Its hard to believe that its been two whole weeks without the fellows here! Shak, Peter, Wahab, TJ and I really miss their help and insight and entertainment. Luckily all groups did a wonderful job implementing, so monitoring the new seven has been a breeze.
We’ve also spent a lot of time back in the older villages, which we didn’t get to see much of during the fellowship period. In Zanzugu-Yipela, we constructed a rainwater catchment center that will help the village with its first rainy season (pictures to follow as soon as camera malfunctions are dealt with), and everybody is really excited about the new addition! Gbong’s rain catchment center is also up and running – just in time for the big storms that blow through now. We have also been having community meetings in many of the older villages, to talk about everything from rainwater collection to group problem solving, and it has been great to get to know familiar faces from the villages a little bit better.
In my first couple weeks on the job, I’ve really been struck by the profound impact the fellows in particular have on their adopted villages. Kids in newer villages are still doing the handshakes and back-flips the Summer 2011 Fellows taught them, and the people I meet doing household visits in older ones still can remember the excitement of opening day and tell me the importance of a special drinking water cup. Many of the older fellowship villages have asked about fellows by name and have hilarious stories to tell us about implementation. As a fellowship alumnus myself, its good to know that the tremendous energy fellows and locals alike put into passing out buckets and transcending language barriers and problem-solving in traditional committees has been channeled into something that seems to be lasting.