Success. Pure simple untainted success… This is indeed a rare moment in Senegal. Usually there are loose ends, something that didn’t quite work out, some objective that won’t quite be met. This week though it all just worked. Granted it was tough, filled with long bike rides lots of baggage and strenuous physical labor, but we got it done!
We started out the first day in Dantaxoune, a small village just outside of Sokone where we replaced a broken rope pump (NGO installed) with our simpler more easily repaired model. This install as you will soon read went very smoothly even though it was a different setup than usual. The next pump was in Dassilame Serere in the same garden as Pump #1. We installed this pump in preparation for a system of basins that Pape and Garrison are constructing for this gardening season. Our third install actually wasn’t an install at all, it was a quadruple pump repair, also in Dassilame Serere, of pumps installed a little prematurely by our Toubacouta producer when he first started selling them independently. With four pumps in the same space and at the same depth we were able to try some different designs for ropes, washers and guide boxes and ultimately determined that the best design seems to be a small welded guide, rather than the cemented one, and a combination rope design that uses both knots and rubber washers for better efficiency (see we told you the science wouldn’t be very complex). We finished out the trip with a double install in Darou Keur Ibrahima Signane with fellow AG PCV Amy Watts. This last one was our shining moment. Two installs, one day and zero problems. Both pumps worked beautifully and the community was simply amazed.
Probably the best part of these 5 installs though was that we finally didn’t have to do them alone. Most of our time in the Peace Corps is spent in our villages or towns as the only American often for many kilometers. This is great for cultural exchange and integration but not so great for moral support and complex problem solving (Trust us it’s just easier in English than Pulaar or Serere). We got more done together in these 5 days than we did in the past 5 months individually. Granted those past 5 months laid the groundwork for this week, but still. We’ve decided that teamwork is the way to go so look forward to more rapid install weeks in the future. In the meantime we’ll be posting these pumps each week so get ready to claim yours! There is currently no waiting list for donations so they’re all up for grabs. As always thanks for reading and for all the support. It means the world to us. Be well and enjoy Fall and the start of the holiday season!