Our Recent Hiatus

Dear 52 Pumps Community,

As you are probably aware, we have recently taken a hiatus due to many foreseeable and unforeseeable events, namely a planned vacation, Ramada, general fatigue, a Dengue Fever scare and an unfortunate real case of Malaria. We do expect to get back on track in the next few weeks, but until then please indulge in an update of the interim.

We have been in Senegal for a year now which is a good time to take a vacation, do some reflection and break out of the day-to-day. Garrison planned a family vacation to France, while I planned one to Toubab Dialaw located near Dakar.

Ramadan is the Muslim month of purity which is achieved through fasting physically, mentally, and socially with the purpose of focusing spiritually. People across the world began this endeavor on August second with an early morning meal and prayer. In Senegal, the sunlight hours during Ramadan are usually spent resting due to empty bellies and diminished amounts of energy. This perseverance was more than inspiring, but the lack of energy coupled with the devotion of trying to attain spiritual purity made for a rough month of installations. However, August served as the perfect time to procure balance and some perspective on the project.

52 Pumps in 52 Weeks is a massive quest for two PCVs and a few counterparts. One installation takes a lot of time and preparation, usually more than the two week gap Garrison and I have scheduled for our rotation. On top of this project we have other, more standard obligations we need to fulfill for our sectors in Peace Corps Senegal. As a result of vacations and Ramadan, we have had a month to reflect and develop a more mature approach to the project.

Fundamentally, maturity is learned through experience. It requires collecting all of the information, circumstances, past reactions to similar experiences and combining those to create an appropriately situational respond.  We have found ourselves split in the last 10 weeks. Inherently, we want to push through. We have made the commitment to install one pump a week for a year and we want to keep to that schedule. On the other hand, the more tired, but possibly more rational, less ego-driven hand, is sternly calling for a more sedated speed of installation. After much conversation, we have come to the decision that the 52 Pumps in 52 Weeks project will need to slow (maybe 52 pumps in 62 weeks). There is potential for the project to still be finished with in the year, as we develop a more standardized process and train at least one more co-installer, but for now this is it; back on task, just a bit more slowly. As they say, “slow and steady wins the race.”

Sincerely,

Marcie and Garrison

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