have already been down at the bottom of our well and have started digging. They will make three concrete well liners, one meter tall and a little less than one meter in diameter. Since the main well is one meter in diameter, the new liners have to be smaller to fit inside the existing well. The twelve-year-old, solid bronze, Italian pump is working like a charm, and the well guy says it is good for another ten years at the the least. While all this is going on, we are still helping send sacks of corn out to our churches and helping to buy water for our other workers who have no access to any wells. In addition, Bishop Monto came by with all his official stamps yesterday so that we can get Karen’s labor permit process started. Her residence permit doesn’t expire until July, but it will take three months to get the labor permit (a new requirement that costs $500 each), so we have to start now. Getting the labor permit also requires that Shaban travel to Dar Es Salaam in person to sign the paperwork, sigh. Then, when all that is complete, we can get the residence permit renewal done but that’s done at immigration here (another $250). Both fees have to be in American dollars—why, we aren’t sure, but even our Australian and Norwegian missionary friends have to use American dollars, too. Guess everyone trusts American dollars.