Simon, Shirlene, Ellie and I returned to Dejada to build the rain catchment system about two weeks after our initial visit.
That two weeks was enough time for the community to build a platform for the water tank and cut posts to support the elevated pipe from the roof to the tank. It is really important to have the community involved in the project and so the men in Dejada did most of the construction with Simon leading them.
Dejada consists of 5 homes built over the water around a very small piece of land. This community of 38 people is not far from a large community called Shark Hole. Shark Hole is more developed with a piped water system (fed by a creek), birthing center, tiendas and a school. The meaning behind their name, Dejada, is left behind or left out. They feel as though “everyone” (government, NGOs, etc) help develop Shark Hole, but no one helps them. I have worked in other small communities, like to this one, that name themselves in a similar way.
My hope and prayer is that over time, as Simon visits, Dejada starts to change their perspective on their worth. I hope that they understand they are special in God’s eyes and they are His children – not a community left behind, but a community that is loved. Simon handed out a bible to each household afterwards and he plans to return to continue sharing Christ with the community.
We took Simon’s cayuco to Dejada this time. It is stable for a cayuco (some of them are so narrow!), but we had to be very careful to sit still and in the center because it isn’t as stable as a typical canoe. We went to Shark Hole after working in Dejada…with 5 people and tools in this cayuco. Oh, I forgot to mention – there was a hole in the bow. I still didn’t see any sharks though, but this was a time I was hoping to not see them. It would have been up close and personal for sure with this cayuco weighed down in the water 🙂
Supplies for this project came from a partnership with the Healing Fund for Panama. A non-profit from Washington State that has been serving this region annually with medical, dental and water teams. It was a pleasure working with Aleph, Ron, Phil and the rest of the team from Washington in the past. They departed a few weeks before I arrived this year, but they left supplies that I am able to use to continue our similar work.
Ellie was a great help for this project. I hoisted her up on top of the tank to install the screen and inlet pipe. She got quite the sunburn that day, but she was a champ!
Projects are continuing nicely. Simon and I drilled another well and have built some new pumps. I will be sharing more about those pumps in the next post.