Two years ago when I was here in Zambia I got really sick when some contaminated water splashed in my mouth. I was so sick I did not get to build one of the life saving biosand filters. I can tell you today, after we built 20 of them, I wish I had called in sick.
The work is back breaking for people like Johnny Safari (yes, that is his real name) who does this every day with a smile on his face and a song on his lips. His singing actually helped make the work go faster. It is like you are working with the soundtrack to the Lion King all around you.
My wife, Mardi, and Bekah teased me for being so meticulous as I smoothed out the bottom of the filters, especially the ones they had done. I felt they needed to be perfect. I know it will never be seen, but I also know the pride the families take in having these filters in their homes. I wanted to take that same pride in the building of the filter, and give them the best filters from the bottom up.
We all felt pride as we looked at the 20 filters we had created with our own blood, sweat, and tears. Mardi covered the blood, Bekah, the sweat, (buckets worth) and me, the tears as I have not physically worked that hard in a long time.
What we called “amazing,” they called “Tuesday.” This is what they do multiple times every week, all in the name of God and helping give people safe water. I am amazed because the only thing bigger than their muscles are their hearts
I told Johnny Safari to get ready because after our Drill it and Fill it event next week he was going to have a ton of new filters to make.