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Life Lessons from Kechene School

This week at Kechene School – officially registered as Initiative Ethiopia International Children’s Association (I prefer to make this distinction so as not to confuse Kechene School with similar projects in the area) – teachers were administering mid-year exams to all three grades: KG-1, KG-2, and 1st grade. I could not have been more proud of the kids as they shoved their graded exams in front of my face, ‘JT! JT!’ It was not only me they rushed to in excitement, but other teachers and staff members as well – essentially any adult who was not already surrounded by a gaggle of students. Of course, what they were after was a ‘Betam turuno lidgch!’ or ‘Gobez!’ – essentially a pat on the back.

Now, I can’t say that all the students who rushed me their graded exams thrilled me with the scores on their tests. Some were very high – 60/60, 58/60, 55/60 but some were lower – 27/60, 39/60. Needless to say, it was hard for me to dampen their enthusiasm even if their performance was sub-par. I therefore complimented all of the students and simply tried to show I was exceedingly proud of those with exceptionally high scores. For those of you who know the children, some of the impressive scores were turned in by Kirobel, Yederder, Aman, Zacharias, Betty and Tamirat. I’m waiting on a complete list from the teachers on the overall performance, so if you have further questions feel free to email.

For comparison Geti, a fourth grade student at the local government school (and son of Kechene founders Nichodemas and Wondenesh), sat in on the 1st grade math exam. He scored 57/60; quite a few Kechene students bested this mark. Exams were administered in various subjects including math, English, Amharic, ethics and science.

Seeing the kids taking and then doing well on their exams this week I couldn’t help but think back to how different things were this summer. I remember taking Kelly Meisner, who works for Cherokee in Raleigh, to visit the school and being so embarrassed by the chaos that morning. Now, the students were exceptional that morning (as I’m sure happens at most any pre-school from time to time), but all the same, I was disappointed and embarrassed.

Since September however, the new teachers that were hired, in conjunction with remaining staff members, have been doing quite a remarkable job. I’m continually amazed at the impact the teachers and support staff have had on the structure, instruction and order of the project these past few months. Everyone, from the guards to the cook to the head teacher, is incredibly passionate about the children and their development. Truly, this team at Kechene works together selflessly and harmoniously for the betterment of the children. Every Saturday, after the children have received lunch and departed, the staff meets to discuss the week in review and comment on challenges and successes. This is not just a teachers meeting, or an administrators meeting, but everyone who is employed at Kechene attends. After reading of the scripture and a prayer, a round-table discussion ensues and everyone is allowed their turn to speak.

As many of you are aware, out of the roughly 80 kids at Kechene School all are destitute and some are orphaned (though, most thankfully, living with extended family in the local community). Showing the children love, care and compassion and providing them each two meals per school day (Monday – Saturday) are the top priorities at Kechene. Beyond that, Kechene staff hopes to provide the children a high quality education, instill a since of pride, values and proper hygiene. All of this is a work in progress – there is always more to be done – but I can promise you the school is ardently working towards these goals. The progress is visible in the test scores, the children’s behavior and appearance (they are now bathing at least twice per week), and most of all in the happy, healthy smiles and clear eyes that greet me with a sense of joy and love one would not think possible in such a poor community.

In this dark, global economic downturn Kechene School is a beacon of light and a reality check. The love and joy found in such a destitute area puts quite a perspective on life, and we would all do well to take note. Some would say that kids are kids, they are naïve and generally always happy, no matter where they grow-up. I disagree. One of my favorite students, Serkadis, showed me her test scores and they were, to me, surprisingly low. I quickly asked Akebebre, the head teacher, what the deal with Serkadis was. He informed me that she had missed quite a few days, because her mother is very sick and there was no one to take care of her except Serkadis (who is in the 1st grade). Not only is Serkadis from a destitute home, but her mother is exceptionally sick and her father has already passed away. Nevertheless, she is at school most days and always smiling, learning (she’s very bright).

Serkadis is not naïve, she knows all to well the realities of life – but she faces them with a grace and joy uncommon among grown men and women, much less in a seven year old child. Neither are any of the other kids at Kechene naïve – they live all too close to the margin to be disillusioned. Kechene School, however, provides a needed outlet and foundation for learning, camaraderie, fellowship, love, joy and personal growth. 

