We started our second day in Shilongo with a 9 o’clock water board meeting at the prenyende, which of course meant 10:30 in Ugandan time. While we waited for all the water board members to arrive, we enjoyed the beautiful view of the village and practiced our Lugisu with people who passed by. I also got a chance to play with Alan and Atha, who I met in August, and catch up with their mom. Alan and Atha’s baby brother, Samson, grew so much since the last time I saw him!
One by one the members arrived and Matt and Alyssa got a chance to meet them. As chairman of the board, Jude explained to us what had happened with the bike and tank system after our departure in August. We discussed the major issues with the system and what steps should be taken next. The meeting was really productive and we got valuable information and input from the board that will be crucial to our progress.
After the meeting, all the water members and Vincent, the chairman, took us on a border tour of Shilongo. Starting at Muswema, we worked around the entire perimeter of the village and stopped by all of their water sources. As we trekked through the expansive land that is Shilongo, we learned about all their plants in the gardens. At one point, Vincent and Richard showed us how they use common plants to make rope! Near by Muswema, Richard made us a hat out of leaves and sticks, and for the remainder of the walk, we all took turns wearing it. Matt even got a house tour from a couple that lives near Muswema.
In the afternoon, we decided to go off on our own to the water sources and collect water samples. Unlike the hot morning, the weather was slightly cooler making it easier to move around the village. We went around to Muswema, Nabubolo, Nashiloholo, and the borehole to collect the samples and to dimension the spring boxes. While we were at the borehole, I finally got to catch up with Michael, who was not around at the meeting in the morning.
After a long day, we returned to the house around six but we still had more work to do! We immediately started the water quality test even though the power was out. So for the next couple of hours, we tested the samples lit by our headlights and candles.
It was such a great day for us! Matt and Alyssa got to meet many of the people that they have heard extensively about from all the past travel members, and I got to see everyone who I had met in August! Even though I was here for three weeks in August, the travel team never had much time to relax and do an extensive tour of the village like this one so it was great. We hope our remaining days as just as exciting as this one!