Betty Samelson, 2010 Volunteer

Betty Samelson, 2010 Volunteer

As I reflect on the 2010 trip to Malawi, I am grateful that I am a 3rd year veteran.  Obstacles and challenges equate to life in Africa, but this year what should have been and would have been impossible, was accomplished with struggle and for me with awe. We all became the hands of God walking side by side with extreme faith  that always with God, all things can be achieved.  When 2nd team arrived, Mr. Soko was diligently attempting to make 600 well parts having only just received the materials Sat. am.  He and his team produced 700 parts working 24/7 so that our team could start installing on Tues. morning.  Gas shortages were managed by stockpiling from other countries.  Many of our men were combating malaria and yet they pushed on.  Loss and grief were palpable: Mr. Malata…Martin Logan…Mr. Banda.  Field officers took on more of a work load working hand in hand in force with many attending Mr. Banda’s funeral, their friend and mentor, only to be back to work the next day installing wells.  Tom and Jocelyn were heroes.  Martin’s sudden death on Aug. 22nd and yet they still came to Africa knowing that Martin would have wanted them to continue with shallow wells; and they pushed on.  And always, there was Mr. Khosa and Jim Nussbaumer completing enormous tasks behind the scenes so that we could get the job done.  Amazing African partners and villagers who dug the hole, made the bricks, and poured the cement so that clean water could be provided for the 1st time in the villages.

Matende, freedom, was what one man shouted all the way to the well.  Water is life!

 

Betty with villagers

Betty with villagers

Yet, the roosters and birds continued to be my wake up call at 5am, the wind still blew to ease the heat of the day, the villagers continued to sing and dance thanking and blessing all that are involved in bringing clean safe water, and the red sun set in smoke filled skies only to open to the night sky of the most amazing panorama of stars.  Africa! This was a trip of utmost challenges and I am honored to be part of a team that installed more wells than any other team in our history of 25 years.  Projected 2500 wells for 2010.  Shallow wells! Ye wo!