 

JTV, 
 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Many thanks to all who have supported, and continue to support this project. As you know, whithout your help this project would not be possible. 

If you are interested in donating to this project, visit the ‘Kechene School’ tab at the top of the blog for directions on how to do so. 

Life as We Know It, and a Glimmer of Hope from Rural Ethiopia

The State of Life

Lately, I hate to admit, I’ve become a bit pessimistic about the future of mankind and Mother Earth. Any time I start reading too much environmental literature I eventually get fed-up and have to give it a break – sometimes a few days, sometimes weeks, sometimes a month or more. The more one reads the more one realizes the extent to which humans have degraded and abused all our natural resources. All I can think of as I read and observe is the quote (and I can’t recall who said it first) that goes something to the effect, ‘Every system is precisely designed to obtain the results it produces.’

This is a system of degradation that has been in the making for centuries upon centuries (even though most of the damage has occurred in the last century and a half) built upon the cornerstone that humans have little regard for the preservation of their natural environment – the very environment that enables all life. It has always been ‘cheaper,’ more ‘cost-effective’(we are greedy and simultaneously we failed, though warned, to incorporate the environmental costs of any decision) or most likely of all just plain easier (lazy we are) to turn the other way, figuring Mother Nature will never actually turn her back on us entirely. Even after we beat her, smothered her, ignored her and trampled upon her.

We are now racing towards the point of no return concerning global warming and climate change, the only debate seems to be exactly where that point is (is it 450 ppm – parts per million – of CO₂ in the atmosphere, or can she handle 550 or 800 ppm?). Mother Nature has finally said enough and if a lot is not done quickly (quite an understatement, by the way), we’ll not withstand the deserved payback. Don’t take my word for it – just browse some of the sources listed below or google it yourself. It won’t take long for you to get mad and maybe even pessimistic as well – but let’s hope, there is always hope, it spurs everyone to effective action. Action, that is, that eventually retards the amount of CO₂ in the atmosphere and leaves a richer, more vibrant and biologically diverse earth for future generations.

Those who know me, know how much it takes for me to admit feeling the slightest bit pessimistic about much of anything. At times, I do feel overwhelmed with the enormity and complexity of the issues we face today – global poverty, global warming, and global unrest mainly – but try my best not to show it. Further, I prefer to take an opportunistic view of the world. But, frankly, the facts are alarming.

In my lifetime I’ll likely witness one of two remarkable outcomes. 1) The world recognizes the challenges facing society in lieu of global warming and the subset of issues it affects but is unable to act en masse to curb CO₂ emissions effectively enough. The climate then changes in violent ways that violently and adversely affect the stability of life on earth. Or, 2) The world recognizes the challenges facing society in lieu of global warming and the subset of issues it affects and, with much creativity, innovation and many blessings, is able to curb and begin to retard CO₂ emissions – effectively preserving and then enhancing life as we know it on Earth. Let’s hope wisdom, innovation, creativity, hard work and a bit of luck result in the later scenario.

 

Developing World Context

Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi ,was quoted in the Friday January 16th issue of the Sub-Saharan Informer as stating,

“The injustice of the whole issue of global warming and climate change lies in the fact that those who have contributed nothing to its genesis will suffer the most from its consequences because they have the least capacity to adapt to these changes. They have the least capacity to adapt because they are poor and do not have the resources to adapt to the changes. However unjust it might be we have to adapt or die.”

Meles is correct, the poor people of the world certainly did not contribute as much to global warming as residents in the developed world – they didn’t have the opportunity to. There is an opportunity, however, for the developing world to be a leader in embracing clean, affordable energy and transportation for all; land and water management practices that increase agricultural productivity, food security and GDP while simultaneously decreasing deforestation, green-house gas emissions and soil degradation; and conservation funded by eco-tourism. The government will not be able to address even half of this agenda alone. It will need to collaborate with the NGO/ donor community, national and international environmental and sustainability experts, universities and research institutes, the private sector and most of all with the local people.

Rather than specifically addressing and providing examples of all of these areas of opportunity in this post, I’ll highlight a wonderful example of renewable, clean and affordable electricity in rural Ethiopia.

