We were so thrilled see such amazing community involvement! Our village’s was named Toyinahili, about 1 hour outside of Tamale. There are approximately 100 households in the village and many adorable children.
The turnout to build the Polytank stand was predominantly male and everyone pitched in to help. It was nice to see the whole community come together to help the implementation process. Each person played an intrigal part of the stand: the son of the chief, Azabel and Shak (our translator) took control of the build and a mason came and did the cement work for free. Children goofed around and lounged the in shade – once spotting a crocodile in the lake and rushing over to see it. Our Polytank spot is wedged in between two trees by the dugout and is a beautiful spot for clean water.
After the stand was finished we headed up to the center of the village and gathered the children around to brush their teeth. The day before, we had given each child a toothbrush and a toothpaste packet and taught them how to brush. For all of the children, it was their first encounter with a toothbrush. Amanda noticed when she first arrived that all the children had very white teeth but as age increased, tooth decay did as well. Watching them raise their hands proudly to declare who had brushed the night before was an amazing feeling for everyone on the team.
Today was also Iyi’s birthday 21st (January 6th)! Shak decided to pour water on Iyi to help him celebrate. A special celebration is planned for tonight! Our translator Shak can do just about anything as he is a “jack of all trades”. Whether it would be fixing his truck on the side of the road, or helping transport and build the parts of the water purification business, he always is calm collected, and nonchalant. This is because Shak has worked with CWS for a few years now, and he is always prepared for whatever the day brings. Our purification drums were held to the car solely by long strips of elastic, which was tied down securely by “do-it –all “ Shak. The cement work took about 2 hours however since a good portion of the community was there, many hands made light work. When the cement work was done everyone, Shak, Amanda, Caroline, and Iyi signed the cement so that the entire village would remember us for generations to come. Tomorrow we will begin training the appointed women to run the business on how to make the balls of alum and their role in the water purification business. Everything is running smoothly. Tohyinayili’s opening day could be easily as early as Wednesday, January 9th, 2013!
–Caroline, Amanda, Shak, Iyi