On Sunday it was time to give out water filters and buckets to the San José Villanueva families who'd fulfilled all the requirements (getting someone in the family tested for parasites and bringing $5 to cover half the cost of the water buckets). I traveled out to the community with Iris Chacon (from San Rafael Cedros) who does an expert job of explaining the importance of clean water and how to use the water filters. Darren Streff, a new Maryknoll lay missioner with a background in health care, also joined us - and got landed with the somewhat challenging job of hand-drilling the hole in the bucket (the water filter packets from Sawyer contain a small hand drill which works beautifully - but not quickly). Here's Darren at work:
And here's Iris, teaching - my favorite of her stories was about a woman who said her filter was a bust, didn't work, couldn't get any water through it. When Iris when to take a look, she found the woman had forgotten about cleaning the filter by back-flushing it and the filter was completely packed with mud. Once cleaned, it worked like a charm. Our participants - mostly mothers, many with several generations living at home - paid close attention.
All that talk about water - of course the inevitable happened, the clouds opened and water came pouring down from the skies, almost like a solid wall. It rained buckets. It rained cats and dogs. And yes, we said, you can filter rainwater with the Sawyer system. And then we put our papers and bags in one of the buckets and ran for the car. Much of a good thing!