On most mornings, we wake up to sunshine streaming through our windows and singing from inside the church so we were looking forward to attending services on Sunday morning. It was a peaceful and joyous way of spending the morning and it was interesting for all of us even though none of us are legally Catholic. I especially enjoyed the fact that the service was accompanied by an enthusiastic choir and girls who danced their way down the aisles. After church, Professor Swan declared the day as our “day of rest” and we tried to get a lot of organization and paperwork out of the way.
Of course, our day began to fill as we were invited to attend “market day” at Katwelatwela where we curious to see if community members were participating in the buying and selling of products. We tried Coke at Homeboy’s and everyone was convinced that it tasted sweeter from the Coke we drink in the United States. Our only explanation was that it could be sweetened by sugarcane as opposed to the processed sugar most likely used in the recipe in the US. While at the market, Vincent was very attentive and offered to show us around the different shops and buildings. We were particularly interested in a clinic run by a couple named Juma and Judith. The most important information that they provided to us was the presence of gravity taps that bring clean water to the clinic. We are hoping to research in the next few days on any connection between the cleaner water and less instances of diarrheal diseases.
Feeling relatively unproductive, we decided Sunday night would be a good time to fill the tank and check to make sure that it did not leak. We were surprised to see the amount of people still around the borehole after dark although I’m sure the majority of them were there out of curiosity about us. The younger boys of the village, Paul, George, and Timothy all helped to fill the tank by pumping, carrying jerry cans over, and dumping them into the tank. Even with their assistance, it took us several hours to fill the tank and we were forced to stop filling the tank at around eleven. There were several cracks on the surface but only one or two were actually allowing water to be lost. Even then, they were very small and were not significantly affecting the volume of water within the tank.
On Monday morning, we woke up early to go into Mbale before we had to meet with the community and visit people’s homes in the afternoon. We searched for various prices for the materials identified by each of the groups. It was a busy morning and we made it back to Nyondo just in time to have lunch and then move into Shilongo. Sam and Richard came to visit and we shared with Sam the ideas that we’ve been hearing and were eager to hear his advice about them.
In the afternoon, Matt and Misaki went again from household to household asking families what their concerns were for the village and what changes they would be interested in seeing and being involved with. I, on the other hand, went to visit Jude to show him the water manual and gain his advice. He was very helpful with communicating to us his advice as to the direction that we should be moving in and with explaining the many cultural tendencies.
When we returned to the house, we saw that Rogers and Fred were waiting for us so we invited Timothy and them to eat dinner with us. The conversation was enjoyable (as always) – I’m always surprised by the issues that they are curious about. We still have many things planned for the upcoming week but it already feels like we don’t have enough time with the community and for everything that we want to accomplish.