Friday, August 1, 2014

Water Ain't Light

Melanie, still smiling (pre-walk)
In the pastor's home
by Melanie Rohla

This morning was definitely exhausting! We drove out to Fumbwe and did the Water Walk. First, we picked our jerry cans (we had to choose between 3, 5, and 10 liter cans). Then we started the short, but steep trek down the hill. At times, I was practically running down the hill it was so steep! As we walked, we were joined by kids of all ages, who were carrying their own jerry cans. 

We learned that many of these kids walk this path multiple times every day to get water for their families and farm animals. When we arrived at the spring (about a 15-minute walk), we waited as our cans were filled. During this time, we took lots of pictures with the kids (who LOVED looking at the photos), and explored a nearby cave called “The King’s Cage”. 

After our cans were filled with water, we trekked back up the hill. I’m a slow walker, so I stayed at the back of the line. It was nice how whenever I stopped and took a break, the kids around me stopped as well. I think they were laughing at me most of the time because of how slow I was, but it was still fun to walk with them! Eventually, we reached the top! 

While waiting for the rest of the group, we played with some of the kids. One girl taught me how to play a game with 5 stones that was similar to Jacks. You would throw the pebble in your hand into the air, grab a rock off of the ground, and then try to catch the flying rock. You would continue that until you acquired all 5 rocks. She was an expert at it, and loved showing off to us. It was so cute.

Later, our group was welcomed into the pastor’s house. We were seated in the living room, and the pastor’s wife brought out delicious chai tea and a large meal consisting of bananas and rice in peanut oil. We ate and drank until we were stuffed. After such a tiring walk and the scrumptious meal, we were all ready to go to sleep. Alas, we hopped on the bus, stopped at a church to talk and say goodbye, and went home. 


  1. I love the little girl's game of jacks with rocks. What a fun encounter and discovery. How cool that the children still find a sense of fun, even in the midst of such a difficult task, carrying that heavy water up that steep hill.

    We take so much for granted.

  2. Melanie - How appropriate that you wrote about the water walk since you are often the drink lady at PADS. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

  3. Mel Mel I was imagining you walking and it made me laugh :) I'm glad you had fun! I love hearing about the games that you guys play (in Kyle's blog too), they sound really fun!

  4. You must have inherited Daddy's "slow walking!" I would surely be slow going up that hill also. We would all use much less water if we had to haul it up a hill ourselves. It reminds me of when Hurricane Ike hit Houston and we were without power all those days. We had to use bottled water to cook, brush our teeth, wash our hands, etc. We really cut down on our water usage then! Water was (is) a precious commodity that we couldn't even buy (at least until power was restored and stores could open).

    Thanks for sharing your story. I tell from the blogs and the pictures that have been posted how much you enjoy the children. They seem to really connect with you. Can't wait to see you tomorrow!

  5. I love this picture of you! (And I bet you were still smiling after the walk too!)