Although we have only been into our village, Wuvogumani, three times, being with Community Water Solutions has already been an incredible experience. We all agree that the most immediate surprise was how welcoming Ghanaians have been to us. We discovered this about the Ghana on our first day as a team during a competition. While shopping around the cultural center and getting orientated with the area, a man selling something on the street jokingly yelled at us. We then struck up a playful conversation about the main differences between America and Ghana. Already we made a friend and continue to meet more friendly faces everyday.
Along similar lines, another small, yet significant, part of our experience has been the ease of connecting with people who do not speak English. Since we must describe how dugout water gets contaminated through fecal contamination, the word poop is translated often. Our translator, Amin, taught us the word in Dagbnai, bindy. While in our initial meeting with the chief, a formal and important occasion, the elders of the community were making jokes about bindy. Humor has been the easiest way to connect with the members of the village we are working in. We decided that you don’t have to share a language to share a laugh.
An addition thought we want to share is about the failed past water projects we have seen since visiting different villages. It’s almost eerie seeing the past attempts to bring clean water to various communities. Yet by seeing these failed projects, it has motivated our team’s desire to do everything in our power to get the community excited about their Community Water Solutions clean water treatment business. We now more fully understand all the factors that allow Community Water Solutions to be so sustainable.