What can I say that others haven’t already said? I was fortunate again to have a very good well partner. Ken Reed was quick to learn and was very energetic about doing the job. Another plus, was again working with Mr. N. H. Malata and Mr. Jordan Banda, both excellent and efficient field officers. Nephitery Damalankhuwnda, a new field officer this year is doing very well. No, everything didn’t always go as planned with flat tires, late evenings and sometimes no power or water at the motel. Usually we had one or the other, but that is the way life. I remember that well, we had neither when I was growing up, but that made it easier to adjust now. Sure makes one appreciate what he has.

Shelby Brownfield, 2007 Volunteer

Shelby Brownfield, 2007 Volunteer

Ken and I assisted with putting in 91 shallow well pumps and conducted 91 well dedications to the Glory Of God. It was a great 3 week experience. Someone asked, “Where did you see Christ today?” He was there at every well in some way or another, either in the women’s singing and dancing or in the children’s laughter, playing in the fresh clean running water coming from the new pump. Maybe the most dramatic was at a well, where the headman described how sad he was when so many children of the village had died with cholera or dysentery in the past couple of years. I suddenly understood that the donor of the pump really didn’t donate a pump, but donated life. Maybe a life for some mother’s baby, or a father’s toddler son, or maybe a child that will be the person, when grown, helps lead Malawi out of poverty. How many lives does a well and pump save? It saves lives year after year and only God knows how many lives are saved by this clean water. What a gift He has given. It’s an honor just to have played a very small part to make this happen. The $350 for a pump is an extremely small price for the many lives saved.

There were several things that helped our team accomplish the 91 pump installations. One was the efficiency of the field officers that I was fortunate enough to work with again Last year we had a good system worked out between the volunteers, the field officers and well workers. We built on this system. Another was having the pumps stored at one location In Kasungu, where we stayed. We could easily switch assignments between field officer areas based on MMM or the field officer needs. First of each week, when we came from Embagweni to Kasungu, we brought another 50 pumps, which we off loaded there. This year we had fewer problems with foot valves and suckers. Mr. Soko and crew did a great job of tying smaller parts for each pump together so everything was easy to find. Our best day we installed and dedicated 11 pumps and wells. Not bad for having a flat tire first thing on the way to the field. It was our last day and Ken and I even had a small celebration party between us, field officers, and well workers. Plus, we got to Jenda and off the tarmac before dark. WOW. Mr. Malata and Nephitery Damalankhunda had wells reasonably close together, which helped a lot. We had enough well workers that day, that some were putting on foot valves etc. for the next well, while we were installing and dedicating the present well.

Will I consider coming back again next Year? Who knows, because volunteering with MMM can be contagious.