Day 2 of Implementation: Community Meeting/Building Stand in Kpallabisi
Today we met with our whole community for the first time. Our village, called Kpallabisi, has about 150 households, so over 100 people turned out to hear us discuss our project. Our translator, Peter, got to make use of the village megaphone to help Lauren explain the basics about the treatment center purification process and safe storage system. We fielded a lot of thoughtful questions about the business model and potential problems. It was really great to see how excited and invested everyone seemed to be even at this early stage! We asked everyone to carefully consider our proposal and let us know if they were interested in working with us. We must have said something right because the announcement that we would be back later in the afternoon to start work if they were interested was met with a round of applause!
That afternoon, with the approval of the chief (such a boss with a great sense of humor and future husband of team member, Kathryn) the elders and the rest of the village, we started work constructing Kpallabisi’s polytank stand. Some men, including the village mason, and our now daily entourage of children gathered around the current village water source, a silty dugout, and chose the site for the center. In a classic MacGyver move, one man fashioned a make-shift compass from 2 sticks and string and outlined the stand with a perfect circle. The mason, with some help from everyone else, threw together an impressive stand skeleton from some bricks and concrete. Everyone was laughing and joking. The girls got some marriage proposals and arranged a suitor dance-off for the next day to help ease their weighty decision. :) Even Jim got an offer from a 10-year old boy to be “married as friends”. Moms and Dads, if we never come home, don’t worry. It just means we’ve settled into Kpallabisi more thoroughly than we ever expected!!
“Good bye, bye bye” – Team 3: Jim, Elsie, Kathryn & Lauren