Tapping into village life

Did a nice cup of tea help soften the blow of that back to work feeling first thing this morning?

While you were sat drinking your tea, I was helping 25-year-old Deborah from Ojulai village, with some back-breaking weeding in her garden so her crops could grow – a task she does from 6am to 10am daily.

We then swept the compound of her home, took her goats out to graze, dug up some casava (a local root vegetable) peeled it and put it on the fire to roast ready for breakfast, all before Deborah even had any water, let alone a chance to kick back with a freshly brewed cuppa and some toast.

While breakfast was cooking, we walked the half a mile to her local well – a murky, dirty stagnant pond that even had a habitant turtle.

After filling up a 20 kilogram jerry can of this unsafe water, Deborah lifted it on her head to take back home to begin the cooking and cleaning.

Oh, and all of this with a baby wrapped in swaddling on her back and her four-year-old son tagging along behind.

It’s unthinkable that this water is what she uses daily for her family, and she makes the trip to the well at least four times a day!

Although this part of her life shocked me, Deborah was amazing, self-sufficient and very content in her life! She also found my hopeless weeding and peeling technique hilarious, I told her I’m pretty sure my mam and dad would agree with her!

After lunch with Deborah and her many neighbours (who coincidentally arrived the moment the food was being served..) we visited a local school where we chatted to the children and played games with them.

We left on a very positive note and had a fantastic experience but I can’t forget the image of Deborah collecting her water from the dirty pond.

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