Hey everyone! We just wanted to let you know how things are going over here in Shilongo. The gazebo was finished Saturday and has been quite helpful for staying dry when its raining at the borehole. Members of the community expressed their concerns about the security of the solar panels if they were on the gazebo so we have decided to install them on Jude’s roof which is about 50 meters from the borehole and we will use PVC piping for the wires. Samuel from FDNC recently connected us with a man named Robert from Innovation Africa. He has a lot of experience with similar projects using solar panels and he has helped us purchase all the necessary materials. Currently, Dave, Jenny, and Aaron are looking at motors and bicycle parts. Overall, everyone in the community seems happy with our plans. Yesterday was the last day of the children’s vacation so we made sure to do plenty of activities with them. Lily and Jenny painted the children’s nails at the borehole and they were all very excited. We had no idea how beautiful Colin’s feet were until they were painted pink. After lunch, we attempted to make chocolate chip pancakes, but it turned out more like fried dough. Regardless, the kid’s devoured them. After the pancakes we finally did the glitter activity and everyone was covered in blue sparkles. That night, to celebrate graduation for the seniors back at Tufts, Colin slaughtered a chicken. The contrast of the glitter and blood that covered him was… interesting. Looking forward, we are monitoring our iron-related bacteria tests from the Muswema borehole and we will be working on the motor and bike setup for the next few days. A note from our mentor: Dave says everything is going well and on schedule.
-Lily and Colin and Timoth
Hey all just a quick update on how the project implementation is progressing!
Yesterday we were in Mbale and purchased all of the necessary materials for the structure to be built. Jude ordered a boda boda to bring 4 10 foot steel poles back to shilongo and they somehow beat us back so that by the time we arrived all four poles were already drying in the cement. Today Dave and I went back into Mbale to continue our search for a motor that will suit ours needs in seemingly ever single shop in the city. We fortuately have some promising leads that we will follow up on when we come back into Mbale on Monday afternoon. In the meantime Jenny, Lily, and Colin are busy doing water testing and finishng up the structure in Shilongo. We expect to start building the bicycle component of the project on Tuesday and are right on schedule to finish the entire project in time.
P.S. we are going to eat a celebratory chicken tomorrow to celebrate all of our seniors officially graduating!
Mulembe! It has been quite an eventful few days. On Wednesday, we finally made it to Shilongo and were greeted by Rebecca’s family and all the others. Everyone was very excited to see Jenny and Dave again and the kids were all asking for everyone from last trip. The pictures and letters made everyone happy and the children spent all day playing with the racket balls that Dave brought. Yesterday we held a meeting with the committee members to discus the plans for the pump improvements, solar panel installation, and water testing. Overall, our ideas were supported, but they made a suggestion to use metal poles to support the structure holding the solar panels instead of timber because of termite problems. We were unsure if we could afford the extra price of metal poles until we came to Mbale today and were able to find poles for a very good price with help from Jude. We are very excited that the digging for the project was started today and we are hoping to make a lot of progress in the next few days. Aside from that, we are all doing well and no one has gotten sick yet despite the bugs we ate that apparently “run in your stomach” which I think means diarrhea. Luckily I did not eat too many even though they were surprisingly tasty unlike the unripe fruit (mango, guava, etc.) that Jenny keeps eating. We saw the school, health center, and one of the churches on our first short tour of the village and I feel like I have met so many people already. Colin and I were able to go for our first run today and I was immediately out of breath because we were greeting every person we passed. They were all very friendly and laughed at our terrible attempts at Lugisu. Today we were quite successful in Mbale and I was not nearly as scared or overwhelmed as I was last time. Dave and Aaron are looking at motors and solar panels now and Colin, Jenny, and I just bought some spaghetti and chocolate to surprise everyone with. Soon we will go back to the village to continue our work on the installation. As they say in the Lego Movie (which I watched a total of three times on the planes) “everything is awesome!” We will keep you posted.