Thursday, June 16, 2011

Head Game

by Bryce Dibadj

Today we started the day by waking up at 6 this morning. We then ate breakfast which consisted of eggs, bread, and banana. By 7:00 we had left with Serge to the water walk which is when you walk to a stream and collect water. It took about an hour and forty-five minutes to get to the town where we went on the water walk. Before we started however Serge took us on a tour of a well that I-teams had built but was not working along with other things that they were going to used to teach the villagers so that they could farm more efficiency and take up less space.

After we were shown this Serge gave us the jerry-cans. There were four different sizes which were, 2.5L, 5L, 10L, and 20L which we were warned against carrying because of the uphill climb, the length of the walk and how heavy it was. We had previously picked out which size we were going to carry. Doug and I had chosen to carry the 20L can.

We then left to go through the village and on to the water source. As we walked many children came and followed us and brought their own cans. While we were walking the two miles that it took to get to the stream the children came and held our hands. While we walked we got to see small examples of how this particular village survived. There were many banana trees, goats, chickens and two extremely large cows that we saw. The houses were made of either clay, or cement and were very small.

Ryan fills a jerry can
Once we got to the stream everyone including the kids that followed us had their cans filled by either Serge or Ryan.  In the water tadpoles and a leech were  visible but you could be sure that there was much more in that water than meets the eye. When the cans were filled it was a long two mile journey back up to the place Serge had given the cans to us.

My story of carrying the 20L can is like this. As soon as I picked up the can I knew it would be hard but I had no idea what was in store. The first thing to do was to conquer the steep half mile uphill hill. This was the part that  exhausted me the most because of my inexperience. If I had known I would have started off carrying the can on my shoulder or head but instead I carried it with my arms which was a huge mistake. While walking up I met a kid who looked about my age but was much smaller. He to had a 20L can. Once on top of the hill I took a break and the kid followed suit. Through the next 3/4 of a mile I took a few minute breaks and my arms got extremely tired. My friend however seemed unfazed. The next 1/4 mile was very hard and to make matters worse my can started leaking a little. My friend then ran back to his house to drop off his can and got a blue glue like thing to stop the leaking. I then kept going with my friend at my side.
The hill

The last half mile was a very interesting experience. My friend and I met a women who had me put the can on my head (which from what I came to believe was feminine while I think men put the cans on their shoulders). After that it was much easier  but from then on I was the laughing stock of the adults who saw me walk by. When we finally reached the gate that separated the village from the place that we got our jerry-cans I said good by to my friend and dropped of my can. I was not the last one done with the walk and waited until everyone was finished. We then took a photo of the team and went into the mini-bus. With everyone tired and dirty we went to lunch and then went back to the hotel. My experience carrying the 20L can is that it is very hard and amazing how kids smaller than myself can carry them.


  1. Thanks for the day story Bryce! Sounds like you many not need to do those push-ups every day after all :). All of you keep up the good work and enjoy all the people around you! Peace to you.
    Love, Kathy(Mom)

  2. Great team effort! Nice synopsis of your day trip Bryce. Good to hear about your African friend who came to your rescue with "blue glue" so you didn't have to lose any more of your precious water. Carla Aufdengarten

  3. Thank you for your detailed description. At least most of you are still smiling in the "after" picture. How much water did the team haul total? Was it going to one place or several? Water is so very precious yet such a simple thing. I guess it makes sense that it's central to the sacrament of Baptism. Keep up the great work. I'm impressed you challenged yourself to the 20L container, AND persevered. yay you!

  4. wow! Your description helps me understand why we see people carrying things on their heads. That makes sense. Thanks, Bryce!