Thursday, February 23, 2017
We went out to check on 5 wells that we recently deepened and/or repaired in the
bush country. At the first stop, which is in the village of Medina, we were met by
several men. One of them was the well caretaker. The well looked beautiful and clean.
They are doing a great job of maintaining it. Of course this being the height of the dry
season they say they are in need of another well. They say they only get 20 jeri cans of
water in the morning and 75 liters of water in the evening from this well. They break
the community of 800+ people into two sections and one day one group gets water and
the next day the other group gets water. I asked about a stream or a water source
nearby. They told us there was one and they still get water from it. We asked to see it
and on the way two men got into an argument about where to take us. We took a
short walk and came to the stream. It wasn't pleasant looking but There was quite a bit
of water. The man who wanted to show us a different spot told us the water was
"sour" in this location. Some of the villagers disagreed and said the water was "sweet."
Don asked to see the other location. We were taken to a deep hole full of water, limbs,
leaves and debris. This was the water source (water coming out of the ground) and
flowing downstream. It looked nasty. One of the villagers told us they clean it out and
use it when the water at their dipping point downstream gets low. We walked back to
the village and stopped to look at a tree that was in full bloom with the sweetest
smelling flowers. It is a coffee tree and there were coffee beans growing in clusters on
it. Don picked a flower cluster and popped it into his mouth. The villagers were aghast.
They pulled on a cluster of flowers on the tree and showed Don there were many small
bees inside the clusters. Don had eaten the cluster and exclaimed how good it was. He
just happened to get a cluster with no bees in it. The villagers were amazed and
laughed heartedly when Don stuck out his tongue and showed them he had not been
stung. We talked for a while with the people and then left. As we were driving out of
the village, Joseph (our native guide) spied a pump handle down behind a hill. Don
stopped, backed up, and drove down around the hill and found 3 more wells. One well
had a broken pump so it was non-functional, one well worked very well but was
reserved strictly for the school and the third well was working perfectly fine. There was
a different caretaker of these wells from the one LDSC (Latter-Day Saint Charities) built.
I asked him how much water they get each day from this well. He said "40 jeri cans in
the morning and 30 at night". The caretaker from the LDSC well showed up and was
not at all pleased that we found these wells. This community does not need another
well. They need to take care of the ones they have. There are very many villages that
have no clean drinking water at all. Those are the ones we need to work with.
At the Victoria Village we were met by many people and one woman had a baby on
both hips. She had twins and they were 3 months old. She handed me one of the
babies and he just stared at me and then gave me a big smile. It was so sweet. After
several minutes he had enough of me and puckered up to cry. I handed him back to
his mother. She automatically handed me the other child. I took her. She was covered
with a white cream all over her head, face and arms. The child was happy and this was
such a sweet little family. I have seen children with their heads shaved with this cream
on before and was told that sometimes they get sores and this was medicine.
However! . . .
Saturday - February 25, 2017 - The Sister Missionaries in Makeni invited us to dinner
tonight and as we visited I asked them what the white cream is that I see on all these
small children. Their response was "it is medicine to relieve the itch of chicken pox".
Don and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. My response was "it's a good
thing I got a shingles shot before I left home". Good Grief.