Tom and I were part of Team 1 during September and early October, working in wonderful Zambia—wonderful people! Now that we are back home, I don’t miss sleeping under mosquito nets, or driving on “roads” that are really paths (or less). But I certainly miss the babies in Zambia– hundreds of babies. Those babies are still vivid in my mind. Some would hold my finger. Some would stare at my strange white face (or even start to cry in fear). One was even named Karen, like me. All those babies made me coo about how cute they are. All are full of potential!
At most well installations, one of the leaders would represent their village by speaking words of appreciation for the new, fresh water, pouring out of the spout. At one village, the headman said, “ Do you see these children? They are the New Generation in this village. They will be the very first to grow up with safe water to drink. What a difference it will make!” That thought has echoed in my mind ever since!
At many villages, the thank you involved a description of how they had been drinking from the same water hole as the animals—cows, pigs, goats. You could feel their embarrassment and shame at having to admit this. Villagers of all ages had probably never tasted safe, clean water in their lives, until today. They never thought this day would really come.
The babies are still the ones I find myself thinking about the most. Will safe water save their lives? Contaminated water kills many children before the age of 5. Will safe water make their bodies stronger, without frequent diarrhea? Will they have more energy? Will they be able to concentrate better? Will they do better in school? Look at the pictures. Think about their future. These are only a few of the hundreds of babies we met. I thank God that I had an opportunity to make a difference for them.