It is with great excitement to announce that our project and dream is underway. Last week Linus, Joana, Lorrie and I (Ian) arrived in Kerela, South India after a long and beautiful 30 hour train ride from Mumbai. Upon arrival we realized that Kerela was experiencing the worst drought conditions in over 115 years and on our first night here, rain fell from the sky for nearly 5 hours after 3 months of no rain, a truly magical omen that we had come at the perfect moment with the perfect gift :)
On the first day we visited the selected areas for 5 wells and for 5 rainwater harvesting tanks with our Indian partners and the next day immediately began construction.
The five new wells are being built in the land of the poorest families in the area, and an agreement is set up and signed that everyone can take water from the well regardless of social standing or cultural/religious beliefs. Around 150 families will use these wells as their primary water source, and since the wells are located by, or in close connection to main roads, hundreds more will benefit. All work is done by hand, by local professionals that know the land well and dig as deep as 15 meters - hard working superheroes!
In addition to the wells we have also started the construction of 5 rainwater harvesting tanks. The rainwater harvesting systems are an amazing way to create a safe and sustainable water supply. They collect rain water through a gutter system usually attached to the roof of an existing house. The water then runs through a filtration system on top of the tank, then is stored within the tank and used complementary with the wells. This takes full advantage of the rain that does come, especially during monsoon. The same agreements are set up and followed here to make sure that the whole community has access to the water.
We have also been spending a lot of time in the orphanage. This past week we have been conducting english lessons, guitar/music lessons and also playing loads of football/soccer with the kids in the dry river bed every evening, so much fun! We also took the whole orphanage to the beach two days ago for some fun in the sun and playing in the waves, it was a blast! With the donations we were blessed to receive last summer we purchased many things that the orphanage needs like a new grain grinder to make bread, rice cooker, ceiling fans, mattresses, pillows, sheets and a months supply of food.
It is a most beautiful experience to be here now witnessing the fruits of your kind hearts and generosity. This project is possible because all of you took the time and energy to consider the well being of others and already now and especially later when the work is finished, we can all celebrate this great expression of love together <3