In May, the community of Sagrada Familia celebrated clean water! Thanks to this dedicated group! And I was there to bear witness.
Having visited Sagrada Familia in October of 2015 (read about it here), I was anxious to see familiar faces. The community was already gathered as we approached, and I scanned the small crowd. It was not hard to pick out Candida as she approached, arms extended.
Last year when we met, Candida filtered water from a shallow contanimated well through her T-shirt and boiled it on her stove before offering it up to quench the thirst of her family. Because that was her only option. This time when we meet, her grandsons turn the handle of the handpump at the communtiy well in Sagrada Familia, and Candida assures me that she will T-shirt filter no more. It is no longer the option.
And it is a beautiful thing. To meet the women who make up the Community Water Committee. To see clean, safe drinking water flow into a community. To taste the urgency that has been answered. To feel the burdens being lifted. To hear the sheer relief.
We took turns addressing the group, first Candida and then myself. I smiled to learn that Sagrada Familia is a community of 30 families. Just as we are a group of 30 in this campaign initiative, the 30 families in Sagrada Familia have banded together, committed.
As we shared handshakes and hugs with communty members, we promised to pass along to you their thanks and affirmed dedication to ensuring the well-being and maintenance of water in the community. I am confident that the water well will be both successful and sustainable here.
And just as I am made truly aware that lives here have been changed for the better, I am also keenly aware of the differences that continue to exist in our daily lives. Candida is beaming as she relates that she is pleased that the location of the well will be close to the ‘laundry room’, an area of three stacks of stones near the dry riverbed where the women congregate to do the washing. A concept to which I cannot relate.
And as the sun sets on the well inauguration, I leave feeling. Simply feeling. Feeling everything. Feeling grateful for you all and your big hearts. Feeling happy. Feeling heavy. Feeling hopeful. And feeling undoubtedly humbled.