Saturday, July 2, 2011

Day 1 of Water School

Today was the first of five days of classes with Friendly Water for the World where we are learning to build biosand water filters. We have an energetic and diverse team of seven "builders" from Kent Lutheran alone, including speakers of English, Arabic, Swahili, Nuer, Dinka, and Amharic.

Today we met other missionaries from around the world including India, South Africa, Kenya, Burundi, Nicaragua, Mexico and probably at least a couple more that I (Jessica) forgot. The fellowship is fantastic. As our new friend Prosper Nbabishuriye of Burundi says, "It is your work, it is my work, it is our work, so it is God's work."

Half of our day was spent in classroom time learning about water contaminates, and the hazards of a life spent without pure water.

The second half of the day was spent in fellowship, and in the first stages of building a water filter. We learned how to identify and grade the sand suitable for concrete mixing and the biosand media. (Photos coming soon).

The sand sorting required quite a lot of manual work--shovels of gravel onto metal filter screens that two people shake repeatedly back and fourth. The sand filtered through four sets of screens to determine the four grades of sand; the finest for the filter media, the second finest for the concrete, the third finest for a gravel layer and finally a coarser gravel layer.

Filtering is time consuming and rhythmic work, so we learned some Swahili working songs to pass the time.

If you want to learn more about Prosper's work in Burundi (his work in Burundi is very similar to our agenda for South Sudan) please join us for a small working session at Kent Lutheran on Thursday at 7pm.

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