Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Bless the Children

We’ve been monitoring our Bio-Arena slow sand water purification filters this past 8 months … and we are on the final ‘pass-through’ visits – verifying that folks are using them and using them correctly.
 Sadly, not everyone has put ‘value’ on them - meaning that they are not using them.  We cannot force them – but if the filter is fine, we hope to remove them from the home of the family who won’t use it … to a home who will.  The idea is to provide water that won’t do damage to people’s systems! 

About half of the families who received a water filter are using them. 

Most of our communities have had at least two visits – verifying, re-educating, repairing any leaks, etc.  Now we are going a 3rd time to replace the water jugs (cantaros) that receive the water from the filters – and also giving a second cantaro for storage of the filtered water.  Also, many of the lids and diffusors have rusted so we are replacing them as well.  And the tubes where the water exits the filters are gross – almost all of them.  Originally, the PVC parts were glued together.  This just made it harder to clean them because dust and dirt stuck to the glued parts.  So we’ve been replacing those as well.  (the parts will make sense when you see the photos I think.)
The people who use their filters have been happy with the continued support for this project. 
We have been to Corozal, San Isidro, El Recreo, Rio de los Bueyes with cantaros for the ‘final’ verification.

Today we went to Casa de Zacate.  There were only 14 families to whom we needed to deliver cantaros.  We could drive to some.  But there was a problem – there was no way to get the truck down to 7 of the homes using their filters.  We tried to decide if the truck could squeeze between a tree and other obstacles.  Then I noticed a couple of children watching us and I decided that they could help us if they were willing (but I really had no doubts as to that willingness!) 

I asked the two young girls … would you like to help us?  There was no hesitation whatsoever - as is typical -   They followed us to the truck – and almost immediately, 3 young boys came to ‘play’ too.  So between all of us, we were able to make ONE trip with all the goods to the far away homes.  14 cantaros, 7 tops, 7 diffusors and 7 tubes.  None of those things are heavy – just awkward.
This was a wonderful way to work: with the collaboration of the children in the community.

This to me is evidence of a community with good values.  When the children are so helpful – it seems obvious to me – there is unity and collaboration within the adult population as well.  What a beautiful thing.  

And it was fun to boot!!

Young and willing helpers !

Ismael explaining how the extended tube fits into the lid of the cantaro

Demonstrating how the new tubes fit the shorter cantaro

Most of the families really are trying to keep thier water clean! 
A towel over the dripping water helps keep the flies and dust off.  Well done!

The children were really getting into helping!! 
Two cantaros each ... one with a hole in the lid ... one without!

Using some of the 'pita' to tie two cantaros together -

So they could be easily transported by bike!  Clever children!

Even the littlest ones wanted to help! 

It wasn't always easy!  But they persevered!

Ismael giving a new top and diffusor

Ah ... the very cute things one encounters on home visits.  Too bad they don't make those things adult size!!!
He was having SO much fun in his bath!

Caught some children helping each other with their math homework!!

Hanging out just before we left ... chatting and thanking everyone for their help

This is just too cute for words
How beautiful it is to have had such willing and capable helpers!

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