Saturday, February 7, 2009

Souveniers and Goats- (by: Andrew)

As Dr. Steve has pointed out we are back in Yaonde. We will be heading home, in a few hours. On any trip, we want to find something to take home with us. On the last trip I found small momentos and trinkets to bring home, they were small compared to the true souveniers--The memories of the village and the villagers. I am glad I had the chance to return to Cameroon. On this trip I was able to experience and learn even more. I am certain that the memories of this trip and the last will be useful and that They will not sit on a metaphorical shelf and collect dust for a few years.

Instead they will serve as motivation. When we collected water for mixing cement treking down a steep hill to the source and back up to take the water to the work site. I will remember that is a small taste of what the villagers face everyday. As we talked to people throughout the village there were some villagers that walked many kilometers to the solar pump system. Because they understood that this water would be healthier for their young children.

During one meeting with the water comittee an analogy was thrown around comparing the filters to a goat. If someone is giving a goat away they would prefer to give it to a family that would take care of the goat, instead of one that did not care and would not take care of it. This was to explain why it was important for families to pay a portion of the filter cost.

This would apply to the solar pumping system as well. The community has shown that not only do they appreciate the system, but that they can take care of it. The placed a fence around the panels to protect them from the children and prevent them from climbing on them. As seen before they had leafy poles which would block the sun during the summer months. After explaining this to the community they removed the porturding sticks. And they placed a fence around the tanks as well. At different times the taps on the tanks broke and the community has fixed them and fastened them more securely.

They are taking good care of the goat that we have given them. And I am excited to begin the design work on a larger system with distribution and storage as well as develop the two proposed drill sites that were chosen, investigated and assesed on this trip.


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