With digging finished, the workers inserted a casing to prevent the walls of the well from collapsing, much like in Cheku, and then they flushed out the sand and silt. They closed the hole and hired Ejuma, one of the village’s most skilled archers, to guard the site to make sure nothing was stolen or vandalized.
There was still plenty of work to do. We had to test the water, build the tower for the water tank, dig 10km of trenches for the pipes, and set up a maintenance program within the community. Fortunately, we had a few days to rest before this next phase of work would begin, and I spent the break in Kondoa Town.
Most of my time was spent listening and watching. I listened to the sound of a man pushing a cart piled high with brooms and buckets and cups that he was trying to sell. He stopped to talk, and then he and his mobile shop slowly continued. Meanwhile, people walked down the streets in suit jackets that were once worn by businessmen in the West, ladies carried name brand purses that were once ridiculously expensive, and young boys ran by wearing t-shirts with logos of big real estate companies, meaning and status removed and transformed.
One morning, as usual, I was eating breakfast with some of the hotel staff, including Aisha, Nuru, and Hussein. They mentioned having heard me singing from my room, so I brought out my ukulele and sang them a few songs. Baraka came by and joined us a little later with Miriam and Shadia. We lazily sat singing and drinking coffee all morning.
Moshi came by later in the afternoon, and since I was creating a video of the borehole’s construction, Moshi, Baraka, and Miriam helped to translate the narration into Swahlili so the Iyoli school kids could learn, step-by-step, how their well was built.
I was looking forward to being busy again, but spending leisurely days at the hotel cleaning my camera, prepping for the next phase of work, and hanging out with the kids and staff always made me happy.