One of the tasks I was really insecure about was constructing a pump. Hydromissions constructs a bailer bucket but not always a pump since they are much more difficult to produce with the limited materials typically available in villages. I was sort of hoping we would not have to construct a pump since I wasn’t too confident I could do it but as one would guess – pump construction was high on the host’s list of project deliverables. I know now that it was exactly what I needed out of this trip as well but for the first few days I was really encouraging the bailer bucket and discouraging the pump idea. I ended up teaching a “Pump 101” class to the entire project team (white board and all!) which really helped solidify my knowledge of pumps and I really did recall a lot more then I thought I would from my pumps course last October. Steve and Jen were always there working, supporting and guiding me. They made sure I was “leading” everything but they were like my training wheels and security blanket. I knew I would turn to them when a question came up during my Pump’s class and they would know the answer.
We spent a half day looking for supplies for building our pump. We built a lift pump. We found all the components in the bazaar which is the most important thing to do when working overseas. You have to make sure all of the supplies can be found in the local market. One of the downfalls to organizations that bring in large rigs and drop awesome efficient pumps into the villages is that pumps fail over time – typically, parts need replacing every 6 months. If the pump is not constructed in the region with parts that the people in the villages can find and afford, then in 6 months it will be useless and the well water will be unreachable