Friday, October 16, 2009

Kigali School Needs Water

 DSCF2109     We were told about a school that has about 2,200 kids and no running water.  Unfortunately the school is at the top of a mountain and the geology is not suitable for us to put in a well.  The good news is that my friend Nick with Water for Life Africa will be putting in a 100,000 liter capacity rain water harvesting system in the next week or two.
DSCF2114Notice this guy has his little yellow jug to bring his water to school.  We hear that the current water source for these kids is about a half hour walk down into the valley.  We venture down to see it and find these kids taking water from this muddy spring.DSCF2158  As I walk up I see the young man bent over drinking straight from it…this kills me every time.DSCF2160
Not 50 meters away is a hand pump.  The handle is missing, we make the assumption that either it was stolen to sell for scrap metal or the system broke and the handle was later taken.
DSCF2121Time to tear it down for the investigation.
Besides the missing handle the pump rod is broken off and we see down the casing broken light bulbs and random plastic pieces so we decide to bring it all up for a good cleaning and bleach treatment.
Time to put it back together and see how she runs.
Always a good day when we can see water like thisDSCF2173DSCF2171Thanks First Presbyterian Church Baton Rouge for helping us make this happen.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Update on the school in Zambia project

CW and Leslie sent me an email yesterday to share that the health training went very well at the school. There were about 500 local residents in attendance. 28 people approached them to make professions of faith and they will continue to work with and disciple those and others who wish to learn.

Great to see such community interest and buy-in in their efforts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Water in Zambia

I had the great pleasure of visiting our partners in Zambia, CW and Leslie Bing with Water For The Oppressed. I was looking for funding opportunities for the program there and had the chance to spend the day repairing wells with the team.

We were working in the Kafue Flats area and found a community with a borehole that has been down for 3 years.
Apparently the pipes must have rusted out or someone robbed the parts for another well elsewhere. According to the cement it was funded by Africare 11 years ago. As you can see this is a very dry area and they were getting their water here.

The water is back and even the chicken wanted in on the picture.

After the repair a lady road up on a bike and asked us to go to their children's school where they had an issue as well. No problem, we bounced down the trail to Kabweza Basic School. There are approximately 700 children and 12 teachers at the school and one well that serves the local villages as well we were told. This is difficult as a borehole is rated to serve 600 people effectively maximum. The nearby communities fill drums and roll them back home.

We found that the well required a lot of pumping and the volume of water was low, when you stopped pumping for a minute you would have to pump for a while to get the water back. Either a bad foot valve or the pipes were rusted through.We found that the pipes were bad and wound up replacing most of the parts including the pump head.
Cute kids from another repair site. Simple story, they were thirsty.

The thing I love about CW and Leslie's ministry is that while we were working Leslie was organizing with the communities and school for their evangelism and health education team to come back this week for teaching, praise and prayer. They do not just do a quick strike model, they will be in the area for a long time, seeking out needs and building friendships.


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Back home in Rwanda

Well, I am back home in Rwanda and greatly missed the beauty of this land.

We had a wonderful time with family and friends (with much fishing, eating, beaching), shared many birthdays and our eleventh anniversary and experienced the incredible love of our home church, First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge. It really was such a great time of revitalization and love.

I am already missing Ashley and the kids as they stayed behind to attend Camp Ozark and get a little more love from the grandparents before school starts on this end.

Thanks to all at home who heaped care on us during the trip.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Updated - Bethany Center School

Just spent an incredible day with the kids and families of Bethany Center School in Uganda. The well was completed on Tuesday and so we had a dedication party. The kids danced and sang, the local pastor and LWI pastor went to town with some great Word. Such an awesome day. Just such beautiful kids. Members of the community extolled the need to maintain and keep the pump in good condition for the entire area to access. They praised the fact that the kids, down to age 4, no longer had to cross the busy road to the rock qwary to get down the mountain to the former natural spring water source.

Great way to end this leg of our program and head back to Louisiana for some regeneration with loved family and friends.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Invisible Children – Gulu, Uganda


I had the opportunity to visit the Invisible Children,, operation in Gulu, Uganda last week.

I was very impressed. They provide a great amount of service to the victims of the war. Child soldiers, sex slaves, refugees, etc. Through education assistance, tutoring, school construction and mentoring. They are training these victims in small craft and farming programs and microfinance programs. I was able to see the progression their folks are making from rudimentary involvement through constructing a new home and having thriving businesses.

The point of my visit is that they are looking to assist in moving people from the many IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps in the region back to their home or new villages. In order for people to want to move there must be the knowledge that at these places exists food and water security, safety and opportunities. Obviously we are interested in the water security component of this. We are hoping to team up with Charity:Water and Invisible Children to have a complete water and sanitation program for 20 communities in the area including borehole wells, EcoSan latrines and health and hygiene education. We will see what develops.

One of the communities we visited was Tyenakaya Village

DSCF1883 DSCF1886 The community is broken up into small clumps of housing for each family group and they all gather together at the central meeting point for fellowship and community events.DSCF1887 This sweet lady wanted to show us their water point which exists about 5 months per year. DSCF1893 DSCF1894The rest of the 7 months they travel to the water point they call Oyomomagoro which translates to “Week people can’t reach” about 3 hours round trip.

DSCF1922 DSCF1909 DSCF1919DSCF1914 DSCF1916

I hope to be able to update this story as well with action later in the year.

What is new with the family?

We have had a busy month.

We finally moved into our own home after 6 months. We are very excited about it and Ashley and I are doing a bunch of touch up work. Ashley is doing a great job of getting it nested up and the kids are very happy with their room situations.

Ashley is also super busy with volunteering at the kid's mission school, KICS. There has been a major shake up as the headmaster and some teachers have left to start up a new secular school in Kigali that will be designed more for the children of embassy staffs and large private corporations. We see this as a good thing that KICS can refocus on serving the Rwandan community and children of missionaries without fear of having "too Christian" of an environment. She is helping get the office organized, website work, student application process and procedures, etc. Busy Busy.

We fly home to visit all you loved ones in just 3 weeks. This is very exciting for us as we love it here and have made good friends but you guys are the best and unreplaceable. See you soon.

Bethany Centre School

About an hour South and West of Kampala is a small community with a wonderful Christian school started by a former exchange student to Louisiana State University – hence the awesome school uniforms, IMHO.

Bethany Centre School is sponsored by some friends from First Presbyterian Church of Baton Rouge and it was felt that the school needed a water source. They raised some funds and contacted me about the need. I had the honor and pleasure of going out to visit the school to check on the situation and am happy to say that just this Monday a borehole was drilled on the grounds and the pump should be completed sometime today.

Please excuse the poor photo quality apparently I was experiencing some light filtering difficulties with my camera.

IMG_0100 IMG_0121IMG_0134IMG_0109 IMG_0111 IMG_0131 IMG_0151 IMG_0153IMG_0156So, these supper cute kids must walk about 2km to fetch water for use at the school. They walk down a large hill to cross this “highway” that leads to a stone quarry, it is reported that many dump trucks barrel down this road and it is quite perilous for the younger children.


This is the water source they are currently using. Not the worst by far but nothing nice. At least there was a previous attempt to protect this spring outlet.IMG_0144IMG_0146

I will update this post with some photos of the kids using their new well soon.