Early one Sunday morning the mason (Sow), the instructor (Barry) and myself (Marcie), packed all of our materials, put huge smiles on our faces and with the excitement of 40 small kids eating lollipops, we got in a rickety taxi bound for Saare Yero Diao. Though I was smiling on the outside, butterflies were twirling round and round in my stomach for what was to come. I often wonder when the nerves of installing a pump will disappear, but at the same time, maybe those nerves are what keeps us doing good work. I guess only time will tell.
Upon arrival we were greeted by the whole village and immediately went to sit under the mango tree, where people feel automatically comfortable and the habitual last-name banter commenced. “You’re a Balde (typical last-name); you must love beans, you eat them till you’re full, don’t you?!” It is such an interesting way to joke, but it will, without a doubt, get everyone laughing.
We then started the actual work with most members of the village helping and asking questions. It was all quite magical and exactly the type of participation one wants, but then came the first problem. We realized the bolts we had just cemented into the cap were too big for the pump. Which lead us to our second problem; we had no ride back to town. Sow, Barry, the pump and myself strapped our shoes on tight and started making the trip back to Kolda. It wasn’t until the second village we passed that we had some saving grace. The members of Saare Boussura Maka had a chariot on which to bring us home and also have interest in becoming one of the next villages to get a pump.
We headed back to Yero Diao the following Friday fixed pump in hand and a driver that was willing to wait 2 hours for us to install the pump and give a training on how each part works. Once again the whole village was excited and ready to learn therefore the installation went quickly and we even had time to take a large tour of the town and greet everyone in it.
All in all, though the installation of this pump was less than smooth, we learned the importance of being more organized. The woman danced, the young ones laughed and played under the spout while the men pumped the water. Everyone is extremely excited and can see a brighter future for their garden. In fact, the woman’s group said they can now sign a contract to produce a large amount of okra for a local NGO.
Pump Output: 26 Liters/ Min
Total Number of People Benefiting: 140
Funder: Katherine Murray