Malawi, 2012 – Cham’ndala Village

Dear Friends,

The second village our team visited to restore clean, safe drinking water and to share Living Water in 2012 was a very large village, called Cham’ndala Village, whose broken well normally served 1068 adults + 3697 children or about 4765 people! It may have been a complex of villages.

Most of our team went from village (or school) to village in a small bus that Child Legacy hired for us. A few of our team members traveled in the well repair truck with the Malawian well repair team. Just to give you an idea of the hurdles it takes to work in a very poor and rural society along with a very low budget, when our bus arrived at this very large village complex we noticed that somehow in our travel to this village we “lost” the repair truck and a small part of our team! We received a phone call and were informed that they had broke down somewhere in route from Katambala Village to Cham’ndala Village. The challenges of a low budget ministry in rural Africa suddenly became crystal clear! Child Legacy definitely needs a good used truck to help minimize these events.

The following photos of Cham’ndala Village were taken on my camera except where noted. I hope you enjoy them! Feel free to forward to anyone you like.

 

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We stopped at this well because we knew the broken one was nearby and we had just received word that the well repair parts truck had broken down.

This well had some issues, but was working well enough to go to the one that was in bad shape. I like this photo because it is a good snapshot of typical village life. In addition to the women gathering water at the well, the rather unusual topography, some of the villagers homes, it also shows our bus that sticks out like a sore thumb. Note that there are no other means of transportation around other than a couple of bicycles and bare feet. The mountain peak is just barely visible from Child Legacy’s Project site about 12-15 miles away.

 

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At first we thought there was no reason to go to the broken well without parts, so we decided to hang out at this location until we knew what was going to happen next. We spent about an hour waiting to see if the truck was fixable and whether it would catch up with us or not.

We started taking photos while waiting for some positive news from the rest of the team. Here is a very nice shot taken by Megan Halquist of a couple of young ladies goofing around. The kids love to pose!!

 

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This great photo of this very lovely family was taken by Mitch Halquist.

I don’t normally see a family unit like this. One usually doesn’t see the men and the women mix too much. I am not sure why. I saw that especially in Sudan when I went there in 2009. This gives me great hope for the people of Malawi.

 

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We received word that the truck was working again so we headed to our final destination and start off by sharing some bible stories.

Pastor Lester translates from English into Chichewa for my son-in-law, Alex Blanca.

 

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At the end of the story time there is always an invitation to pray to ask God for forgiveness by trusting His Son as their Lord and Savior. The response is usually overwhelming.

Great photo by Alex Blanca!

 

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It is always very amazing and humbling to see and hear the people praying like these beautiful children.

Great shot Mitch Halquist!

 

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Shortly before we finished our Bible stories the repair truck and the rest of the team arrived and they went at it!

Here they are tearing out the old guts of the well.

Photo by the Malawian Repair Team.

 

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Here the team finishes cinching up the well head before the well is “back on line” so to speak!

Another great shot by the Malawian well repair team who taught us what to do and accompanied us the entire day.

 

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Ta da! It is finished!

This well was tight quarters to get a good group photo, since it was surrounded by a brick wall, with a small doorway to go through.

 

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When we go to Malawi the plan is to bring the love of Christ through the vehicle of restored clean, safe, drinking water and His Word. We also just love on them, but something different happened here. The people in Cham’ndala Village turned it around and “loved” on us!

Great shot Mitch Halquist of your bride!

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Here a couple of the villagers are loving on my grandson Ethan!

It was a happy and joyous day for sure.

Thanks for taking this picture Mitch Halquist!

 

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There is always hope, little one.

Great picture Mitch Halquist!!

 

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Goodbye to Cham’ndala Village.

There is not much else I can say about this photo. It speaks volumes. “Love one another” certainly comes to mind.

Great shot Jennifer Navolio!

 

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But before we left we gave the chief a few things for his people to play with like soccer balls, volley balls, and Frisbees.

The chief shown here asked me to pray for his village and I was honored to do so.

 

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This is the crew that drives all over Malawi using the funds received, from the many donors to the Clean Water Climb, to restore clean, safe drinking water to literally now, several million people.

It’s quite incredible really. Four guys trained, equipped, funded and off they go having now repaired over 1600 wells. 2013 could be the year they break 2000 wells!!

To the left is Pastor David who teaches hygiene and the Bible at every village and school.

 

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Mitch Halquist caught this exquisite sunset shot from Child Legacy’s project site.

A full day of well repairs done.

I hope you enjoyed these very few pictures of Chim’ndala Village out of about 1000 taken by the team.

 

Feel free to share!

Malawi, 2012 – Katambala Village

Dear Friends,

The first village our team visited for a well repair and to share the gospel in 2012 was the smallest village I had ever visited – roughly 100 people. I suspect it was relatively new. They had dug a hole in the ground, and there was a bucket they lowered down to retrieve water. Since that time they had dug another hole in the ground – maybe 30’ deep – by hand! It is very hard for me to imagine how anyone can dig a small diameter 30 foot vertical hole in the ground by hand.

