It’s the second day of Ramandan and most people in Iyoli are fasting, including Baraka and Miriam, my neighbours who we took with us to the village. There is no food eaten, including water, during the day and then after sunset families share meals together. The overall mood therefor is quiet and low energy.

We arrived at the site and people in the village had volunteered to fill in the trenches, without breakfast or water, after each section was approved by the engineer. The final trenches were covered which meant that the pipes were ready for hookups.

One of the trees onsite had been chopped down so that it did not block light for the solar panels and we sat waiting on the branches in the shade for the crane to come to lift the tank to the top of the tower.

The work here is either a frenzy of activity for an hour or two but then it all winds down as we wait for the next event which means there are hours to sit and watch and play.

I love the young girls and spend lots of time goofing around and taking pictures. Maybe it’s because my communication skills align more with 10 year olds but mostly it’s because I know these young girls work so hard.

While we were waiting Juma shot a tiny bird with his slingshot and then he gave it to Miriam and said it’s for dinner. I thought it was a joke but it’s not. Miriam described exactly how she was going to pluck and roast it over a fire. She looked at me as though I were crazy not to take it myself.

One of the woman in the village cooked rice and beans for me and Shadia (she is the other girl we brought but only 6 and not required to fast) for lunch. After we finished eating (as they watched) Miriam and Baraka got up and cleared our plates to clean. It’s just what you do when you are a girl here, you cook and clean and fetch water. I helped them clean up too.

Life is not easy but these young girls manage to have fun and they have truly stolen my heart.

Moshi and I have been visiting the schools and refocusing our work on teaching them the science behind the water system and making sure they understand how solar works. They are the future of maintaining this water system.

The crane finally arrived and the sim tank was carried to the top of the tower. The solar technician prepped it for the pipe hookups and solar installation which will happen on Monday.

The girls fell asleep on the ride home home, tired and dirty, and I thought about how hard they work in Kondoa town, it’s the same everywhere in Tanzania.

Miriam carried that dead bird in her pocket all day and brought it home and this evening, after sundown, she is going to pluck it and share it with Shadia and her 4 other brothers and sisters for their big Ramadan dinner.

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