Voices from the Field: Team 4

We were super excited to start building the water treatment center today after there was so much excitement in the village of Jabayilli yesterday at the prospect of clean water. As we were driving in, a woman pointed at a water bottle full of clean clear water in Cameron’s lap and asked if she could have it for her baby. We knew that was a good sign!

As the villagers gathered around us and Matt began telling everyone what we were there for, their response was incredibly welcoming and receptive. After we passed around the results from the water samples we took from their dugout (pictured below), rumbling erupted among the crowd as they finally understood the reason they have been feeling so sick for so long.

Water sample from the Jabayilli dugout

Purchasing the necessary materials to build the water treatment center was quite an adventure; upon seeing a foreigner, the price mysteriously rose.

As the local stone mason helped us build the base of the water center, the elders managed and directed us from their comfortable seats on the hill, throwing in comments here and there on the strength of the women (apparently we would make excellent stone masons). As you can see from the photo below, Heidi was especially excited to be working with cement again after writing a 30-page lab report on the art of concrete.

Heidi with a trowel full of cement.
Cameron playing with a kid from the village.
Megan hard at work cementing the bricks for the base.
Matt with a bucket full of dugout water.
Our team with our indispensable translator, Nestor, after building day 1.

We are all looking forward to tomorrow morning when we will return to our village to complete construction of the polytank stand.

– Megan, Matt, Cameron, and Heidi