Sunday, January 11, 2015

Visit to the village of Ihemi

Our group arrived at the Ihemi village to a traditional welcoming song and dance. During our stay, we examined the current water system, met with the village water committee, and enjoyed delicious food and a church service full of singing and dancing.
The Ihemi group - which includes Libby, Sarah, Harry, Justice, Erinn from St. Paul Partners, Eva from the University of Iringa, and our fearless leader, Ken from St. Paul Partners - arrived at the Ihemi village in the early afternoon to a traditional welcoming song and dance. There were dancers, bells, drums, and village people yelling.

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After the welcome, we attended a water committee meeting, where the committee proposed a plan in front of an audience of villagers.

Near the village office, we saw the 5000 L tank on top of an impressive tower. We walked the main distribution line, saw the submersible pump site, and a tap of the system in use.

The day ended with a wonderful supper, and a few card games.

Saturday, we had a full schedule with trips to important parts of the current system, such as hand pumps and public taps, as well as important places for design, including a primary school, secondary school, and a proposed storage tank location.

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After seeing the layout of the village, we met with the water committee to share questions we had and gain a better understanding of their challenges.

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While waiting for supper, the girls decided to rescue a kitten in the ceiling that had been meowing all night. What a cute little guy! It was interesting because Tanzanians don't keep cats or dogs as pets, so they were surprised at our interest in the kitten.

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Sunday morning we took a few water samples to test if the water was safe. We attended church, a three-hour service full of song, dance, and a lot of translating. Church was followed by an auction of pumpkins that were brought for offering.

After, we exchanged gifts, said our goodbyes, and traveled back to Iringa with information from our experience and full bellies from a delicious lunch.