 

Rural Ethiopia and Solar Energy – Economically Feasible

Sunday, January 18th, Stephen Frapart and I tumbled along some of the worst roads I have ever travelled (David Phillips – whom you might call an artist on a bulldozer – armed with an old Caterpillar D6, could work miracles on the rural access roads, and thus development of this country, but that’s another issue all together). The last road we travelled was more or less a riverbed, which somehow accommodated our Toyota Land Cruiser – it’s no wonder all the village elder could talk about was the need for real access roads to his community. No, we were not out for a Sunday afternoon joy-ride, we were joining Dr. Harald Schϋtzeichel and Samson Tsegaye of the Stiftung Solarenergie Foundation on a visit to Chabeauxsinsaliti (I’m sure that spelling is incorrect, and I apologize), a rural village where the foundation has installed a solar system at a local residence.

Stiftung Solarengerie Foundation charges the residents to use the renewable electricity provided by the solar panels they install. Typically, Harald says, customers place 20% down on their purchase and then, over a three year period, slowly pay for the rest of the system through down payments that purchase electricity incrementally. Currently, there are two options available: one runs about $250 USD and generates enough electricity to operate up to four lights and a radio; the other will cost you about $50 USD and generates enough electricity to light one LED bulb and charge a mobile phone. Stiftung finances the entire operation and also provides repair and maintenance technicians to monitor the system.

Plans are in place for customers to begin using RFID cards, which are essentially pre-paid solar energy cards, to make down payments on their solar panels. The residents purchase a certain amount of electricity, which is stored on their RFID card (like a pre-paid mobile phone card), from Stiftung representatives that travel to their community. Their solar system doesn’t work without the card, which acts as a key. When they insert their RFID card into the battery their balance is steadily consumed as they use the electricity generated by the solar system. Each purchase of electricity they make is a down-payment on the overall price of the system. Eventually, the resident pays for the system and takes complete ownership.

The option remains available to retain Stiftung technicians for repair and maintenance after the residents have taken complete ownership – but there is a fee for these services. Furthermore, the LED lights (produced in Germany, they use only 1 watt of electricity) and the outer covering of the electrical cord (from Switzerland) that runs from the solar panel to the battery are specially designed to last at least twenty years. Harald believes that only with a long term perspective can you make an argument that today, in rural Ethiopia, the direct costs of solar energy is cheaper than the direct cost of kerosene, diesel, or other types of available energy used to generate electricity.

 

Compare, Contrast and Implement

Now, I must say, this was quite an uplifting experience. My home back in North Carolina is barely fitted out with fluorescent light bulbs, much less extremely efficient LED lights. Moreover, all electricity supplied to the house is still purchased from the local Duke Energy grid – not a bit of renewable electricity generated on-site. All of a sudden I found myself standing in a mud, stick, and tin hut, miles from the main road, in one of the poorest countries in the world – and they were using more high-tech energy generating devices and lights than my recently constructed home in North Carolina.

That, my friends, is an example of what development can and should look like in the developing world as well as the developed world. In a sense, the developed world has further to go than the developing world because the developed world has to work to retrofit a system perfectly designed to kill Mother Nature and everything she provides. The developing world on the other hand, is poised to gain maximize benefit by implementing technology and systems that are designed, often in the developed world, in harmony with Mother Nature.

Furthermore, this technology is not being given away. By providing financing and a long-term commitment to the project, the Stiftung Solarengerie Foundation is creating a market and demand for their product – solar generated electricity. Local people take ownership of the project, and should something go awry, they are serviced by Stiftung technicians, who are graduates of regional vocational training schools. Moreover, customers benefit from the efficiency and durability of state-of-the-art technology from Germany and Switzerland. That’s implementing first rate technology from the developed world in the developing world, and subsequently increasing the standard of living in an economically and environmentally sustainable manner. All of this is happening in rural Ethiopia.

 

Hope

For thousands of years we toiled without light or electricity. Suddenly, literally and figuratively, a light was turned on. Look at how much of the world has gained electricity in the last hundred years, even though most is not generated in a sustainable manner. We can only pray that once again, a period of enlightenment will pervade throughout the earth and we’ll be able to overcome development and design challenges, in the developed and developing worlds, in a manner harmonious with Mother Nature.

I believe, even in the face of a mountain of alarming facts, that with the right leadership, enlightenment and blessings we will overcome the challenges facing our world today. People everywhere want to begin climbing the mountain to overcome global poverty, warming and unrest. Here’s to believing we can and will, but realizing the task will not be easy and will require the very best from all of us – both in the developed and developing worlds.

