Uganda September 16, 2012 By Darlene Frantonius

It is now 4pm on a Sunday. What started out as a very relaxing Sunday has turned into a challenge.  There seemed to be a problem with the bore hole the only source of water at this time. After our lunch that consisted of boiled potatoes, chapati, beef and a green vegetable that I really like,  the repair man for the borehole came to give us the news. He did not have good news for us. It seems he was able to do a very patchwork job to get us thru today. Then he explained the big problem to us. Tomorrow after he goes to Kampala on the bus to get parts he will spend at least all of the rest of the day working on the well. It  very possibly can go into Tuesday. Since our rain barrels are dry that means the campus is totally dry. We started pumping water to use tomorrow and then the pump seized so now it can not work at all.

Because they need LOTS of water in the morning for both tea and porridge they had to figure out an alternative plan. The government borehole is now charging people to use it so that was out because we need so much water.  All of a sudden Angela, head teacher, was lining all the kids up with gerri cans. When we asked what they were doing she told us they were going to the well and would get water there. So Nina and I went also. It was a pleasant, slightly down hill walk and we kept saying how pretty it was. I can not say the same about the walk back with my gerri can and backpack. In all there were over 300 gerri cans to fill. That sounds like a chore in itself BUT wait until you hear how they did it. The well is at ground level. It is not at all like I remember from visiting my Uncle John on the farm. There we just lowered the bucket on a rope and retrieved water. This well was maybe 3.5 feet in diameter.A young boy no more than 14 years old was in the well to a depth of about 3 feet. (not one of our students) He positioned himself in place by putting his feet on stones on either side of the wall. We then threw  about 6 cans into the well and he leaned forward to fill them and then pass them out. He did this repeatedly for about 45 min. At that point our cook, Godfrey, went in and gave the young boy a break. It is now going on 2 hours since we arrived at the well and not everyone is back.  When we arrived at the well Angela asked the young boy how much he wanted  to fill our cans and he told her 5,000 UGS. That is about $2 US.  We did pad that a bit when we paid him.

Now back to the borehole problem. Tomorrow they have to take the metal roof off of the pumphouse in order to fix the problem. The liner to the lower pump is destroyed so it needs to be replaced. That means they have to pull the entire length of pipes, about 190 feet, to fix it and also repair 3 pipe lines. I am waiting to talk to Richard to see how much that will cost but he has been tied up all day with the repair man and inteviewing candidates for the grade 5 teacher needed in Feb. and a dorm matron.

I am now going to take a rest and have a drink of BOTTLED water.

Richard said the repairs  are expected to run about 800,000UGS or roughly $400.  Once again it is another unexpected expense. Let’s pray this is the last for awhile.

Peace,

Darlene

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