Tuesday, April 4, 2017
“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” — W.H. Auden
A Tale of Two Wells — Part Two
Remember that my son, John, saw a woman crying about five years ago that led to his efforts to buy and install an expensive, deep-water pump that’s been providing water to three villages near Ikizu ever since? Well, (pun intended) that son has been upset that we had an unused well just sitting on our grounds. He came into a little money earlier this year, not a lot but enough to get him wanting to fix things like that unused well. First, he hired the well guys to come back and dig it deeper and clean it out and got a five-foot column of water at the bottom. Then, he discovered that I had bought a back-up submersible pump (in case the other main one failed) that was just gathering dust in our shed. So, he got the well guys to install that pump in the previously abandoned well. Remembering that the problem with our community well was always about the pump getting broken, he bought (all with own money) a 1,000 liter tank (about 250 gallons), had a stand constructed to get elevation for the gravity feed, ran a pipe underground (so no stealing) and had it end in a faucet. So, we can now fill that tank every two days and then open the gates to the community for a couple of hours a day (they will drain it in that time) and all the kids have to do is turn a faucet and the clean water pours freely into their buckets or containers. A rather elegant and God-sent solution to a vexing problem. He even bought several back-up faucets in case one gets broken from over-use or incorrect use. The pump is encased in concrete, so it can’t be stolen (we do learn from our mistakes). It took about a week to get all of this together, but once John gets on a project, he takes it to the end whatever the cost in effort, time, or money. You can see from the picture at the right the well in the foreground, the tank behind that, and the pipe with the faucet near the outside fence. We won’t have to announce it or anything, just opening the gate two hours a day will be all the advertising we will need to do. It feels really good to know that our neighbors can get free water without having to pump or carry it any distance. It always feels good to hear the children laughing as they work and to see them carrying the water back to their families. It also makes a father proud to see his son so single-minded about helping others and making use of what we have, where we are. This is all God ever asks of anyone. To offer what you have, where you are, as best you can do, to help others. It is what being a Christian is all about. And that’s the truth.