 

JTV
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 

For more information on Stiftung Solarenergie Foundation, please visit: http://www.solar-energy-foundation.org

 

 

 


In-case you’re wondering, this literature ranges from online pulications – Yale Environment 360, New York Times, Wall St. Journal, etc.; to books by the likes of the entrepreneur Paul Hawken,’Ecology of Commerce’; the economist EF Schumacher, ‘Small is Beautiful;’ designers  McDonough and Braungart ‘Cradle to Cradle;’ the farmer and poet Wendell Berry ‘The Way of Ignorance’; and the journalist Thomas Friedman ‘Hot, Flat and Crowded;’ to the available magazine resources here in Addis: The Economist, TIME, and National Geographic predominantly; to local newspapers – mainly Fortune and the Sub-Saharan Informer; and finally to reports like the World Bank Report 2008: Agricultural for Development, and a publication on ‘Best practices and technologies for small scale agricultural water management in Ethiopia’ published by USAID, the Ministry of Water Resources and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. I am not trying to be obnoxious in listing these sources, but merely attempting to show how many different publications are now reporting on the enormity of the environmental challenges facing us today.

Appropriate Technology, Vocational Training and a few thoughts on Sustainability

As promised, this is the follow-up report on the time I spent with SABG in Awassa, Ethiopia.

The idea of using appropriate technology to serve the poor and to increase their standard of living is by no means a novel one. I was quickly reminded of that point last week by a friend who has been doing development work in Africa for over twenty years.

For some reason, I have been digesting and contemplating his comments for the better part of a week. Ultimately, his point was that appropriate technology ‘just doesn’t work.’ Reasons for this failure include a lack of interest among the rural poor to adopt and invest in these technologies, lack of a full-spectrum market to service these technologies should they break-down, ownership and responsibility issues, and a lack of education on the importance and potential of a said technology to increase a persons standard of living.

I had to agree that merely providing the technology does little, if nothing, to increase the standard of living among the rural poor. It’s comparable, if you will, to giving a Roman-era road builder a new bulldozer equipped with GPS and a laser grading system. Out of curiosity he may try it, but as soon as it breaks down (which wouldn’t be long in the hands of an inexperienced operator) it would sit idly by – a huge waste of investment capital. Not to mention the fact that, without training, he likely did more destruction than production.

Now, that’s an exaggerated example, but not by as much as one might think. At this point, one might launch into the discussion of what exactly defines appropriate technology. You might argue that ‘appropriate’ implies the end user knows fully how to operate and repair the technology – thus the above example is entirely out-of-line.

For reference, others have defined appropriate technology as such:

                ‘An appropriate technology is usually characterized as small scale, energy efficient, environmentally sound, labor-intensive and controlled by the local community. It must be simple enough to be maintained by the people who use it. In short, it must match the user in complexity and scale and must be designed to foster self-reliance, cooperation, and responsibility.’ – Amadei (2004) from the essay, ‘Poverty Reduction through Irrigation and Smallholder Markets (PRISM)” by Kebele Ayele and Shibru Tedla. Published in ‘Best practices and technologies for small scale agricultural water management in Ethiopia,’ 2006.

                ‘Intermediate technology (as Schumacher liked to call it) is vastly superior to the primitive technology of bygone ages but at the same time much simpler, cheaper, and freer from the technology of the rich. One can also call it self-help technology, or democratic or people’s technology – a technology to which everybody can gain admittance and which is not reserved to those already rich and powerful.’ –late economist EF Schumacher, ‘Small is Beautiful,’ 1973.

My friend conceded, however, that appropriate technology has a place in the development spectrum if, and only if, there are checks and balances in place to ensure that repair and maintenance is covered in some capacity for at least ten years. Simultaneously there must be an investment in educating and persuading the local community of the importance of the technology and also in how to operate and maintain it.

Finally – and I’m sure you’re wondering by now – how does this tangent relate to Selam Awassa Business Group (SABG). Well, primarily SABG is a production center of appropriate technology and a vocational training center. Therefore, I feel it is important to highlight what SABG is doing to contribute, in sustainable ways, to the appropriate technology movement and to capacity building among the rural community.

