Lauren is an apprentice serving through international community development and water resources - this is a story from her recent time in Kenya -
It was my last day in Kenya, and we were on our way to install the water filtration system prototype, the focal point of my apprenticeship...
I watched the Kenyan landscape roll past the car window as we bounced down the rocky and dusty road. The day before, we had purchased and prepared materials in Narok, and today was installation day! The car stopped outside a village, and we got out of the car. It dawned on me that this was the place where we would install the filter. I tried to quickly process what was happening. It was the fulfillment of a 7-year dream!
We greeted the villagers and the member of the local school board whose home would be the location for the prototype. They welcomed us into their home and my supervisor introduced each of us. He introduced me as a “water teacher," because water engineer wouldn't translate well. Immediately, the owner of the home asked if I knew about their water problem. “Well, yes, that's exactly why we're here. We have a water purification system that we want you to try out for us." They quickly accepted our plan, and we set to work on constructing the prototype.
It was a community project! From sorting out rock material to gluing different pieces of PVC together, everybody played a part in building the two-part, sand filter and solar disinfection, water purification system. For system set-up, a man was hired to bring 200 liters of water on his motorcycle because the water source was too far away to carry that much water by hand.
That day, we had just enough time to build the prototype and get it set up before it got too dark. Everyone kept telling us “Thank you! Thank you! (Ashe! Ashe!)" When they thanked me, I was at a loss for words. I didn't know how to communicate that as much as they were blessed by that water purification system, I was beyond blessed to partner with them and to actually see this idea to fruition.
What's next for me in the realm of water purification projects? Follow-up, improvement from things we've learned, and, Lord willing, future implementation of more water filtration systems!