This morning, Saturday, for the first time, I woke up sore all over. This must mean it’s time to go home. Yesterday we ran a test on the new well at Poxte. This well will serve a community of well over 400 people, probably more like 900 plus. (Villagers say 1500) The well was pumped at 10 gallons per minute and I think it will do 15 to 20 okay. The well is situated below the water reservoir near the road and the power line.
We tore down the drill rig, loaded all the leveling blocks and other stuff.
They had a little gathering before we left the well site. They thanked us profusely for the well. Many in Poxte understand the value of clean water to their family’s health. They seem to be a little more organized and more knowledgeable group of people then some of the other villagers I have seen. They wanted to give us something for the well, but we tried to get the free gift (grace) concept across to them.
I was asked by one of the men who spoke some English what we were getting paid to work there, after I told him a third time, he finally got it and shook my hand and gave me a big smile. The people there do a lot of hand shaking whenever they meet. There is a simplicity, directness and joy here, uncomplicated by concerns about social status, color or race. That is refreshing. It’s also amazing how the adults will stop whatever they’re doing to help with anything we need. … Suddenly I’m sorry I’m leaving.
We drove the rig just down the road a couple of miles to Machaquila. There is an American Clinic there where a second well will be drilled first of the season next year. They have an indoor location for our equipment, which is good because it is important to keep it dry over the next 9 months or so… Until I can come back!
As I think about the water situation at Poxte, a 10 to 20 gallon per minute well serving this many people is amazing. Most of us back home in Washington have one of these sitting in our backyard serving just one home. Yet, these people carry every drop of water they use from somewhere down the road. Some walk for miles for clean water. The have a hard life.
Chris and I are going to be heading toward home tomorrow. We plan on traveling to Flores to stay there, get up Monday morning and go to the Mayan ruins at Tikal. So, we will be tourists for a day. We will catch a Monday night plane to Guatemala City, spend the night at the Howard Johnson’s Inn and be home in Washington Tuesday night.
Jon and Chris Hansen as adapted by Tim Rasmussen.