Sweat, Smiles, & Laughter

by | Jan 20, 2016 | Uncategorized | 8 comments

Our travel team meeting with the reservoir engineers

Our travel team meeting with the reservoir engineers

After a 12 hour work day on Tuesday, the travel team was excited for a bit of rest before our first meeting at 10am. Unfortunately, the unmuffled motorcycles, hungry house dog, and copious roosters prevented anyone from sleeping past 7am. Luckily, there’s always something to be done here. We enjoyed delightful conversation and a delicious breakfast (chicken congee, for all those asking), and then checked out the town square stores. Afterward, we headed to town for our meeting with the engineers who worked on the recently built reservoir in Ubujan. We had a very productive and informative dialogue with them, spearheaded by our talented REIC (Responsible Engineer In Charge) Carrie. The engineers were extremely kind and helpful, a pattern I can’t help but notice here.

Melissa staying safe and stylish while testing for water alkalinity

Melissa staying safe and stylish while testing for water alkalinity

After lunch, we visited two rainwater catchment systems in towns to the north of Ubujan. It was very interesting to learn more about common water procuring solutions throughout the region, as well as seeing the difference between towns. Each town faces its own challenges, but despite a common lack of livelihood and severe shortages of potable water, we see smiling faces everywhere we go. Though I’ve been told numerous times to expect this in travelling to a developing nation, I can’t help but be shocked and inspired at how content people can be with so little.

Our team then travelled back to Ubujan to finish our water testing with the Water Council. They excitedly took notes on all of the tests we did, recording all materials and instructions with animation. After testing was done, the Water Council broke out some snacks (fried bananas with sugar) and drinks, and we all hung out at the town hall. The adorable children who constantly surround us taught Melissa and me how to say “I don’t speak Visayan” – looks like we’re set in the communication department now! I will continue to embarrass myself with my lackluster Filipino accent if it means I can continue to hear the laughter of those kids. I look forward to carrying on our hard work here in the Philippines to bring these incredible people the clean water they deserve.

Melissa and Lia attempting to speak Visayan

Melissa and Lia attempting to speak Visaya

Peace, Love, & EWB,


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