When Paulette and I returned from our first trip to Malawi in 2009, we didn’t think we would be returning; but return we did, and for one reason only. Probably the same reason many of you will return; you’ll never forget the people. You’ll forget the hours you spent on the plane. You’ll forget the gut-wrenching, white knuckle, teeth clenching rides in the truck. You’ll forget the cramped living quarters with cold water, intermittent electricity, and uncomfortable toilets. You’ll even forget how tired you got of chicken and rice. But, you’ll never forget the people.
The elderly headman who said, “I’ve prayed to God for this day so many times and he answered my prayers by sending you. Now our children can live.” The grandma who said, “I never thought such a day would come in my lifetime.” The ladies singing and dancing with joy, unable to contain their excitement for finally having clean water for their village. The teenagers who try to stay aloof and cool but can’t keep from beaming when they see the water flowing. the young mother, nursing her baby, thanking God that her child will no longer have to fear the cholera nd dysentery that claims the lives of so many in the village. And the little children. You’ll never forget the children and the awe and amazement you see in their eyes when they see the water flowing and put their hands in it to drink and splash.
That’s what brought us back to Malawi for the second time, the people and the feeling of love which come from them because you have truly given them life in the form of clean, sustainable water.
-Hugh Stempfley, MMM Volunteer