Just in case you have missed it, I sometimes get discouraged by the work I have chosen.
Between the reality of working in a country that prays to join the "3rd world" and the constant burden of raising awareness, understanding and money, well honestly it seems like too much some times. I have been honest about that.
But then I get to Africa! Its been a whirlwind (DFW-LONDON-NAIROBI-UGANDA - a few hours sleep-SOUTH SUDAN - three days of strategy and visiting wells - UGANDA-RWANDA- sleep- DRC overnight and meetings with ALARM staff- RWANDA- meet with drilling company - NAIROBI - sleep a few hours - JUBA South Sudan - meet with CRS partners- UGANDA - RWANDA- sleep - DRC meet with CRS partners, visit Kibumba- organize next few months - RWANDA- KENYA -LONDON- HOME.
Sounds like a lot I know but the truth is this place and these people invigorate my heart and my sight. Meet a few with me:
Lucy is 93 and has not known peace since she was 27, with her family of 48 around her, she sang us a beautiful song of thanks for giving hope and life to her family.
The ______ community has just received their first well. they have formed a committee and they explained how the first impact of clean water was clean skin! No more rashes from bathing in dirty water.
Abbas was trained in Cuba, injured in the war and is our man in Juba for connections and opening doors. He is important but kind enough to meet me at the airport, shuffle me out the side door and then to drive me around to appointments before dropping me back at the airport. Of course somehow he gets me into the "VIP" waiting room which has air conditioning and really is a little bit of heaven in the worst airport i've ever known.
Richard and his wife are expecting again and don't have much but is always quick with a great smile, nicely pressed laundry and a deep desire too beat you in any game.
Elizabeth is from Kenya but is living in Juba where she works with CRS on bringing clean water and healthy sanitation to the people of South Sudan. This is not a short stop for her, she has been here for years and shows no signs of fatigue or burnout. She once lived on the compound where WiB is based and has been hoping we could work together...
Theo would never even consider allowing me to cross the Rwanda DRC border without shepherding me through, no matter how exhausted he is.
Suzie has been a passionate supporter of WiB from day one and now has seen with her own eyes the work we do...along with her husband and two boys. They were easy to travel with and fully engaged in food, exploration and dusty roads.
Alphonse has raised his 5 daughters in Rwanda pretty much on his own, each one smart and at the top of their classes. He is working on a masters degree and always makes sure I am well cared for and in the right place at the right time.
These great folks and so many others have pumped new blood into my heart and mind and reminded me of how powerful our work is in everyday lives. Yes I have used words like hope and nation building but when you get right down to it, water really is basic and getting it to people in a clean life giving way gives everyday people, moms, families, grandfathers, generals, pastors, teachers, heroes an opportunity to live and dream. It takes so many too make this thing work, most of them you will never meet.
But if you did you would know why today, Saturday morning in Kigali, I am feeling good...very good.