Yesterday was our second day in our village, Guremancheyili. Just the day before, we went to the village and met with the chief and elders to explain what Community Water Solutions is and our vision for the village. They welcomed us with open arms so we went back today to meet with the entire community. It was a little intimidating at first, as the entire village was there surrounding us (we were in the middle and had to spin around to talk to everyone). One thing we noticed is that all of the men sat together, all of the women in a different spot and all of the kids filling in the gaps. We had broken up our speech so all of us got to explain a different part of the process and bond with the community. They especially loved the beginning when we said “Despa” (good morning) and “Ebeera” (how did you sleep) to the entire village, and that helped set the tone for the meeting. At the end, our village asked a lot of questions but sometimes other village people would answer for them which showed us they were really getting the concepts down that we’d been explaining, which made us feel great. Afterwards, the entire village wanted to get in a picture with us followed by all of the women and then by the chief himself. Upon leaving we felt very welcome in the community and are excited to work with them over the coming weeks!!
After our visit to the village, our translator, Nestor, invited us over to his house for Pito, a homemade beer his mom makes. We were all extremely excited that Nestor was opening up to us and inviting us to meet his family. His house was a cute little area right off the road and was bustling with people while we were there (as he’d promised). We got to meet his parents, older brother, friend of his sisters, his best friend, his goat, his puppy (junior el Tigre), his many chickens, and his nieces and nephews. Everyone in our group LOVED the Pito, except Brittany, and would definitely drink it again. We drank it out of a calabash, which are bowls made out of dried plants, which made us all feel like a big part of the culture. After we were done with our Pito, there was a parade going on outside for a new chief of the village. There were people on motos, people drumming, some dancing and some walking in front of the taxi that held the new chief. It was another awesome bit of culture we were lucky enough to experience!
Today we’ll start building the stand for our treatment center and we couldn’t be more excited to go back to our village!!