First of all, SABG production center is a for-profit enterprise. SABG operates because there is a demand for their products. On the face of it, this implies that people understand how to use these appropriate technology products and that they find value in them. This would automatically discredit the argument that appropriate technology is not applicable because it implies that it is so fully applicable that farmers are themselves demanding it and using their own capital to acquire it.

If only it were so simple. While some of SABG’s customers are, in fact, rural smallholder farmers, many are nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Many of these NGOs could be simply giving away the technology with little follow-through on education, repair and maintenance, or any attempt to measure social impact. SABG production center should not be faulted, however, for other organizations’ lack of follow-through (assuming there is a lack of follow-through). The production center promotes and produces appropriate technology and leaves the tasks of education, repair and maintenance, and measuring social impact up to partner NGOs.

Subsequently, through the production of appropriate technology, SABG also funds (with help from donors) and operates an on-site vocational training college. Selam Awassa Vocational Training College trains students in mechanical engineering. The program is designed to be a three year program in which students have an opportunity to get much needed hands-on experience through the workshop (even working on the production side of the business in their 2nd and 3rd years) during the day, and then theoretical instruction at Awassa Technical and Vocational Training College in the evening.

Students in Selam Awassa Vocational Training College are gaining employable skills and a sense of self thanks to the efforts of SABG. All tuition and living expenses are covered and every day begins with a Christian based devotional at 7:45 am, attended by the entire organization. The confidence these students build in themselves, their direction, and the love God has for them combined with the skills acquired in the workshop and classroom have an immeasurable impact on their livelihood and future. Many of the students I met with expressed how very grateful they were for this unique opportunity – provided entirely by efforts of Selam Awassa Business Group and associated donors.

Back to the sustainability issue. SABG is taking a unique approach to sustainably among its three sectors: the production center, providing clean water and vocational training. The production center is a for-profit venture designed to meet the demand for appropriate technology among citizens, the NGO community, private corporations, and the government. The Selam Awassa Drilling Works and Sanitation project is taking direct action in working through rural kebelle’s (communities) to install fresh, clean water wells with pumps. I believe I failed to mention this previously, but Selam Awassa Drilling Works and Sanitation is also taking action to train a local serviceman/woman in specific kebelles by providing him or her with a bicycle for transportation and training in repair and maintenance. Finally, Selam Awassa Vocational Training College is providing the rural poor with employable skills that will, at the very least, ensure they are able to provide for themselves and their families and likewise contribute to the development of their native land.

Now, I’m no expert on sustainability. It is apparent, however, that many of our man-made systems throughout the world have been designed with little regard to sustainability – financial, natural, spiritual or otherwise. In this same development/ sustainability thread is the fact that aid alone cannot and will not develop economies in the third world – development workers, economists and others have been saying this for decades, its nothing new and I’m not claiming to be doing more than stating the obvious. SABG depends on a combination of income generating activities and aid to spur development, economy, education and spiritual well-being in rural Ethiopia.

Currently, the environmental impact of SABG’s work is indirect. Much of the appropriate technology allows farmers to cultivate land intensively (increasing production and fertility of land under cultivation), rather than extensively (farming in such a manner that degrades the land to the extent that it is left fallow in search of more fertile land). Intensive cultivation, in turn, slows erosion, land degradation, and deforestation. Moving forward, maximizing the productivity of land under cultivation and practicing techniques that ensure the land remains productive and fertile for years to come will be absolutely critical. This will not be capable without the introduction and adaptation of appropriate technology throughout the developing world. This should be affordable, locally produced technology which maximizes scarce land and water resources.

Moreover, design and production of this appropriate technology should be in such a fashion that absolutely no waste is produced – or, in a cradle to cradle method (as opposed to cradle to grave). The net environmental impact of production should be positive – rather than simply minimized. This is an idea expressed by William McDonough and Michael Braungart, in their novel on sustainable design, ‘Cradle to Cradle.’ The opportunity to address the cradle to cradle philosophy, as it relates to the developing world, is enormous.

Some businesses have embraced McDonough and Braungart’s philosophy and are attempting to address this philosophy in the developed world, but what work has or is being done to address entirely sustainable, cradle to cradle design in the developing world? From my limited view, very little. Two obvious examples: recycling is a foreign concept here in Ethiopia and the cars and buses would fail an emissions standards test miserably – spend any amount of time on the streets of Addis and you’ll quickly be bathed in ‘Ethiopian perfume’ (thick, dark exhaust). 

