Today we started off in the village of Mwekalla just a couple miles from the border of Congo.
Thanks to generous people, Blood:Water Mission was able to bring 35 biosand filters to this village of 50 homes. They still need 15 more for a completely healthy village, and we are going to try to help them next Tuesday with our One Drop Campaign.
This lady is so happy about her new biosand filter she looks like she could be the new spokes model for them. Her joy was contagious and she is helping lead others in her village to health.
This village is as “Africa” as it gets. No running water, no electricity, no indoor plumbing. It is like stepping back in time or camping for your entire life, which we all know is only fun for a few days.
Life is difficult here, but the people are so kind, welcoming, and you can’t help but notice their amazing smiles.
Unfortunately, their only source of water is this dirty hole, but since receiving biosand filters from Blood:Water Mission, their lives and health have improved dramatically.These people now have a reason to smile.
The story in every house was the same. I asked how things are different now since receiving their filter and without exception they all said their children no longer get sick from waterborne illnesses. If you are a parent, you know that if your child is sick you will do anything to take their pain away. The relief was evident on the faces of all the parents we met.
One father told me that it only took two weeks to help cure his children from something they have suffered with since birth. I love how he described the difference. He said, “life now is all smiles!”
People here take pride not only in their biosand filters, but also when they have completed training and get their healthy home certification and kit. This means they have taken all the necessary steps to make their entire house hygienic.
This tree is significant to both the US and Africa as it is ties our history together. It is called the slave tree and it is where people were gathered before being sent to the US as slaves.
We have all studied slavery in school, but to see it from the point of origin, surrounded by people who's families lived this out first hand is unsettling. It is hard to know what to say as you do not know what their feelings are toward you, the Muzungu (the word Africans use for white people). The best I could offer in this conversation was, in spite of the horrible circumstances that brought our worlds together, we were better because of the culture and spirit they brought with them.
In this photo, baby doesn't have back, instead she has baby ON back. This was such a great day, and when good things happen in Zambia what do you do? You dance! These people were excited that we would visit them and even more excited that we would return to the US to tell their story. I hope next week when we do our One Drop Campaign for the people we met in Zambia that I can do this dance again to celebrate all the people we helped!