This was also the shallowest water table I had ever witnessed. The village had requested Child Legacy to set casing and install the Afridev pump “guts” into it so they could have a safe drinking water source. So, by the time our team arrived CLI had run and cemented the casing into place. All we had to do was install the riser pipe, pump rods, and surface hand pumping head. So, unlike a typical well repair, this was a brand new well for the village.

It was a fascinating little village. All these villages are unique. There is always something different and new to learn about the people of Malawi and their culture. The following photos of Katambala Village were taken by myself except where noted.

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Pastor Lester Nikoma, with Child Legacy, inspects the hand dug water source.

Note the pieces of wood used to cover the water source and the rope attached to the bucket that ends up on the ground. I would not want to drink water from this well!

With farm animals wandering around, this alternative water source is clearly contaminated.

 

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This was something new for me. In all the villages I have ever been to, I had never seen turkeys before.

There was a pair of them at this village – a Tom and a Hen.

Not growing up on a farm, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from them.

I was quite surprised how defensive the Tom was as I got close to them. He was obviously guarding his Hen as he put on quite a physical display with his feathers and vocal chords!

He was quite frightening actually. He was very agitated and stood his ground very effectively.

 

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Another unique aspect of this village was this stilted structure that contained several doves.

Not sure what the purpose of the doves were – eggs (awfully small) or meat (only 4 or 5 doves).

Pastor Lester and team member David Schultz check out the birds in side.

 

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Malawian well repair crew member “Sho” shows (from left to right) Josh Agnew, David Schultz, and Joe Holmes how to install their 1st Afridev water well pump system in Malawi, Africa!

 

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Meanwhile, while the well is being completed, my daughter Rebekah Blanca shares a bible story with the villagers, with Pastor Lester translating.

At the end of the story time the villagers are always given the opportunity to follow Jesus.

Photo by Alex Blanca.

 

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Once the well is completed the villagers give it a try.

Katambala Village was 210th well to be completed in 2012 by Child Legacy. CLI documents every well that is repaired, refurbished, or completed. This well was finished on the 25th of June, 2012.

We had the great privilege of bringing safe, clean drinking water and the message of the gospel to this village for the first time in its history.

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Great photo of the kids by Mitch Halquist, experiencing safe, clean, “running” water for the first time in their lives!

A new well usually costs $5000 to drill, cement, install, but since the water table was unusually shallow and the villagers were able to dig the hole themselves, an expensive drilling rig was not necessary, so the cost was far less than normal for a new well.

 

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We always like to leave a little treat for all the village kids before we leave.

Pastor Lester and Pastor David supervise the village children while they receive chewable vitamin C and gumballs from my wife Jennifer, my grandson Elias, and my friend Steve Eckhart’s son Barrett.

 

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Before we leave we always try to get our team with some of the villagers together for a photo opportunity.

Can you find our 14 adults and 6 kids?

And then, unfortunately, it is time to say good bye.

It is tough to leave after such a short amount of time.

 

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It is tough to leave after such a short amount of time. But it is always good to see the villagers with smiles on their faces.

The people of Malawi always love visitors, even when we can’t always do a well repair.

Another great shot by Mitch!

 

Child Legacy’s 2nd Annual Mt. Kilimanjaro Clean Water Climb – 7th and Final Day

July 8, 2012 was our final day on the mountain. We hiked from Horombo Huts (12,200′) to Mandara Huts (9000′) then on to the park entrance at Marangu Gate (5905′). When we got to Mandara Huts for lunch, guide Bruce asked me if I would like a car to take me the rest of the way. I said no, I was fine now, and would be ok. But then, I got the idea that maybe Rebekah and I could play a nice prank on the other 5 who were about an hour or so ahead of us on the trail. They were always pranking me, so I needed to get back at them in a big way. During our trip they even had been coaxing Bruce and my own daughter Rebekah joining them in their schemes.  Early in the trip, on the way to the drive to our start of the hike, they convinced Rebekah to tell me that she had forgotten her sleeping bag at the hotel – about 2 hours into our drive to the start of the climb. They then had Bruce tell me we “only had” another 3 hours of driving after we had driven 3 hours of our expected 4 hour drive to the start of the climb! I decided to take Bruce up on the car transport idea. We walked for about 45 minutes and then met up with a car that took us out the rest of the way on the porter road that was different than the hiker’s route, so they wouldn’t see us drive by them. The startled, albeit brief, look on their faces when they arrived at Marangu to see us waiting for them was well worth it!

After a short celebratory ceremony that included our summit certificates being handed out by Bruce we crashed in bed. Jordan and I had to get up at 3am to make our flight to Nairobi, then on to Malawi. It would be Jordan’s first visit to Malawi and my 2nd of the trip and 5th overall. Despite my upper respiratory problems I couldn’t wait to go back to Malawi to join the crew and repair a few more wells. The view from our 6am flight of Kilimanjaro was killer!! Having round tripped to Kilimanjaro AP four times and round tripped four times from Nairobi to Lilongwe, where there is also a good chance to see Kilimanjaro, and despite the badly scratched up windows on the plane, I had never seen it like this before. It was both enormous beautiful. However, once again we proved it to be conquerable for clean water once again. Enjoy the photos.