I could go on, but I imagine by this point I’ve rambled long enough for many of you. I’ve jumped from defending the appropriate technology movement (and thus, SABG), to capacity building via vocational training and spiritual development, and finally to a brief synopsis of sustainability as it pertains to SABG and the developing world as a whole. Obviously, there are stages in the development spectrum and the sustainability spectrum that are, by all means, intertwined. Different levels and areas of development allow for different levels of sustainability but it is my hope that ultimately, all our activities under the sun are in harmony with spiritual, natural and financial sustainability. Though, for now, that’s a lofty ideal.

 

JTV
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Clean Water

This is part one of a two-part entry recapping a long weekend I spent in Awassa, Ethiopia with Selam Awassa Business Group. Part two will be due in a few days. Happy New Year everyone, and many blessings and good health in 2009!

Monday morning I joined Yared Sisay, who heads the Selam Awassa Water Drilling Works and Sanitation project, to visit well drilling sites outside of Awassa, past the small town of Tula. As we bumped along the rocky road in the Toyota work truck it was evident that many of the people we passed – most herding goats or cattle, or fetching water – recognized Yared. Predictably, Yared and his crew are much loved by the community members, as they provide clean water – a life giver.

After traversing a few open fields, and winding down roads in desperate need of the fresh blade of a bulldozer or motor-grader, we reached the first of two drilling sites the crew was working that day. On the way, we stopped by a small well that had just been completed but that was waiting on a pump to be installed. It was remarkable to compare the new water source – clean, deep, and filtered – with the old – a contaminated hand dug well.

As the day progressed, I would see even worse sources of water including stagnant ponds and old rain-water catchments. All of them were full of murky, detestable water. It’s hard to believe anyone could survive on this water, especially young children. Unfortunately, many do not survive but succumb to diarrhea and other water borne diseases. Some believe diarrhea to be the top killer among children in Africa.

Back to the drilling site. Including four members of the drilling crew, there were roughly 15-20 people gathered around the drilling site – most of them men taking turns at the manual drilling. Interestingly enough it was men helping drill the wells but women and children are usually the ones burdened with the laborsome task of fetching the daily water. Often, they carry jerry cans, on their heads or over the shoulders, for miles to retrieve water in town. Other times, they resort to retrieving water from local, but contaminated sources such as the ponds and rain water catchments mentioned previously.

Most wells in this area range from 20-30 meters deep and take 3-5 days to drill, depending on the soil. The design of the drill is interesting. It is specially designed to be operated manually – in a ‘heave/ ho’ type fashion (check the pictures on the link at the right, ‘Lamp Post Photos,’ for clarification). Therefore, besides the first six meters of the drill bit, which is steel, the rest is PVC pipe. This makes the drill stem light enough to enable manual drilling up to 30 meters, even as the stem fills up with water.

Yared and company work through kebelle (similar to small community mayors) leaders to gain support for placing wells in a certain kebelle. Also, without the support of the kebelle leaders, the necessary manual labor would likely not be provided by the community. Obviously, the kebelle leaders are critical players in this process. As Yared explained,

                “Without the support of kebelle leaders, we would have a very hard time. Some of the people would just say, ‘You want to dig a well? Go ahead but I’m not providing any labor and could care less what you do’.”

On the face of I, this may sound both absurd and astonishing, but it is due mainly to a lack of education about water-borne diseases.

After observing the drilling for a bit and asking some questions, I finally got in on the action and joined the men who were operating the drill or, ‘heave/ hoeing.’ The physical activity was invigorating, it does a mind and body good to work-up a sweat and I don’t get to as often as I’d like, but I imagine it’s also exhausting work days on end, out in the field.

The thing I appreciated most on this site visit was the character of Yared, Berhanu and the rest of the drilling team. They work a hard six days per week, often without breaking for lunch because if they did the well would collapse. When they’re in the field, which is nearly constantly, they stay at the local hotel and I can assure you it’s not exactly the Taj. These men are lean and fit from hard work and are more than capable in their trade. Their focus is on finishing one well and then moving on to the next, that’s all. Along the way they are saving innumerable lives and greatly enhancing the standard of living in the rural community by providing local sources of clean water. 

 

JTV
Awassa, Ethiopia