Monday, May 7, 2012

Buckets upon buckets

On Sunday it was time to give out water filters and buckets to the San José Villanueva families who'd fulfilled all the requirements (getting someone in the family tested for parasites and bringing $5 to cover half the cost of the water buckets).  I traveled out to the community with Iris Chacon (from San Rafael Cedros) who does an expert job of explaining the importance of clean water and how to use the water filters.  Darren Streff, a new Maryknoll lay missioner with a background in health care, also joined us - and got landed with the somewhat challenging job of hand-drilling the hole in the bucket (the water filter packets from Sawyer contain a small hand drill which works beautifully - but not quickly).  Here's Darren at work:

And here's Iris, teaching - my favorite of her stories was about a woman who said her filter was a bust, didn't work, couldn't get any water through it.  When Iris when to take a look, she found the woman had forgotten about cleaning the filter by back-flushing it and the filter was completely packed with mud.  Once cleaned, it worked like a charm.  Our participants - mostly mothers, many with several generations living at home - paid close attention.
The buckets, in the background, had all been previously used - mostly for Tang or some quite similar product from the smell - but will be washed out and converted into the bucket that receives water from the tap or the well.  The water is gravity-fed through the filter into a clean-water bucket that has a tap for drinking water.

All that talk about water - of course the inevitable happened, the clouds opened and water came pouring down from the skies, almost like a solid wall.  It rained buckets.  It rained cats and dogs.  And yes, we said, you can filter rainwater with the Sawyer system.  And then we put our papers and bags in one of the buckets and ran for the car.  Much of a good thing!

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