Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Stories from the Field: Borehole Improvement Day

By Lauren Smith 

Friday morning kicked off bright and early with the first Kazigo B borehole improvement day.  Approaching the borehole, shovels, pick-axes, hammer, and sunscreen in hand, we were pleasantly surprised to find the caretaker there and ready for action.  First task: dig trenches to drain the nasty puddle at the end of the borehole and clear away the brush.  Armed with enthusiasm and total confidence in our tool wielding abilities, all four of us mzungu ladies stepped up to the borehole for the first swing.  Shovel digging skills, Gloria and Emily, check.  Hoe swinging skills…well, Lauren found those could use some work.  Turns out that while the caretaker (who is most likely twice our age) could effortlessly dig a trench in a few graceful strokes, us mzungus were in need of some serious practice.  After a few amusing swings, resulting in laughter and raised eyebrows from the Ugandans present, the Ugandans took over trench digging duty.  But, while we may be in need of some lessons in the art of swinging a hoe, we can collect and place rocks like pros, shovel and swing a machete with the best of them.  SP took on fence building, and Dan played paparazzi, documenting the event with four cameras dangling from his arms at a time.  We had a great turnout. Three of our VHTs came to help, and in total, about 15 community members participated in the improvement day.  In a few short hours we’d successfully transformed a dirty and overgrown borehole into a model borehole.  Trenches dug and lined with stones, brush cleared, pedestal cleaned and fence constructed, everyone was in good spirits, proud of the results, and covered in mud.  He who is the dirtiest had the most fun!

Lauren is interning in Kazigo B village this summer. 

1 comment:

Alison Hayward said...

Go borehole improvers, this sounds like such a great experience to encourage and participate in community service! Great work