Each year the drill is pretty much the same: load up the Land Cruiser with pipes, pumps and tools, pick up the African workers who are to guide us that day, and drive off into the bush to as many villages as possible that day to complete the installation of the pumps in the wells already built by the villagers themselves. Depending both on the distances between the villages and on the length of the hikes to get to the well sites, we can usually install between seven and ten wells in a day. It’s hot, hard, tiring work that is both physically and emotionally demanding.

Meg with village baby

Meg with village baby

Pretty much the same, day after day, sun-up to sun-down, six days a week, for six weeks.

Except not really.

What really happens is extraordinary and exceptional.  In each and every village I greet the villagers, I dance with the women, I laugh and play with the children.  We look into each others’ faces  — for a second really see into each others’ eyes — and we truly share together the joy and happiness we’re both feeling in this incredible moment together.

We celebrate together the God-given miracle of having clean water in their village for the first time!  No longer would they drink from mud-holes shared with pigs and cows!

Meg  with Malawian women

Meg with Malawian women.

No longer would they suffer from water-borne diseases!  The connection between two strangers — a mzungu woman from Alabama and a Malawian villager who’s never even had a white person in the village before — is real and meaningful and powerful, even if only for a moment.  It’s a connection that is full to overflowing with the presence and love and joy of God.  What really happens is nothing short of a miracle.