Thursday, August 28, 2008

Well Project Update

The well project that many of you have been praying about and even contributing funds to has had to be put on hold. Because of the excessive rains, the ground has become too saturated to drill. David Reeves (the lead guy on the project) decided to stop until at least the end of September and maybe even into October. This also has the advantage of allowing the villagers to finish up their work in the fields and harvest their crops, which will free more people up to help in the drilling process.
The drilling is very cheap to do but is also very labor intensive. Free labor is easy to come by when you are offering people a clean water well right near their home! Here are some pictures that I took out in the village of Ewede that show a little bit of the process. Basically you have two people shoving the pipe with the drill bit on the end into the small hole (about 4 inches in diameter) while two or more people pull on the rope that is attached to the pipe to help pull it back out of the hole. By some process I don't really understand, the water, dirt and sand is sucked up through the pipe and spit out onto the ground beside the hole. I can tell you from personal experience that this is hard work! It seems to use muscle groups that I have apparently never used even once in my entire life. Of course, the Kabiye take it all in stride an work as tirelessly as I would if I were merely raking leaves or washing my car. Seriously, those guys are amazingly tough and hard working! I always tell them, "Malaki tumiye ne mo noo deke", which means, "I only do work with my head". They always laugh at me in a slightly dismissive way :)Finally, this little guy wants to know, "Are YOU praying for the Kabiye and the Well Project?!?!?"

Monday, August 25, 2008

Africa Moment #8

If you're ever living in Africa and missing the comforts of home, why not try "Al Donalds"? They may only have one arch, but they have lots of mediocre, over-priced food, and that is all we really want, right?

Yes, it exists (in Lome'), and yes, we ate there. You even get your food in a dirty black plastic sack!!! Ah, Africa...

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Internet, Schminternet

Who needs the internet, really? Truth be told, we all do, in one way or another. Here in Togo, we have set up our lives to be somewhat dependent on a reliable internet connection, and as I sit here and type, I realize that we may have made a mistake on the front end :)

So few things are reliable here. After our house was struck by lightning almost 2 weeks ago, we didn't expect to have our phone line repaired (and thus our internet) for quite awhile. Even after visiting the telephone company office and being assured that a technician was on his way, we knew better than to really think that it would happen. And so, 2 weeks later, our phone line is finally fixed...but the internet still is not working. I'm sitting at a local restaurant that happens to have wireless internet (a marvel in and of itself) and pondering my next move. We have set up our lives to be dependent on the internet; after making that bed, we are now lying in it :)

My mom said that we must be doing some good things over here because bad things keep happening to us, and maybe there is wisdom in that. We will continue to take it in stride, and we ask everyone back home to do the same with us. We may not get back to you in a timely fashion, but we will eventually, we promise. We love and value you all so very much!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Severe Flooding in Togo

You may remember that last year there were dangerous floods that killed and displaced thousands of people in northern Togo. Well, chaos is reigning once again, but this time the entire country is being affected. Torrential rains have done much damage already, including flooding fields, knocking out bridges and even taking lives, and the rainy season is not even close to being over. I am not exaggerating when I say that the country in many ways is teetering on the edge of disaster. You can read more about the current flooding here and here.

Please pray for our country and it's people as you read this post. Keep all of us in your prayers in the coming weeks, asking God to bring order to the current chaos. The flooding will surely affect our lives in some ways, in fact it already has, but it will be nothing compared to the suffering of the Togolese people living in villages and rural areas where the water gets out of control. Please Lord, have mercy!